The lineage of the Asopos illustrates the purification of the deep layers of the vital achieved successively by Aeacus, Peleus and Achilles.The other major lineages involved in the Trojan War include: the Tantalum lineage, the Trojan royal lineage, the Spartan lineage, the Maia lineage and the Deion lineage.
Peleus wrestling Thetis (who shapeshifts in fire and big cat), between Chiron and a Nereid. – Staatliche Antikensammlungen
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See Family tree 25
Although Apollodorus suggests other ancestries (Zeus and Poseidon), he first cites Oceanos as father of the river god Asopos, who like all other rivers, is a symbol of energy-consciousness striving for evolution.
The name Asopos, as that of his wife Metope, exists in relation with ‘vision’ (Οψ). It means ‘the marshy’, or ‘he who beholds sludge’. In this one could therefore see an indication of the yogic work plunging into the murky depths of the subconscient and the inconscient.
We have already come across some of the twenty daughters of Asopos, each of which represents an important movement of Yoga.
– Antiope, ‘a reversal or reorientation of consciousness’, who marks the entry into the process of purification. According to Homer she bore by a union with Zeus two sons named Amphion and Zethos who would become the founders of Thebes, the city in which is incarnated the process of purification and liberation. (However, in the earlier study of these two heroes we have also considered another genealogical progression through Nycteus).
– Thebe, ‘the process of incarnation of the inner consciousness’. She entered into a union with Zeus and had the city of Thebes named after her.
– Ismene, ‘personal will’, who united with Argos ‘the luminous’, symbol of the seeker of truth.
– Harpina, ‘a powerful evolution of the reversals of equilibrium’. She entered into a union with the god Ares, and by him bore Oenomaus, ‘he who truly desires divine intoxication’, and became the father of Hippodamia, ‘the mastery of vital energies’ (it has been previously discussed that other genealogical origins have been given for Oenomaus).
– Salamis, ‘a drive towards consecration’. She entered into a union with Poseidon, the god who rules over the subconscient, and by him bore Cychreus, ‘the opening of consciousness to the right movement of accomplishment’, who later fathered Chariclo, ‘a joy of great renown’. The latter entered into a union with the great physician Chiron, ‘he who handles energies in the appropriate manner (through his hands)’, and to whom were entrusted a number of the great heroes in their youth including Achilles.
– And the most important of all, Aegina, ‘the need for evolution’. Zeus abducted her to lead her to Oenone, ‘the structure for the evolution of joy’. It was Sisyphus, ‘intellect’, who revealed to Asopos the identity of the abductor. The river god strove to impede a union between his daughter and Zeus, but the latter halted his pursuit with a bolt of lightning.
This abduction perpetrated against the father’s will shows reticence on the part of the seeker who ‘beholds the deep human marsh or mire’ to commit himself further to the path of descent (he resists Zeus’ union to Aegina). The intellect supports this refusal (Sisyphus denounces Zeus and informs Asopos).
This abduction suggests a change in the direction of the yogic progress; the supraconscient brings its support to the ‘need for evolution’ to lead it towards ‘a structure meant for the evolution of joy’.
In continuing the story of Aeacus, son of Aegina and Zeus, one must bear in mind the union of Aegina with Actor ‘the guide’, or ‘the right movement of the opening of consciousness towards the spirit’.
The latter is either a son of Deion, ‘the union in consciousness’ (the son of Aeolus who we have discussed last), or a son of Myrmidon ‘the ant’ and Pisidice, ‘she who searches for the right mode of action’. He therefore represents the will to find what is right in the insignificant movements of daily life up to the deepest level of consciousness (at the level of the ant).
From Actor and Aegina was born Menoetius, ‘he who remains in the spirit’, who himself engendered Patroclus, ‘the glorious ancestors’, which is to say the past realisations to which the seeker clings so as not to carry on his yogic work beyond the liberation in spirit. This reversal took place during the Trojan War when Patroclus was slain by Hector, indicating the time when the seeker ceases to ‘remain in the spirit alone’, and most importantly ceases to ‘cling to the realisations of the past’.
Aeacus, ‘the opening of consciousness’, was a son of Zeus and Aegina, and therefore embodies a new impulse given by the supraconscient to the ‘need for evolution’. If we take into consideration that the name Aeacus is formed from the base Αια, an alternative form of the name Gaia, Earth (symbolic of matter or body), this name would therefore express an ‘opening of corporeal consciousness’.
The name alone would then evoke a major reversal in the yogic work, which did not till that point consider a transformation of the body to be possible. All the same, a definite reversal cannot yet occur for the vital and mental liberation has not yet been fully accomplished (this stage is marked by the deaths of Hector and Achilles).
According to a text attributed to Pindar, upon reaching adulthood Aeacus found himself alone on an island and was overcome by loneliness. Zeus then transformed all the ants on the island into men and women, creating the Myrmidon people. This story points to a new level of attention brought to the most minute movements of consciousness and a purification up to the deepest levels of consciousness under the impulse of the supraconscient (ants clean up to the bones).
Aeacus was ‘the most pious amongst all Greeks’, as well as ‘the most able both in combat and in counsel’. Pindar adds that he was arbiter and judge over the disputes of the gods, and some later authors even affirm that in Hades his place was by the side of Minos and Rhadamanthys.
Aeacus therefore symbolises the most advanced seekers within the three forms of yoga, that of Devotion (for Aeacus was the most pious), that of Knowledge (the most able in counsel), and that of Work (the most able in combat).
According to Pindar he even represents a seeker who has established himself in the overmind and is able to discern within himself and handle the conflicts of forces active in the overmind (Aeacus is as an equal of the gods and arbiters their disputes). It must in fact be remembered that while being a very high one the plane of the overmind still participates in duality and is not yet at the level of Unity of the supramental.
Along with Apollo and Poseidon Aeacus participated in the erection of the walls of Troy. Apollo witnessed three snakes striving to reach the top of the walls and saw the first two fail to do so, which led him to predict that the city would be seized from the side built by Aeacus, and possibly even by one among his own descendants.
Pindar states that neither the psychic light nor the work on the subconscient can on their own bring about a reversal or reorientation (symbolised by the failed attempts of the first two snakes). It is the work on the three paths of yoga in view of an opening towards ‘a new corporeal consciousness’ which brings about a reorientation of the yogic work (the city is predicted to fall on the side built by Aeacus).
But upon its awakening this new consciousness working through the triple path (an integral yoga) first of all contributes to the establishment of a protective layer to allow the spiritualisation of consciousness. It is this protection which will first fall through the action of one of Aeacus’ first descendants, which is to say under the effects of this triple yoga of Work, Devotion and Knowledge. In other words, the consolidation of the Trojan error by the first steps in this new opening of (corporeal) consciousness cannot be avoided. And it is in the body and through an integral yoga that the reversal will be carried out.
Aeacus, ‘an opening of (corporeal) consciousness’, entered into a first union with Endeis ‘the inner fire’, daughter of Chiron ‘the concentration of consciousness which evolves in a true manner’ and of Chariclo, ‘a joy of great renown’.
From this union were born two sons, Peleus, ‘he who lives in sludge’ (who plunges into the depths of humanness), and Telamon, ‘the resistant or enduring’. (Here we follow the version recounted by Pindar.)
This first union announces the seeker’s descent into the silt of the subconscient, and warns that a great endurance will be necessary to carry out this new yoga.
From a second union with Psamathe, ‘sand’, daughter of Nereus the old man of the sea, (with N+Ρ signifying ‘the evolution of the true movement’), Aeacus engendered Phocus, ‘the seal’. Nereus symbolises the first impulses of life emerging from matter. Psamathe can be understood as an ‘inner sand’, which is to say ‘a clean soil’ of ‘true movements’ in contrast to the muddy silt in which plunges the seeker (Peleus). Phocus ‘the seal’ therefore symbolises a capacity for adaptation and transformation, suppleness and the appropriate work of consciousness which descends into the vital for a work transformation irrespective of the challenges.
Phocus incited the jealousy of his brothers, either because of his greater skill in the games or because he was Aeacus’ favourite. And so Peleus and Telamon, or in some accounts only one of them, plotted for Phocus’ death and following his murder were banished by their father in punishment for their crime. Telamon sought refuge in Salamis and Peleus in Phthia at the court of Eurytion who absolved him of the act of murder.
This adaptability gives better results in the yogic process than endurance or a work on the depths (Phocus is more skilled in the games than either Peleus or Telamon), and naturally holds a place in the continuation of the new opening of consciousness (he is Aeacus’ favourite).
But the seeker can most probably not understand this fact, for even if it has proved its worth, this adaptability in lightness cannot yet be fully accepted by the seeker who is still attached to his old yogic schemas (Peleus and Telamon are jealous). The realisations which will later on emerge from this need for ‘suppleness’ embodied by the descendants of Phocus do not yet have their rightful place for the Trojan War has not yet occurred. This is why Peleus was absolved of the murder.
However Pindar, (Nemean Odes V. 6-12), does not seem to support this interpretation, for he states that he cannot find justifications for this crime.)
Phocus and his sons
With the children of Phocus we anticipate very much on the latest developments in yoga. However a word must be said about this here, for this lineage will not be discussed again.
The descendance of Phocus is an expression of one of the greatest discoveries made by the Mother in her yogic work; the power of the mantra to infuse corporeal matter with a new consciousness. The depressive and indefinitely repetitive mental of the cells is substituted by a mantra that carry a true energy and a joyful hope of transformation by the gift of self.
Phocus, ‘adaptability’, entered into a union with Asterodeia, ‘the path of light which manifests itself in a multitude of starry sparks’, with who he fathered two sons, Panopeus, ‘he who has a vision of the whole’, and Crisus, ‘he who distinguishes’ and therefore ‘he who sees’ or perceives all elements in detail and in their rightful place in the whole.
Panopeus fathered a son named Epeios, probably signifying ‘a stable consciousness’, who built the Trojan horse with Athena’s assistance. It is in fact the seeker ‘who has a vision of the whole’ who can perceive what must be accomplished so as to put an end, with the help of the inner guide, to a conception of the spiritual path that is no longer in agreement with the divine goal of evolution.
In the Iliad Epeios says of himself that he is an able wrestler but is not skilled in war: Let us remember that amongst the Dioscuri it is Polynices, ‘he who is gentle in all things’, who is a great wrestler and the only survivor to the conflict of the two brothers, the Dioscuri, against Idas and Lynkeus. The accomplished wrestler is therefore an ‘artist of non-duality’ or of ‘integration’ beyond the level of mastery in which excels Castor the horse-tamer.
Here the vision of the whole (Panopeus) confers certain qualities to consciousness – including suppleness, adaptability, agility, swiftness, concentration and inner calm and strength -, which do not allow for the exactness of action in the details of duality (which is given by Crisus).
While the first son gives the key for bringing about the reversal, the second gives the key for the next stage, the perfecting of nature down till the level of the body.
In fact the second son of Phocus, Crisus, ‘he who distinguishes’ or ‘he who perceives all elements in detail and in their rightful place within the whole’, fathered a son named Strophius, ‘coiling onto itself’, who entered into a union with Anaxibia, ‘that which rules over life’, who was the sister of Agamemnon. The seeker thus makes clear the fundamental process of repetition and coiling inwards at the root of life, a process which must be transformed to allow a new evolution in the body.
This transformation allows a crossing over of the major threshold of yoga; Strophius and Anaxibia had a son named Pylades, ‘the doorway of union (with the Divine)’. It is actually not so much a matter of elimination but rather of changing what the body has obsessively repeated for millions of years, which in the consciousness of the cells constitutes a deep desperation. The threshold to be crossed intends a reconnecting of the cellular consciousness with its divine source.
Pylades, ‘the doorway of union’, is the closest friend of Orestes, ‘the right movement of integrity’, son of Agamemnon, ‘he who aspires with a powerful intelligent will. He married Electra, symbol of the ‘illumined mind’ and one of the daughters of Agamemnon, who bore him two children, Medon, ‘true power’, and a homonymous Strophius, ‘coiling inwards’: when the new movement is recorded into cellular consciousness the true power of the divine appears.
Telamon and his sons, Teucer and the great Ajax
It has been noted that the genealogy of Telamon is not unanimously agreed upon. Homer never mentions him as an Aeacidae (of the lineage of Aeacus), and Pherecydes identifies him as the son of an Aktaios who we have been unable to situate within the different genealogical lineages. Lacking the necessary elements to construct any other genealogy, we will use the one usually given, in which he is a son of Aeacus and Endeis.
Telamon ‘the enduring’ is twice implicated in the adventures of Heracles.
In his ninth labour, the Belt of Hippolyte, he slew Melanippe, ‘a black and distorted energy’, sister of the queen. It seems logical that it is ‘endurance’ which finally puts an end to the deviating energies of the lower vital in the most advanced stages of yoga.
He also participated in the conquest of Troy when Heracles returned to avenge himself on Laomedon long after the end of his labours. In recompense he was presented with the daughter of Laomedon, Hesione ‘serenity’. He engendered the hero Teucer (Teukros) ‘the right opening towards the heights of consciousness’, as well as ‘the best apprehension of the goal’, for he was considered to be the greatest Greek archer, the one best able to move close to the distant goal.
(The latter must not be confused with a homonymous Teucer who gave his daughter to Dardanos, thus participating in the founding of the Trojan lineage. The first leads to union in spirit, while the second allows the pursuit of the path of freedom much later on.)
A generation after the expedition of Heracles in which participated his father Telamon, Teucer very actively engaged himself in the Trojan War on the side of his half-brother Ajax, ‘the work of the expansion of consciousness’. However upon his return from Troy he was very ill-received by his father, who accused his of not having defended his half-brother and consequently sent him into exile; when the yoga of the body begins it is difficult for the seeker to accept the loss of the greater means for knowledge which were previously at his disposal (‘the great Ajax’); they are in fact withdrawn from him.
Telamon’s main union was with Eriboea (also known as Periboea in many texts), ‘a powerful illumination in incarnation’, daughter of Alcathoos, ‘he who experiments very swiftly’. She bore him a renowned son, the great Ajax, ‘the work of (vertical) expansion of consciousness’ which strives towards the union of spirit and matter.
He is referred to as ‘great’ to distinguish him from the ‘lesser’ Ajax, son of Oileus, ‘a liberation pursued by the personality alone’, who was killed by Poseidon during his return from Troy. Later on we will see that this ‘lesser’ Ajax was the cause of numerous losses in the Achaean army, and that his greatest mistake was to pursue Cassandra with the intention of raping her. By doing so, he showed disrespect to the goddess Athena which cost his people, the Locrians, a thousand years to be pardoned for.
But both the ‘great’ and the ‘lesser’ Ajax accomplished numerous feats during the Trojan War.
Peleus, ‘he who dwells in sludge’, who was the other son of Aeacus and Endeis, participated in a number of the great collective adventures including the quest of the Golden Fleece, the funerary games in honour of Pelias, the war against the Amazons, the Calydonian Boar Hunt and Heracles’ campaign against Troy. He in fact represents the seeker’s work on the dark side of his being, a work which begins from the time of his entry onto the path.
Two other events on this topic must be examined here.
To begin with, his attempted seduction by the wife of Acastos, who was himself a son of Pelias in the lineage of Salmoneus the son of Aeolus.
Hippolyte had further wronged her husband Acastos with a lie by alleging that Peleus had sought to dishonour her, while she was in fact the one to have made advances. Acastos wished to kill Peleus with the sword of Daedalus but Chiron prevented this deed. Later on Peleus returned to Iolkos and destroyed the city, slaying both Acastos and Hippolyte.
According to Apollodore, Acastos married Astydamia ‘mastery of one’s nature’. According to Pindar Acastos was part of a union with Cretheus’ daughter, Hippolyte.
Whatever the name of the wife, approximately a same story is recounted which is usually considered to take place immediately after the Calydonian Boar Hunt.
We have already encountered Acastos, ‘he who searches for great purity’, during the study on the children of Aeolus. He is a son of Pelias ‘the dark’, who propelled Jason into the quest of the Golden Fleece and is therefore a symbol of the seeker’s first plunge into his ‘shadow’ side and also a willingness to do well that is in fact also a resistance to evolution.
Acastos the son of Pelias expresses the active quest for purity which accompanies this just-initiating asceticism.
Hippolyte seems able to represent both of the opposing meanings ‘liberated and unfettered vital energy’ as well as ‘pushed away and constrained vital energy’, and both can be used for the purpose of understanding the ninth labour of Heracles (we have only retained this last hypotheses in the study of the ninth labour of Hercules in Volume 1).
In fact, vital energy must be neither constrained nor appeased for the sake of satisfying the ego. It is not a question of returning to animal energy, which is ‘pure’ in its own way but results from an inconscient union with what is Real. This cannot be used as a way of escaping the hold of the mind, for what is needed is rather a transcending of man by moving beyond the mind.
But the energy of life must also not be constrained or annulled, for it is indispensable for the development of yoga.
Moving beyond these alternatives one must achieve an appropriate mastery and then the transcendence of the action of the three modes of nature or Gunas (the acquisition of Hippolyte’s golden girdle in the ninth labour of Heracles).
Throughout the progress of his yogic work the seeker will tend to allow himself to be pulled towards these two excesses, which will be illustrated by the hero’s love for an Amazon. But as he draws nearer to the golden girdle, which is to say to a perfect mastery, Pindar can qualify Hippolyte ‘unbriddled vital force’, as Kretheis, ‘the balanced and tempered’, (the daughter of Créthée), which expresses a stabilisation in the third Guna (sattva, the principle of equilibrium) which will in its turn have to be surpassed as well.
However as the obstacles become greater as the seeker progresses further along the path, there is still an attempt of the energies of life to waylay from the right path the seeker who ‘moves forward in darkness’ (Hippolyte wishes to seduce Peleus).
This attempt seems to be sufficiently unconscious for the seeker to attempt using the weapons of mental ability (the sword of Daedalus) to justify a possible loss of direction. This however will be impeded by the true element within the vital (the good centaur Chiron, son of the Titan Cronos, impeded the action).
In a more advanced stage of yoga taking place after the Calydonian Boar Hunt, the seeker will put an end to any excess in his desire for mastery as well as in his search for purity. These cannot continue if the seeker wishes to carry on with his action in the world while at the same time carrying out a yogic work in the body (Peleus destroyed Iolkos and slew Acastos and Hippolyte).
The marriage of Thetis and Peleus and the birth of Achilles
The Titanide Themis, mother of the Moirai who hold in their hands the destinies of men, had predicted that Thetis, the daughter of Nereus, would bring to the world a child more powerful than his father. Zeus and Poseidon, who were both courting the goddess, consequently curbed their ardour and the gods agreed to bring her into a union with Peleus, for the latter was the most pious of mortals and had been lavished with presents by the gods since his birth. In the Iliad there is in fact mentioned a character named Polydora ‘of numerous gifts’, who was said to be the daughter of a first marriage of Peleus with a homonymous Antigone.
Peleus was obliged to capture Thetis and to hold her fast for she was a sea deity skilled in the art of shape-shifting and metamorphoses, and under his gaze she changed successively from a powerful fire to a snake, and then into a frightful lion.
Themis is the Titanide of divine laws perceived by the inner being. She therefore knows the future of human evolution and knows that a day will come when the rule of the gods will reach its end. This will mark the end of the creations of the overmind and of the great evolutionary impulses issued from this plane (such as religions, movements of civilisation, etc.). As she is a Titanide the laws which she evinces are laws of Truth, of a superior rank to those given by the gods. No mental power, either supraconscient or subconscient, can go beyond them (Zeus and Poseidon are obliged to step back).
In the world of mortals it makes sense that a son would be more powerful than his father, for the progress of generations always symbolises an increase of power over what is Real. On the other hand, on the plane of the gods a son more powerful than his father indicates a profound reversal of evolution. This first occurred when Cronos mutilated his father Ouranos, and then when Zeus ousted the Titans from power. In each instance the order of the world was overturned and the foundations of evolution changed.
In Homer’s time the initiates knew that the time had not yet come for this reversal (the passage from mental consciousness to the supramental), but that an intermediary step between current man and supramental man was to be prepared. In fact, the subconscient and the supraconscient were already showing an interest in the transformation of the deep layers of the vital: Zeus and Poseidon were courting Thetis, daughter of Nereus ‘the old man of the sea’.
It was therefore necessary to provide a new impulse to spur change in humankind. But the one which took place in this case shows an inversion of the usual order, for it involved the coupling of a goddess of high rank with a mortal, even if he was the most ‘consecrated’ mortal in the eyes of the gods (Peleus was said to be the most pious of mortals). This is the first time when there emerged the possibility of a joint effort between the spiritual force ruling over the archaic layers of the vital and a seeker who had attained such a level of equality and self-giving. Such were the roles ascribed to Peleus and Thetis.
The gods had lavished Peleus with numerous gifts since his birth; at this stage of yogic progress the seeker has accumulated a remarkable quantity of experiences and realisations which he henceforth applies to the minute movements of consciousness for deep purification (Peleus was the son of Aeacus, ‘king of the ants’).
However, in Homer’s time initiates believed that this union represented the highest limit of human possibility. In fact Peleus had to successively master a powerful fire, a redoubtable lion and a terrible serpent without losing strength:
The seeker must be able to withstand the all-powerful fire of the spirit which descends into the body. The Mother and Satprem describe this fire as a compact lightning force with can instantaneously kill whoever is not prepared for it.
He must be able to tear out the roots of the ego which oblige him to sustain an extreme level of suffering.
Finally, he must master the serpent guarding the current state of evolution so as to change its course.
As for the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia, all the gods were present for the wedding of Thetis and Peleus on Mount Pelion. Chiron gifted a spear made of the wood of an ash tree, and Poseidon the immortal horses Xanthos and Balius which later became Achilles’.
The wedding symbolically took place on Mount Pelion, the dwelling place of the Centaurs, for it is in the hidden depths of the being that the work of purification must be pursued.
The spear of ash wood symbolises the transformation of the vital from a dual to a non-dual vital, represented by the immortal horses of Achilles, Xanthos, ‘detachment’, and Balius, ‘the vital converted to yoga’.
Some time later Thetis gave birth to Achilles.
She tried to render him immortal, plunging him into fire every night to dissolve the mortal part of him inherited from his human forefathers, and rubbing his body with ambrosia by day. But Peleus came upon her as she was thrusting the convulsing infant into the fire one night, and frightened he put an end to his spouse’s doings.
Thetis then returned to the depth of the ocean by the side of her father Nereus and her sisters the Nereids, while Peleus remained in his palace in Phthia. However Thetis did not entirely abandon her son, and continued supporting him at important moments of his life.
Achilles was entrusted to Chiron who became his instructor, particularly in the field of medicine. According to Apollodorus the child was first named Liguron, and was then renamed Achilles. Some sources claim that he slew wild animals in his youth.
Peleus ended his life on the Isles of the Blessed.
The first manifestation of the penetration of consciousness into the lower layers of the vital must perfect exactness and adaptability so as to render the vital nature ‘transparent’ to the action of the Divine. This is expressed by the name Liguron, ‘he who renders a clear and melodious sound’, as well as ‘he who is supple and flexible’. This is the work of the seeker corresponding to Achilles’ first years, till the time when he is entrusted to Chiron.
From the beginning of this phase the divine forces strive to bring about an integral purification of nature. It was the goddess Thetis who officiated this, symbolising the power ruling over the roots of the vital, for it is no longer a question of a liberation in spirit but in Nature.
The seeker is not conscious of the work carried out on him (the infant is plunged into the fire at night), but he can observe the growth of his sensitivity and the progressive liberation of the mechanisms of Nature (his body is rubbed with ambrosia during the day).The liberation of Nature is the abolition of its limits and its laws, with the seeker beginning to experience the first transformation of his senses.
This transformation increases within him the clear joy and laughter of the soul (it must be remembered that it was Ganymedes, ‘joy’, who served ambrosia to the gods).
But the seeker is alarmed by this deep transformation, for if he is to abandon all his attachments and points of reference he must also bear powerful energies coursing through his body and labouring in it (the infant convulses in the fire).This first fear makes transformation cease.
In other words, the possibility for transformation is directly linked to the acquirement of a perfect equality, including one at the level of the body. As long as physical fears remain man cannot for long sustain the divine energies, even if they remain very near to him and available during the strongest periods of his yoga (the husband and wife cannot remain by each other’s side for very long although Thetis remains ever-present and active in all the key events of Achilles’ life, including for example his departure for war). A reading of The Mother ‘s Agenda and Satprem’s Notebooks of an Apocalypse gives ample understanding of the manifestations and challenges of a physical order which appear at this advanced stage of yoga.
There exists a relatively later account according to which Achilles was bathed by Thetis in the Styx, the waters of which were said to confer invulnerability. As the goddess held him by his heel, that part of his body alone remained vulnerable, and so he was slain in the Trojan War by an arrow to the heel.
The seeker is close to non-duality as he can no longer be wounded in any part of himself except the one which connects him to matter (the heel). This still un-unified part can most probably be associated with the physical mind.
Achilles was instructed by the centaur Chiron, ‘he who acts in the lower nature by manipulating energies in the appropriate manner’, who taught him the art of hunting (vigilance and concentration on the vital energies), horse riding (mastery), singing and playing of the lyre (inner and outer harmony), and most importantly the art of medicine, which implies both capacities for re-harmonisation and the knowledge of energies and planes of consciousness.
Considering this phase of Yoga it would seem logical that he would pursue a cleansing of the archaic movements of the vital (Achilles slays the wild animals).
The significance of the name Achilles is obscure. To be better understood it can probably be compared to the names Achaios (the Achaeans) and Achelous, which communicate elements of concentration, gathering inwards and liberation. In this work the character Khi has been taken to signify concentration, origin, opening, annulment and arrest, as well as achievement and accomplishment. Through the structuring characters of his name (Χ+ΛΛ), Achilles would therefore mean ‘he who strives to accomplish a double liberation in the mental and vital planes.
Calchas was known as the greatest of soothsayers, for he had been instructed in this art by Apollo and could read the present, the past and the future. He was the soothsayer of the Achaeans during all of the Trojan War, but after the war he ceded his place to a still greater soothsayer, Mopsus, who was a son of Apollo.
When Achilles was nine years of age Calchas predicted that Troy could not be seized without his help. But Thetis knew that if his son participated in the war he would not return and she therefore disguised him as a girl and entrusted him to Lycomedes.
Calchas ‘the crimson’, son of Thestor, ‘inner rectitude or sincerity’, represents an intuitive state of great truth linked to the ascension of the planes of consciousness, gifted with a certain degree of closeness to the psychic light (Apollo was the one to instruct him in his art). The colour crimson may also be a symbol of the power in the vital which manifests itself through knowledge.
But the intuition which comes about from a direct expression of the psychic taking its place at the forefront of the being (represented by Mopsus, ‘that which penetrates into the consecrated being’, who is a son of Apollo), is by far superior to a psychic light which only illuminates and prepares the mind. This transition did not however take place till after the Trojan War.
With Calchas the seeker can already understand his ‘task’ and to a certain extent the events which will mark out his yoga (he knows the future), understand how the events of his past life have led him with the greatest precision to each moment (the past) and be free of illusion (the present).
The adventurer of consciousness then understands that he will be able to enjoy the ‘accomplishment of liberation on both the mental and the vital planes’, which is to say the complete realisation of the states of wisdom and sainthood, for only a short time if he wishes to pursue the path towards an integral union of spirit and matter in the depths of the corporeal inconscient (Thetis knew that if Achilles participated in the war he would not return alive).
As a matter of fact, the pursuit of yoga beyond the point of ‘liberation’ illustrated by the death of Achilles marks a rupture with the ancient forms of yoga. Although some initiates committed themselves to this work, it would appear that this possibility was entirely forgotten during the last three thousand years.
The accomplishment of this liberation is however necessary for continuing the work of yoga, for the war cannot be won without the intervention of Achilles.
Achilles was nine years of age – echoing the period of pregnancy – when Thetis disguised him as a girl; the seeker who has almost accomplished this liberation is protected by spiritual forces that keep him from engaging too soon in the new direction. These forces insist on the development of the receptive aspect and its consecration to Supreme Reality, and entrust him to that which seeks for light and Truth within himself (Lycomedes is ‘he whose aim is light’).
In the following chapters we will continue discussing the story of Achilles and of his son Neoptolemus ‘the new warrior’, which is to say the seeker of the new yoga. See The Trojan war.
Achilles, Phocus and his sons Panopeus and Crisus, the great Ajax and his half-brother Teucer are all symbols of the capacities defined by the Mother for accessing the supramental world (Mother’s Agenda Volume 3, 12 January1962):
– ‘Capacity for indefinite expansion of consciousness on all planes including the material.
– Limitless plasticity to be able to follow the movement of becoming.
– Perfect equality abolishing all possibility of an ego reaction’.
These heroes were Myrmidons, all acting within a movement which concerns itself with ‘the minute details’ usually considered to be completely unimportant in order to achieve perfect purification. According to the Mother (Mother’s Agenda Volume 6, 10 October 1965) these were the most challenging of obstacles, as she describes that ‘those very small things that belong to the subconscious mechanism and because of which in thought you are free, in sentiment you are free, even in impulse you are free, and physically you are a slave.