The Death of Ajax “the Lesser”, Son of Oileus

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Ajax “the Lesser” (or Locrian Ajax) represents what traditions call “the little self” or personality consciousness. He was a son of Oileus “the consciousness that works to liberate itself. This personality consciousness came from the movement of capture, i.e. the ego, because the father of the latter is Hodoedokos “the thief”.

We have seen that at the end of the Trojan War, the “lesser” Ajax had knocked down a statue of Athena, showing a carelessness that irritated the Achaeans. Since the Achaeans wanted to stone him, he took refuge at an altar of the goddess.

Ajax “the lesser” left Troy with Agamemnon in the second wave of departures. A storm arose because the gods – especially Athena – were irritated by his sacrilege. Poseidon pushed his ship against the high Gyrean rocks, but saved him by allowing him to take refuge on one of them, despite Athena’s hatred of him. But as he boasted that he had escaped from the deep abyss of the sea in spite of the gods, Poseidon smashed the part of the rock on which he was sitting and he drowned (according to Lycophron, his corpse was washed up by the sea and Thetis buried him in Delos).

Following the great reversal of the Trojan War, the process of “detachment” culminates with the disappearance of the ego, that is, the end of the illusion of separation (on the mental and vital planes, because it is not yet realized in the body).

Initially, however, the subconscious mind keeps the ego in order to give it the opportunity to become aware of and perhaps even begin to deal with the more superficial layers of repetitive (circling) movements encysted in the body (it is pushed by Poseidon towards the “rotating” Gyrean rocks). These movements refer to the “habits” of the body, not only those relating to hunger, thirst, sleep, fear of disease as soon as the slightest symptom appears, but also to the body’s means of defense.

But the ego is not humble enough to recognize the reason that has allowed it to escape the “abyss of the vital”. So the master of the subconscious decides that the ego is no longer useful in the evolutionary process (Poseidon makes it drown). However, the ego deserves to be honored for the work accomplished: it is therefore buried as close as possible to what takes over, the light and the power of action of the psychic being (on the island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis).

Sri Aurobindo expresses this reversal in ‘Thoughts and Glimpses’:


“When we have passed beyond knowings, then we shall have Knowledge.

Reason was the helper; Reason is the bar.

When we have passed beyond willings, then we shall have Power.

Effort was the helper; Effort is the bar.

When we have passed beyond enjoyings, then we shall have Bliss.

Desire was the helper; Desire is the bar.

When we have passed beyond individualising, then we shall be real Persons.

Ego was the helper; Ego is the bar.

When we have passed beyond humanity, then we shall be the Man.

The Animal was the helper; the Animal is the bar.

Transform reason into ordered intuition; let all thyself be light.

This is thy goal.

Transform effort into an easy and sovereign overflowing of the

soul-strength; let all thyself be conscious force. This is thy goal.

Transform enjoying into an even and objectless ecstasy; let all

thyself be bliss. This is thy goal.

Transform the divided individual into the world-personality;

let all thyself be the divine. This is thy goal.

Transform the Animal into the Driver of the herds;

let all thyself be Krishna. This is thy goal.”

(According to some authors, Nauplios “who skillfully navigates the path”, a son of Poseidon, also played a role in the shipwreck, thus avenging the death of his son Palamedes “the intelligence of the path”: the seeker does not yet know the new direction of Yoga after the great reversal, but he knows that the ego has no longer any role).

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