In this page will be studied some descendants of Aeolus and Enarete including Sisyphus and Bellerophon. Sisyphus symbolizes the sense of effort and his grandson Bellerophon the work necessary to overcome the illusion illustrated by the Chimera
To fully understand this web page, it is recommended to follow the progression given in the tab Greek myths interpretation. This progression follows the spiritual journey.
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Persephone supervising Sisyphus pushing his rock in the Underworld – Staatliche Antikensammlungen
In the lineage of the Titan Oceanus, the first six labours of Heracles concern the theoretical part of the beginning of the work of purification-liberation. Now we are putting our interest on the other main branch, Titan Iapetus’ lineage and the ascension of the planes of consciousness.
Remember that it includes two major sub-branches: that of the Pleiades which describes the planes of consciousness and that of Deukalion and of his two children, Hellen and Protogenia, which concerns the human realisations in the ascent of these planes. (Hellen must not be confused with the wife of Menelaus, Helen).
The posterity of Protogenia «what is born ahead» is dedicated to the presentation of the conquests or realisations of higher states of consciousness achieved by dauntless initiates and seekers who open the paths to the future.
The posterity of Hellen «the evolution towards a greater liberation-individuation» concerns the ordinary seekers. In Homer’s work, the term «Hellenes» seems to be reserved to the seekers, but later it referred to all the Greeks.
Hellen marries the nymph Orseis, «the one who dashes» or «awakens», who gave him a son, Aeolus, «the one who is always in movement» or «the one who walks towards freedom or unity in consciousness».
The branch of Hellen thus describes the path to «awakening». This hero reigned in Phthia «the consciousness that penetrates the inner being». It is a city of South Thessaly, the province of seekers who «intensely aspire to liberation».
His son Aeolus «the one who is always in movement» or «the one on his way towards the liberation of consciousness» succeeded him at the head of the Kingdom, reigning over Thessaly and Magnesia, in the provinces of «the inner quest» and of «the aspiration».
Aeolus married Enarete, thus heading towards «that at which one excels» or even towards «the qualities of the body, of the soul and of the intelligence». She is the daughter of Deimachus «the one who kills the fight», that is to say the one who ceases to give priority to fighting against one’s imperfections or even who stops the movement of opposition and of reactivity to the outside. (Let us remember here the mistake of Euripides who confuses this Aeolus with the one Ulysses met in the Odyssey.)
In this chapter, we will look at the five first children of Aeolus and Enarete (Cf. Family trees 10, 11 & 12) – there are seven in total – of whom the lineage describes the experiences which can constitute the horizon for the ordinary seekers in the ascending process of the planes of consciousness as defined by the Pleiades. We mentioned them quickly in chapter 4 of volume 1.
According to the tradition, the couple Aeolus-Enarete had seven sons and five daughters.
The names of five of the sons and of three of the daughters are well established in the Catalogue of Women, one of the most reliable sources. They are Sisyphus, Athamas, Salmoneus, Cretheus and Perieres, and, for the daughters, Pisidice, Alcyone and Perimede. Nevertheless, the manuscript was damaged and a doubt remains about the names of the two other sons. Apollodorus calls them Deion and Magnes. If Deion seems to meet the approval of all the mythologists, it is not the same for Magnes. Minuas has been suggested instead but his descent is of no interest from our point of view. (Timothy Gantz, in Early Greek Myth, p 324, mentions this hypothesis from Martin West.)
However, the name given by Pausanias, Aethlius, seems to fit better as his posterity includes great heroes like Meleagros and Diomede who would match better with the lineage of Aeolus. Nevertheless, the Catalogue of Women mentions him as the child of Zeus and Calyce, thus as grandson of Aeolus.
Note on the other hand that the Deion-Ulysses filiation is little attested. Homer names only his grandfather Arcisius (son of Zeus for Ovid and son of Cephalus and Procris for Hyginus, the only author who relates him to Deion).
In this study, we kept Apollodorus’ lists as much for the sons than for the daughters, to which the author adds Calyce and Canace.
Order of succession
The Mythology’s texts give us few elements regarding the order of succession in Aeolus’ children. Although incomplete, the most plausible is that of the Catalogue of Women (EHEES or EVOHEES)
The Catalogue of Women, fragment 10a, verse 25, gives the following order for those mentioned in it as «the Kings of justice»: Athamas, Cretheus, Sisyphus, Salmoneus, Perieres and (Deion?). Athamas’ position at the top of the list is quite logical as the name of his daughter Helle sends us back to his great-grandfather Hellen, the founder of the lineage, representing the ordinary seekers. Furthermore, the first experience often takes place in childhood before the development of the intellect. The work on the illusions, with Sisyphus, would come in third position after the first experience of illumination and would be followed with Salmoneus by the fall due to spiritual pride. However, this order does not seem totally coherent with the provinces of the heroes’ residencies, nor with the union of Cretheus and his niece (his brother’s daughter Salmoneus), union which would let us suppose that Salmoneus was older than Cretheus. This question needs to be clarified.)
Regarding the sons, the lineages of the two last ones, Perieres and Deion, give clear enough indications for them to be put at the end of the list.
For Sisyphus, who is for us the symbol of «the mental effort» towards knowledge, to be placed at the beginning of the list seems coherent. That he would be followed or preceded by Athamas, who represents the very first experience which occurs in a state of near unconsciousness, seems equally logical. The positions of Magnes «the aspiration» (character related to the myth of Perseus) and of Salmoneus, symbol of spiritual pride, are less obvious.
The names of the different cities and provinces in which the feats of the heroes or of their progenies are taking place can bring some complementary indications.
Sisyphus is the founder of Ephyra (ancient name of Corinth) «what approaches the just movement». Nevertheless, the fight against illusions of which his grandson is a symbol, will continue long after the experience of illumination and that is why some say that he inherited this city after the disappearance of Medea. Thus The Catalogue of Women places him after Cretheus in the lineage in which Jason appears. Sisyphus can therefore occupy a different place according to the type of illusions concerned.
Athamas is related to Boeotia, province of the beginners, and his lineage unambiguously concerns the beginnings of the path marked by the growth of the inner being (some say that he raised Dionysus with his wife Ino).
Magnes, Salmoneus and Cretheus, are all three related to Thessaly, province of those «who intensely seek liberation», that of the ordinary seekers. Salmoneus left Thessaly «filled with pride» to go to Elide, the province of the Union, where the city of the spiritual «winners», Olympus, is located. This migration results from spiritual pride (the arrogance of those who imagine that, after some spiritual experience, they are far more advanced than they really are), pride for which he had to pay a high price as Zeus struck him and all his people.
Magnes, «the aspiration», can appear anywhere (if one considers him as a child of Aeolus), the aspiration being a permanent feature of the spiritual path. Through his children, he is indirectly related to the myth of Perseus and thus to the fight against vital greed, fears and doubts, which we saw in the previous chapter.
It is in the lineage of Cretheus that the first great experience occurs. The Catalogue of Women puts him in second position after Athamas.
Nevertheless, as all the characters at the beginning of the series concern different problems, their exact place is relatively indifferent.
For this study, we shall keep the following order:
Sisyphus: the effort of knowledge related to the intellect and the mental capacity to fight illusions.
– Athamas: the first contacts with the psychic being
– Magnes: the aspiration, prerequisite to engaging on the path
– Salmoneus: the spiritual pretention.
– Cretheus: the first great spiritual experience
– Perieres: the one without ego or desire
– Deion: the experiences of the One consciousness
If one had to insert Aethlios in this list in place of Magnes, he would appear just before or just after Perieres.
The five daughters of Aeolus represent «goals» towards which the seeker must tend to, rather than experiences. It doesn’t seem possible to place them in the succession of the sons. They are Alcyone, Canace, Pisidice, Perimele and Calyce. We shall study them in the next tome.
Mythology being intended to assist the seekers of truth or at least those who guide them, the authors have not seen fit to dwell on the planes of consciousness in which ordinary humanity functions. The latter is satisfied with life when it responds to the needs of the body, feeds its vital nature with more or less elaborate and subtle sensations, and uses its mind to consolidate as well as he can a social life where it can affirm its ego, justifying its actions and affirming its opinions as truths. Few thousands of years ago, the Vedas already proclaimed: «men are livestock for the gods».
The Elders considered the seekers being part of the current phase of mental evolution, on the way towards something beyond the intellect, and thus addressed their spiritualisation from that plane and by the means of its powers. Far from rejecting the mind, on the contrary, they were aspiring to its full development.
That is why the two first Pleiades (daughters of Atlas), Alcyone and Celaeno, who relate to a subconscious evolution (as they were both married to Poseidon) are not directly involved in the great myths.
Alcyone – not be mistaken for the daughter of Aeolus of the same name – appears in the myth of Œdipus where she illustrates the entry into discernment. The halcyon being a bird that makes its nest on the edge of the waves, Halcyone thus marks a transition phase. She had a son, Hyrieus, who represents a just movement in a state of openness. We associated Alcyone to the mental physical plane.
Celaeno married Poseidon and gave him a son, Lycos, «the light that precedes dawn» who had no posterity. She is the symbol of the mental vital plane.
Mythology really begins with the third Pleiad, Merope, who married Sisyphus. (The Sisyphus-Merope union appears in the work of Hellanicus and of Pherecydes, two reliable sources of the 5th century BC.)
Merope is the symbol of the intellect, third plane of the evolution of mental consciousness, after the vital mental and the physical mental planes (cf. chapter 4, Tome 1). It is the plane of the mind which corresponds to the force of separation, of detachment from the Absolute, and must give man the possibility to individualise through the beginning of a reflexive consciousness. It has received different names such as the mind of reason, the intellect, or even the logical mind. It is usually associated with the left brain. Its complementary part, who resonates with the forces of reunification or of identification, is the intuition, which is associated to the right brain.
The name Merope simultaneously means «mortal» – in reference to the humanity which progresses in «duality», as opposed to the immortal gods who remain in unity – or «partial vision» (from the root μερ: to think and οπ(η): vision). Merope is also the only Pleiades who married a «mortal», thus the only one who offers herself as goal for the work in the dual separating mind.
The name of her husband Sisyphus is most probably related to Σι+σοφος, «the ability of mental consciousness» (Σι+σοφος is made like Σι-πυλος or Ισ-ανδρος).
This mind of reason or logical mind is the last plane which is presently developing in humanity on a large scale and thus its refinement must be a priority in order to reach all its magnitude.
The work of Sisyphus (let us remind ourselves that the feminine character represents the goal to which the masculine character aims at) is indeed to establish «a stable thought» which means a thought purified from the influences of the vital, free from opinions, prejudices, ideologies and creeds, and free from all influence (family, culture, etc.).
Sisyphus is particularly known for the punishment imposed onto him by Zeus in the kingdom of Hades. Some people think that Hades himself was its author.
Sisyphus was made to endlessly roll a huge boulder up a mountain. But before he could reach the top, carried away by the weight of the boulder, he would roll back to the bottom, which ended up consigning Sisyphus to endlessly repeating the same exhausting task.
Basically, this story refers only to the most advanced stages of the yoga, those of the work in the body, since Sisyphus like Tantale and Tityus, received an exemplary punishment in the shadow realm.
Neither Homer nor Hesiod give the cause for this punishment. As there is indeed no reason besides the nature of the effort itself which is no longer appropriate in the yoga of the body. Personal will, which is based in the higher mind (in the buddhi), must indeed give way to the work of the Divine, in total consecration and surrender.
(In the Mother’s Agenda Tome 9, 4 and 18-May-1968, the Mother explains that in the work of impersonalisation of the physical consciousness, the effort hinders the process of transformation, even the effort «to stand up to the task».)
If the punishment of Sisyphus illustrates the futility of effort in the yoga of the cells, Tantale’s punishment conveys that sole aspiration is no longer sufficient and Tityos’ shows the hypnotism of separation that rules at this level.
If we consider only this legend, the symbolism of Sisyphus doesn’t seem to be directly related to the labours of the intellect but rather to «the effort» tending towards the summits beyond what is human, in the ascent of the planes of mental consciousness (the corresponding branch being Iapetus’).
However other elements could confine this «mental effort» to that of the quest of knowledge by the faculties of the logical mind.
First and foremost, Sisyphus is married to the Pleiad Merope who we attributed to the intellect. Here we may append an interpretation of the myth of Sisyphus made by Sri Aurobindo: the intellect ceaselessly and laboriously builds mental constructions from «a partial vision», which collapse as soon as they are completed. Driven by an unconscious force of evolution which operates from behind the veil, the intellect attempts to soar towards the summits in order to conquer the truth, always at the price of great labour. But any new synthesis, as soon as it is acquired, collapses under its own weight or under the pressure of another truth that contradicts it. And all has to be started over again.
Furthermore, the name Sisyphus can be understood as «the human ability (or ingenuity), prudence or even craftiness (Σ+Σοφος) ». Prudence is related to doubt, unavoidable counterpart to the logical mind.
Craftiness is a process used to abuse or to cheat. And since the myths treat primarily of our relation to ourselves, it is above all our own selves that we are cheating.
Sisyphus is often characterised as «the most cunning» of all mortals. Homer qualifies him as «κερδιστος», the root κερδ meaning «gain, profit, advantage». Thus Sisyphus is the one who tries to gain profit from all things.
Indeed the intellect usually is at the service of the ego in its movement of grasping, calculating instantaneously and most of the time unconsciously the benefit he could get out of all things. He is an utilitarian.
And in the body, effort would also be an obstacle to the work of the Divine because it still awaits or expects something.
Sisyphus and Thanatos
According to Pherecyde, Sisyphus revealed to the river-god Asopos that Zeus had abducted his daughter Aigina. He incurred the wrath of the god, who sent him Thanatos, «Death» embodied, but Sisyphus managed to tie him up. From that moment, nobody could die. But Ares freed Thanatos and it was Sisyphus’ turn to die. Cunning as always, he had asked his wife not to perform the funeral rites. Thus, Hades gave him permission to come back on earth to remedy that. Sisyphus took advantage of this and stayed above the surface with his wife until he died of old age. Hades would have then imposed his punishment on him to prevent another escape.
Asopos is the river-god at the origin of the lineage in which Achilles appears, symbol of the realisation of the mental and vital liberation (wisdom and sanctity). The intellect understands that a phase of the yoga is opening, in which the seeker has to take care of the minute movements of the vital consciousness (Achilles is the son of Thetis, daughter of the Old man of the Sea). The mental effort discerns the meaning of evolution and thus it sees its disappearance coming and rebels against it, thus blocking an evolutionary process (Sisyphus makes Thanatos fail).
But the god who ensures that what is no longer good for evolution disappears puts things back in order.
Is the unconscious really fooled? It accepts to let the laborious mental effort «put things in order» before disappearing, from which the effort takes advantage to maintain its presence until its natural extinction in the process of the yoga, once it becomes useless.
This story from Pherecydes would suggest that a possibility is offered at a given moment for the progression to put an end to «the personal mental effort» in order to let the higher powers act. But if the seeker doesn’t seize the opportunity then the effort will continue until it exhausts itself naturally.
This continuous labour in the unconscious (in the body) could be that of the cells who have more trust in the thousand-year-old habits of evolution rather than in the divine forces to restore order in the body following any disharmony, including that of ageing and death.
Before examining the other stories concerning Sisyphus and his lineage, it might be necessary to precise the characteristics of this «mental effort» when it is related to the intellect (Merope) and functions in the conscious (thus before considering his labour with Hades).
When humanity, progressing from primordial unconsciousness to freedom, emerged from childhood – childhood governed by the forces of nature – it needed to acquire a tool to free itself from the group dependency. It had to renounce a fusion state. The action of the separative forces in the mind forged the intellect and thus thought, whose essential role is individuation, the exit from a collective consciousness from the herd. By analogy, the participation of a teenager to a «gang» should be the last manifestation of attachment to the fusion principle.
As a result of evolution, man progressively lost the ability to know by identity, but the fundamental need remains.
So he attempts to remedy this loss with the intellect: he tries to understand, to find the causes, and to achieve this goal he divides then synthesises before separating again, indefinitely renewing the process.
Furthermore, this plane of the intellect is disturbed by a non purified influx of life energy, with permanent intrusions of opinions, prejudices, preconceptions, feelings, emotions, sensations, desires and habits of the physical nature. Most of the time, it emerges painstakingly from the layers of the emotive and physical mind which reasons and moulds the same petty ideas from everyday life. If the witness consciousness doesn’t intervene, it brings its unconditional support to the vital.
However its role is to classify and organise perceptions and ideas and it functions at its highest level among thinkers and wise men who succeeded in purifying, organising and reaching its greatest magnitude.
In its essence, the intellect should be a tool for implementing what the intuition perceives and not its master. In the present humanity, it has taken a role which is not his, crushing all that doesn’t submit to its law. The knowledge it boasts of is usually only an accumulation of know-hows. Considering opposite truths is contrary to its nature and doubt is always present. Wisdom is its goal but the freedom it seeks is altered by the claims of the ego.
This logical mind is usually considered the very pinnacle of humanity, but man working on this plane seldom pays attention to the origin of thought and is rarely able to reconcile opposing views into higher synthesis.
Thus, purifying and perfecting this plane is one of the first works to be carried out on the path to knowledge: rejecting ready-made opinions, the congestion of thoughts, the intrusions of the vital, the lack of concentration, the influences which deprive the mind of its independence, etc. All of these disturbances indeed feed «the illusion» against which the great Hero Bellerophon, grandson of Sisyphus, will rise.
Sisyphus and Autolycos
Sisyphus was renowned as the most astute of all mortals.
Autolykos, son of Hermes «god of thieves», had been endowed extraordinary gifts by his father which allowed him not only to steal objects without anybody noticing, but also to change the appearance of what he stole. Indeed, he could add or remove the horns of the animals of the herds or change the marks on their coats.
One day, he started stealing animals from Sisyphus’ herds. For a long time, the latter didn’t know how to react even though he knew exactly who committed those petty thefts as his herds reduced proportionally to the increase of Autolycos’.
He then had the idea of marking his animals under their hooves. Thanks to this stratagem, he could follow the footprints left on the ground all the way to Autolykos’ land on Mount Parnassus. There, he confronted the thief and retrieved his property.
Some say it was during this trip that he secretly seduced Autolykos’ daughter, thus becoming the putative father of Ulysses.
This story echoes Hermes’ who, barely born, stole Apollo’s herds – when the seeker assigns to the mind – in this case its highest level, the overmind – the abilities that come from the psychic light. Indeed, herds are gifts which have been gained or skills which have been developed through the yoga.
Here, it is not question of the overmind and the psychic light, but of the intellect and the overmind, the seeker wanting to attribute wrongly the abilities of the first to the latter (Autolycos steals Sisyphus’ herds). It is quite difficult to elude this deviance since the seeker can add to his high intellectual capacities some higher intuitions (he can add horns to the herds) or even call the sensibility or consciousness he has developed an overmind capacity (he can change the marks of the herds’ coats). However with patience and methodology, the seeker can discern in himself what comes from one or the other planes (by following the footprints of his herds after marking their hooves).
Autolykos is «the one who finds the light in himself». Mount Parnassus, where he lives, dominates Delphi and is consecrated to the god Apollo, god of the psychic light.
Regarding Ulysses’ fatherhood, some documents show Ajax accusing Ulysses of being an illegitimate child born to Anticlia (Autolycos’ daughter) and Sisyphus, and not to Laertes. The fatherhood of Ulysses, who is the symbol of the most advanced seeker on the path to liberation, emphasizes the point of departure on the path: the effort of thought accessible to all and the necessary purification of the intelligence. However if one limits oneself to the traditional ancestors (Anticlia, Autolykos’ daughter, himself son of Hermes, and Laertes, great-granddaughter of Deion), Ulysses could represent to the eyes of the ordinary seeker an experience reserved to an elite.
The only child truly confirmed to Sisyphus is Glaucus «the one who shines», father of Bellerophon, slayer of the Chimera.
Nevertheless, following the genealogy given by Pausanias, we shall address with Sisyphus the lineage of another of his sons, Almus, in which appear the Minyades as well as the famous healer Asclepius.
Two more children are sometimes mentioned, Ornytion and Thersander «the man who burns», an intellect working to its fullest potential. His son is Coronos, «the crowning, the achievement». Ornytion (Bird+T) is the symbol of the intellect which soars towards the heights of the Spirit (T). His sons are Thoas “that which moves swiftly” and Phocus, «the seal», he who evolves in two different environments, thus symbol of a transition phase or of an ease on several planes.
Bellerophon and the Chimera
The name Glaucus «bright, sparkling» expresses the highest realisations of the intellectual effort towards knowledge, as much in the opening of the mind as in its organisation and its height of vision.
The essential fact related to him is his father’s inability to find him a spouse, because «although he surpassed all men in intelligence, Sisyphus did not realise that Zeus did not want Glaucos to become the true father of any children».
Thus, even though it is necessary and even indispensable for the effort of knowledge to bear its fruits, it is not able to make the quest progress beyond a certain stage nor to put an end to the illusion alone. Indeed, the thought that tries to know leaning on memory cannot be new nor lead to Truth. Moreover, it is difficult for it to admit its incompetence in this domain and incapacity to know the goal of the overmind (Sisyphus doesn’t guess Zeus will).
The first wife Sisyphus destined to Glaucos was Mestra the curly one «the one who leads». She was a daughter of Erysichthon «the one who traces grooves in the earth». Demeter afflicted the latter with a devouring and insatiable hunger, because, to build his palace, he cut trees in the goddess’ woods’ (Cf. legends of Demeter in the chapter on the gods of Olympus: the seeker diverted for his own use some «forces» which should have been dedicated to the work of union). Erysichthon is the symbol of «lacking» which gnaws at the seeker. Although he cannot be mistaken for his homonym, son of the first king of Athens (Aktaios), he however indicates like him the beginning of the quest.
To calm his devouring hunger and to secure resources, he sold his daughter Mestra as a slave. But since she had received the gift of transformation from Poseidon, she would escape. Then she would come back to her father who would sell her again.
In spite of all the gifts of Sisyphus, the union proved boisterous and once more, Mestra went back to her father. Sisyphus forced her to come back but she took Poseidon as lover and gave him a son, Eurypylus, before fleeing again.
Instead of submitting to the right movement of the quest (Demeter), the seeker engages in an insatiable and disorderly quest as he is still strongly dominated by the ego and the search for its fruits. He diverts «the direction of the quest» (Mestra) towards goals as diverse as they are short-lived in order to satisfy his deficiency. The subconscious (Poseidon) offers each time an opportunity to leave the wrong direction. But «the direction of the quest» falls back under the domination of the insatiable craving: the seeker can’t stop on any path, always pulled by other horizons (the father selling her again).
The intellectual effort (Sisyphus) wants the best of himself (Glaucus) to take part in the search for «its» own way (the union with Mestra), looking for the goal. But this effort, in spite of its perseverance, does not succeed in defining the right direction. It is not enough to avoid the grip of the ego which orientates the quest according to its own conceptions and desires seeking to gain «the fruits» of the quest (building his palace). Let us remind ourselves that one of the foundations of the Yoga of divine Works in the Bhagavad Gita states that the seeker must act without attachment to the action itself or to its fruits.
When the seeker finally submits himself to the direction of the subconscious (Mestra takes Poseidon as lover), the latter enables all these wanderings not to be in vain as he opens a large door «Eurypylus».
This tale describes the mistakes of the seeker’s uneasy first steps, while he carries a constant feeling of deficiency, sometimes engaging in multiple researches and activities with the hope of reaping their fruits, even if most of the time he doesn’t admit it to himself.
Even though this part of the myth of Sisyphus is practically ignored, it may correspond to several years of the seeker’s life, sometimes several lives, and even persist in an increasingly underhand manner throughout the quest. But there is always «an opening» at the end of this wandering: indeed Eurypylus fathered Chalcon «the bronze», sign of some strength of character, and Antagoras «the one who knows how to say no, how to position himself» which characterizes a freedom of thought.
Since Sisyphus would not give up trying to marry Glaucus, he set his heart on Eurynome «a vast order» or «a great accuracy», daughter of Nisos «the human evolution». Others evoke Eurymede «a vast purpose», daughter of the king Megara «a great and just movement».
Here again, Zeus refused a lineage to Glaucus. Once again Poseidon becomes the real father of the unborn child who would be named Bellerophon. (Homer doesn’t mention the intervention of Poseidon in the conception, but in an other occasion, he speaks of Bellerophon as the «noble son of a god»).
The second objective given by the «bright» mental effort is a «great extent» and a «great accuracy», that is to say a fair use of the highest functions of the intellect, that are extension and integration. However, this opening of the mind to always vaster horizons will not be enough to allow the different exploits of Bellerophon on its own. Also, in addition to his human father, this hero has a divine father, the support of the subconscious mind.
Finally let us note that a homonym Glaucus who was the grandson of the former, fought in the Trojan ranks and found himself facing Diomedes with whom he fraternised. Indeed, the divine Oeneus «the divine ecstasy» who was the grandfather of Diomedes «the one who is concerned about the union in consciousness» received the great Bellerophon in his palace: thus, the intellectual brilliance approached closer to the Trojan path in order to, if not sustain, at least understand what was, as we shall see, the attempt to maintain as only evolutionary option the goal of the ancient spiritualities, namely the dissolution into the Divine out of the experience of incarnation.
Let us recall here that the beginning of the tale which leads Bellerophon to the kingdom of the nascent light (Lycia) was addressed in the previous chapter:
Anteia, the daughter of the king of Lycia, was the wife of Proetus, king of Argos. She fell in love with Bellerophon and wanted to marry him secretly (Iliad, Canto 6, verse 155 and following). As he rejected her, she denounced him to her husband pretending he had attempted to rape her. Refusing to take action against his guest, Proetus sent him to his father-in-law, king of Lycia, with a sealed letter addressed to the latter. In this secret missive, he urged the king to kill Bellerophon.
Having celebrated Bellerophon for nine days, the king asked him to kill the Chimera with the full knowledge that all those who attempted such a feat never succeeded nor survived.
Proetus symbolises the seeker’s work looking for union with the worlds of the Spirit, the Self or the impersonal Divine. Indeed, according to Homer, Proetus married the divine Anteia «who has met consciousness-existence» who was the daughter of the king of Lycia, the kingdom of the «nascent light» consecrated to Apollo.
When an opportunity of contact with the impersonal Self (the secret union offered by Anteia) which would allow him to avoid fighting the illusion in the incarnation (the Chimera) is offered to the seeker, who extensively organised and broadened his thoughts, he refuses. He doesn’t accept «the Grace» offered to him due to a habit built throughout millennia of evolution, which is that the intellect only trusts its own light and cannot imagine that the Absolute may be more capable of leading him if he agrees to submit to it.
This Grace is offered «secretly», that is to say independently of his effort to rise in consciousness (Proetus). It can manifest in a thousand different ways, often almost imperceptibly if his consciousness is not alert but he is always alerted in a way or another.
But in every challenge in which discernment is necessary, the Grace is not renewed if it has been ignored or rejected.
If one considers that it is a process which repeats itself countless times, the seeker is every time put in front of the opportunity to receive the light from above in order to dissipate the illusion or to fight it with one’s own strength in the incarnation. And since the Grace offers itself at all times, it is only the lack of consecration, of aspiration and of consciousness that holds back and slows down the progression.
The name Bellerophon (still to be deciphered) has been interpreted as «killer of Bellero», the latter maybe related to a local demon. Some named him Hipponoos «the strength of intelligence», which would correspond to the interpretation we are suggesting.
The king of Lycia, responding to Proetus’ demands, submitted the hero to a series of trials: the latter had to successively fight the Chimera, the glorious Solymi, the virile Amazons and the best men of the king who he had set as ambush against him.
This succession of trials marks a progression in the work of the intelligence which must track the illusion to its source, as it remains well beyond the first experiences of light.
The first trial was to conquer «the invincible» Chimera.
It was a monster whose body had the front of a lion, the hind of a dragon and the middle of a goat. Huge flames came out of its maw.
Bellerophon killed the Chimera by trusting the signs of the gods.
According to Hesiod, it is by riding the winged horse Pegasus that he achieved his feat.
Bellerophon riding the winged horse Pegasus to kill the Chimera – Louvre Museum
The fight with the Chimera takes place in the country of «the nascent light».
The fighter is Bellerophon, symbol of an intellect which begins to unite with the intuition. He is the son of a bright intelligence which tends towards always more openness and exactitude (son of Glaucos and Eurynome).
The Chimera designates «a very young goat» thus characterizing the beginning of the quest. (The goat is the symbol of the still very vital personality soaring up towards the heights of the spirit).
However, this goat is a monster. It is the daughter of Typhon «the ignorance» and of the viper Echidna «who blocks the evolution in unity». It is a sister of the Lernaean Hydra, of the dog Orthros, and of Cerberus.
One can approach the meaning of the name Chimera by breaking it down to (Χ+μαιρα, “that which blocks the sense of smell of the bitch”). It would then be the symbol of «stopping the intuition», which alone makes the access to Truth possible.
She represents the consciousness in evolution, born from ignorance, which lost contact with the Real. Thus it is neither nescience, nor unconsciousness, nor the subconscious (respectively represented by the Tartarus, Hades and Poseidon) but the power presenting itself as the Truth while diverting it, namely the illusion. It gives the certitude of being in the truth while actually being the toy of the combined forces of separation and ignorance.
In ancient paintings, she is represented with three heads. On the front of the body is a lion which represents a movement controlled by the ego, with its pride and arrogance. The goat occupies the middle of the body and its head springs up in the middle of the back of the monster. It is the symbol of a spiritual aspiration taking its source in the vital and submitted to the direction of the ego. Finally, the tail made of a serpent illustrates an evolutive movement.
The Chimera exhales an ardent and destructive fire. And as it rules over Lycia «the country of the nascent light», it deviates all new manifestation of Truth.
Homer reminds us that by its parents it is «of Divine race», which means an inescapable consequence of the evolution.
The origin of the illusion thus is Ignorance (Typhon). But ignorance alone doesn’t cause illusion. A deviation, even so minute, must be added to it: a light «torsion» of the process of evolution which blocks the perception of unity (Echidna). As long as the part remains engaged in the process of union with the Whole, there cannot be illusion. Thus, the animals are also born from ignorance but most of them are still in contact with the Whole by instinct.
It is this halt of evolution in the unity that was called «the fall of life». And it is on this fall – in fact a rupture of the consciousness of unity – that the human personality was slowly built.
From this point of view, illusion is constitutive of our human nature because our mental consciousness developed on a basis of total ignorance and in the separation, which favoured the constitution of the core of human ego. Ignorance creates a limited vision of Reality. This partial vision associated to separation produces a false vision which leads to false judgements thus to wrong actions.
The struggle against illusions is a long process which follows the seeker all through the quest. Indeed, Homer extends Bellerophon’s trials first with a fight against the Amazons, which must be related to the eighth Labour of Heracles «the belt of the Amazons’ queen» which corresponds to the end of the mastery and to the necessary surpassing of wisdom and sanctity if one wants to pursue yoga. Then he evokes the fight against the best men of Lycia, which is to say the reconsideration even of the «flashes of truth» which the seeker experienced.
It is quite safe to say that illusion covers everything, that man is absolutely unable to perceive Reality as much as a result of the action of the modes of nature in a being steeped in unconsciousness than of the egotic vital nature of desires and claims, of fears, preferences, mental habits, doubts, beliefs and judgements, all of it creating an inextricable combination. Illusion starts disappearing only when we are progressively becoming «awakened» beings. But its final disappearance can happen only through the illumination of the cells of the body.
The fundamental illusion is the one experienced as «Maya», which means the experience of the illusion of the world when, through the cessation of the identification to the body, to the vital and the mind, the seeker experiences the Self (or Atman). This experience, its implications and its necessary surpassing have been well explored by Sri Aurobindo in «The Life Divine ».
But in the ordinary reality, the major illusion comes from the feeling of separation which, because of the Ignorance we are stemming from, imposes itself to us as Reality. This extremely tenacious illusion consists of believing that spirit is separated from matter, that we are separated one from another, from nature, from the Divine, from the dead, etc., and to react accordingly.
This fundamental illusion will generate such a great number of other illusions that attempting to make an exhaustive list of them would be futile. Among those that the budding seekers must overcome, we can mention:
– The thought that events that happen to us, including illnesses and accidents, arise and develop randomly, or that the outside world is responsible for our problems.
– The belief that our actions, our thoughts and our emotions have no repercussions on the rest of the universe, that we are not, to a certain extent, co-responsible for everything that happens on Earth, for all human villainy, even the most criminal and the most sordid.
– The belief that morality stems from Truth.
-The belief that we are the sole creators of our thoughts, of our emotions and of our actions, which are in fact the result of a large number of forces beyond us, leaving very little leeway to our free will.
– The thought that the laws of matter and of life are immutable.
– The belief in our coherence, our unity and in the consistency of our “surface being” while close examination shows that there is no such thing, that we are made of an infinity of unceasingly evolving parts acting on their own accord.
– The belief in the exclusive reality of what is perceived by our senses: nothing really is what we think or feel, the Earth is a playground for a host of forces on many planes.
– The illusions that cause us to seek refuge in action, making us believe that this will contribute to progress, or, on the contrary, to seek refuge in inertia on the pretexts of stability, temperance and lesser evil.
– The illusion that material progress is the source of happiness.
– The belief in an eternal paradise after death.
– The belief that our way of thinking is stable and the best that has ever been reached, although it most probably depends on cycles and other influences who make and undo civilisations.
– The illusion of serving humanity before being able to act exclusively under the impulsion of the inner being which we call here “psychic being”.
And to end these few examples, the belief that we are much further on the path than we really are, even in the very advanced stages of this journey. This illusion is more specifically illustrated by two myths.
At the beginning of the path, it is the story of Salmoneus «the one who struts», Sisyphus’ brother: Salmoneus had it in mind to imitate Zeus and to that end, he attached bronze pots to his chariot in order to simulate thunder and threw lit torches in the sky as lightnings. This greatly irritated Zeus. He struck down Salmoneus and sent him to Tartarus.
And it is, further on the path, the story of Ixion who, by vanity, believed he was equal to the gods. He is at the origin of the Centaurs, half-human half-horse beings, the image of seekers who believe they are more advanced than they are, because they have not yet completed the purification of their vital nature.
None amongst the gods and the men wanted to purify Ixion, who murdered his father-in-law to avoid giving the gifts promised in exchange for his daughter’s hand. Zeus finally took pity on him, and not only did he purify Ixion, but he invited him to share the Olympian life.
Thus Ixion is the symbol of a very advanced seeker on the plane of the spirit, as he shares the life of the gods.
But Ixion proved himself to be extremely ungrateful: he attempted to seduce Hera who complained to Zeus, her husband. The latter shaped a cloud to his wife’s image and it is to this ghost that Ixion was united. A son was born from this union, who would later father the Centaurs by mating with wild Magnesian mares. To punish Ixion for his betrayal, Zeus tied him up to a winged (and, according to some, flaming) wheel which he threw in the air. And as Ixion had drunk the nectar of immortality, he whirls eternally in the sky on his winged wheel.
The illusion and spiritual vanity is often «punished» by a spirit which locks itself away for an indefinite period of time into mental processes that go in circles. (The «flaming» wheel could indicate the «purifying» fire.)
Some say that to kill the Chimera, Bellerophon rode the horse Pegasus. Since the hero had difficulties taming it, Athena brought him a golden bridle.
Pegasus is the son of Poseidon and Medusa the Gorgo. He came out of her neck while Perseus cut it off. It represents a force free of all limitation, the force of the yoga’s discipline dashing towards realisation. That is to say that the illusion cannot be completely removed as long as the slightest doubt, fear or disgust subsists. That is why Athena gave him a golden bridle, enabling him to reach an absolute mastery of the force when fear and all that Medusa symbolises has been overcome.
It is often quite difficult to unmask one’s own illusions. The seeker must progressively learn to detect the «signs from the gods» which he must trust in order to master his own Chimeras. Sometimes, it is a barely noticeable uneasy feeling, sign of a wrong direction. Sometimes it is an illness, an accident, a random encounter, a dream or any other event, as insignificant as it might seem, since there are no coincidences. However, one needs a perfect sincerity and/or intelligence not to be fooled by those signs.
The king of Lycia then sent Bellerophon to fight the people of Solymi. According to the hero’s own words, it was «the most terrible fight he had against men».
If the interpretation given to the word Solymi «impurities of the consciousness» is exact, it means that once we get beyond the first level of purification of the illusions, one must give back to consciousness its primordial virginity, surpassing nature’s modes of action at the source of dualities.
The next trial which consists of the massacre of the virile Amazons echoes the ninth labour of Heracles (the conquest of their queen’s belt).
The Amazons are a nation of warrior women living on the riverbanks of the Black sea which the Greek called Pontus Euxinus (Euxeinos Pontos) «the work on the vital with a great help from the spirit’s worlds». Between the Aegean sea and Pontus Euxinus is the sea of Propontis (sea of Marmara) «the beginning of the work on the vital».
The Amazons were settled at the mouth of the Thermodon river, that is to say at the summit of the development of the stream of consciousness which represents «the inner fire to realise the union» (Thermo+Δ).
We shall examine the meaning of this fight in depth during our study of the last labours of Heracles. Let us mention here only that this episode concerns the transcendence of the last of three modes of nature more specifically linked to the mind – the principle of balance and harmony – («the liberation from all false perception of nature’s dualities»). This stage involves going beyond the mastery that led to wisdom and saintliness in order to enter the yoga of the cells.
At last, the king of Lycia had his best men laying an ambush but the latter did not come back home.
This final stage of the fight against illusion consists of hunting it down inside the very means that pursue illumination.
Then, realising that Bellerophon was the noble son of a god, the king of Lycia gave him his daughter to marry as well as half of the royal honours and an important domain. Bellerophon had three children.
– Laodamia who conceived with Zeus an homonym Sarpedon, gods’ rival. Artemis killed her in anger.
– Isandros, who was killed by Ares during a battle against the Solymi.
– Hippolochos, the father of a second Glaucus who fought in Troy.
According to Homer, «when Bellerophon himself got exposed to the hatred of all the gods, he wandered alone through the Aleian plain, gnawing at his heart and shunning all traces of men».
Some authors call Bellerophon’s wife (the king of Lycia’s daughter) Philonoe «the loving spirit» or even Anticlia “the one who is against glory”, namely «Humility».
Nonetheless, regardless of the intelligence’s accomplishments, it is not enough to lead to union. That is why on one hand, two of Bellerophon’s children will see their lineage stopped by the gods, and on the other hand, the hero himself will end his life wandering far away from men and from gods (neither in duality nor in unity).
The hero’s daughter indicates the acquisition of a total coherence (Laodamia “mastery of external being”), which is an achievement on the plane of the overmind. His son Sarpedon, symbol of «wisdom», is in fact «rival of the gods». But on the path that seeks divinisation of the earth, it is no more a question to be a wise man or a saint.
By killing Laodamia, Artemis helps the seeker go beyond the quest for wisdom.
For Isandros, the interpretation could be «the strong man», that is to say the superman in Nietzschean philosophy. He was killed by Ares, the god who eliminates false forms.
The only surviving descendant of Bellerophon is Hippolochos’ son «a new force», a «brilliance» of intelligence which fights amongst Trojan ranks as support of «the great mistake» of fixation on the past.
Bellerophon himself, symbol of the only bright intelligence which cannot access beyond itself, will end his life hated by the gods in a no man’s land, a plain (not a mountain) without harvest (Aleian), which is to say it can bear no fruits.
If the fight against the Chimera was not included in Heracles’ labours, it is because it is not so much a work of «purification-liberation» of the achievements of evolution as it is that dealing with the obstacles met on the ascension of the planes of consciousness.
In conclusion, let us note that if contact with the inner being may be achieved at any stage of the progression and if man can directly access some planes of the Absolute without having developed the mind, it nonetheless remains true that its maturation in all its components (reason and intuition) is crucial to the acquisition of a perfect discernment as well as to the perfection of the outer being in order to make it divine, which is the aim of the yoga. Furthermore, how can one conceive that nature has been working on the improvement of a tool for tens of millennia in vain.
Thus Humanity is called to cross all the degrees of progression in the mind, as formulated by the elders and taken up by Sri Aurobindo.
Asclepius and Minyas, descendants of Almus, son of Sisyphus.
For all the ancient authors, Apollo is the father of the great doctor Asclepius (Aesculapius). Indeed, any medicine worthy of the name should compulsorily involve a part of «light of Truth» which manifests through the psychic being.
However, the ancestry of his mother Coronis «the achievement, the summit» (may be also varies with authors. This can be easily explained if one considers that the art of healing can be practiced at different levels of consciousness.
Thus Coronis can therefore appear in the lineage:
– of Sisyphus, the effort of the intellect
– of Dotis «the donator (with ω : in the matter) or the union from the highest plane»
– of Perieres (son of Aeolus) symbol of the realisation of the one who is without ego and without desire (through Arsinoe «the rising spirit », daughter of Leucippus «a pure vital energy»)
-or even the lineage of Taygete (in Apollodorus), the Pleiad of the plane of the intuitive mind immediately preceding the overmind.
In the Iliad, Asclepius is just a skilled doctor whereas the God of medicine is Paeon «the force which plays and dances», Homer thus associating healing with the «game» of the divine Grace.
Here we shall only mention the lineage relating him to Sisyphus.
Sisyphus «the mental effort» would have had (according to Pausanias and Hygin) a second son, Almus, who would represent, if one looks at his lineage, the summits of mental effort.
Indeed, Almus, in his turn, had two daughters, Chryse and Chrysogone, who both married gods and are the forebears of Coronis and the Minyades respectively.
The descent of the first daughter of Almus, Chryse
The first daughter Chryse «in gold» married the god Ares, destroyer of outdated forms, and gave him a son Phlegyas «the one who is ablaze». This fire’s nature is more mental than psychic as this name also means «eagle», Zeus’ bird, symbol of the highest mental plane (while the psychic flame has the swan for symbol). Phlegyas is considered by all authors as the father of Coronis, who is «the culmination» of this mental fire.
(An equally valid variation of the interpretation of the name Coronis is the common association with Κορωυη «the crow» due to the proximity to the word Κορωυις. Coronis would then be the symbol of «clairvoyance».)
When this fire, in its full power, unites with the light of the psychic being (Apollo), then the right healing powers manifest symbolised by Asclepius of obscure etymology.
On the other hand, some myths which have Phlegyas residing in Boeotia or South Thessaly state that the eponymous people of this area, the Phlegyans, did not respect the gods. They would even have attacked the temple of Apollo in Delphi: the most enlightened mental may sometimes follow its own path, neglecting and even opposing the incarnated manifestations of the light and will of the psychic being.
But the healers can rarely maintain this psychic flame for too long. That is why Coronis was unfaithful to the god Apollo, which caused her death as we shall see.
While the very beautiful Coronis was pregnant from her lover Apollo, she succumbed to the love of the mortal Ischys. According to some authors, she married the latter. To explain her unfaithfulness, some say that she feared that the god would abandon her in her old age. Informed through his gift of divination, Apollo asked his sister Artemis to kill the cheater, which she did. But while Coronis’ body was being consumed on the funeral pyre, Apollo pulled out the small Asclepius from his mother’s womb and entrusted him to the Centaur Chiron who taught him the art of healing. Asclepius was to later bring this art to perfection.
The seeker fears to lose the connection with his psychic being with which he probably had only a few brief contacts (Coronis was afraid that Apollo might abandon her) and turns himself to a human «support». He knows indeed that he is not advanced enough to claim a permanent union with the light of the psychic being. The support that attracts him is the power he can get from nature: Coronis unites with the mortal Ischys «strength, firmness and even violence» thus «the one who forces the movement». The latter is the son of an homonymous Elatus «the fir tree», symbol of a force stemmed from nature, and maybe even of an occult medicine. Let us also note that Ischys is a «mortal», an element of the duality, while Apollo would have enabled her to remain in unity.
With this deviance which is fundamentally a lack of faith, the psychic being’s light cannot thrive in the seeker. Thus Apollo requested his sister Artemis to kill the pregnant Coronis: the seeker loses all contact with the true source of healing.
Ischys’ brothers, Caeneus «strange» and Polyphemus «who talks a lot», represent the consequences of this cut. Caeneus indicates a loss of receptivity and Polyphemus a mental justification of the new wrong movement.
Indeed Caeneus changed gender. Born a girl named Caenis, she was raped by Poseidon. As the latter offered to grant her any wish, she requested to be changed into an invulnerable man in order to avoid this type of adventure in the future. Once the transformation accomplished, Caeneus became the most powerful king of the Lapiths of that time. As he was arrogant and unholy, Zeus sent the Centaurs against him. But because of his invulnerability, the latter had to hammer him into the ground with tree trunks and immobilise him under a rock.
Some say that he had a son, Coronos, who sailed with the Argonauts, and a grandson Leonteus «lion» who commanded the Lapith forces in Troy. In fact, he is probably from the lineage of an homonym Coronos.
This tale mentions the receptive part of the seeker who, following an invasive and sudden irruption of perceptions issued from the subconscious (the rape by Poseidon), becomes fearful and closes himself intentionally in order to avoid any similar experience to reoccur.
The ability to act in a new and strange way stemming from nature (Caenis daughter of Elatus) who is and should remain feminine and receptive, shuts down under the effect of the evolution and of the action of the subconscious which forces her to integrate modes of perception-action which are contrary to her nature (the rape by Poseidon). It thus transforms her interventions into brutal actions and her knowledge into arrogance.
The power of healing which should have stayed dependent of the psychic being (or, at least, of the instinct) passes under the direction of the mind which argues endlessly and justifies itself (Polyphemus) or maybe of an occult medicine. Hit in a brutal and arrogant way (transformed into Caeneus), what became a «soulless» medical act with no contact with Nature consequently acts through the will of the ego (Ischys) and not in consecration-submission to the Consciousness.
But Apollo could not allow his action not to have a consequence (the fertilization by «the radiance of the psychic being» at the highest mental level). Also he extracts the child from Coronis’ womb while she is being consumed: Asclepius «the most perfect healing tool» appears when the highest action of the mental ceases, even though it is its matrix. It represents the medicine of which the psychic being is the vector.
Asclepius was raised by the Centaur Chiron, son of Coronis and Philyra, «she who likes the true movement». Practicing the golden age medicine (the pre-Olympian time of Cronos), Chiron represents the art of healing – which means «to harmonise» by putting each thing in its place – in the first period of purification/liberation.
The word Chiron means «hands», maybe the symbol of an energy medicine practiced from the body, but also with the structuring letters «the true action of concentration».
Chiron was then residing on mount Pelion «the dark mountain», sign of an ill-informed action or an action of the energies incomprehensible for the consciousness.
He is the symbol of a healing process and therefore of harmonisation. He is primarily an immortal being (non-dual) because he is from the third divine generation (son of Cronos). But this capacity of harmonisation, available as long as the seeker doesn’t enter the purification of the deep layers of the vital, must then give way to a harmonisation of a higher order. Indeed, during the fight of Heracles against the Centaurs – during the fourth labour, hunting down the boar Erymanthos – Chiron, immortal, was hit on his knee by the hero’s arrow which was smeared with the venom of the Hydra. From then on, he aspired to death as his wound was incurable. Then he exchanged his immortality with Heracles according to some, with Prometheus according to others (even though Prometheus was the son of Titan, belonging to the third divine generation and therefore immortal!).
Chiron refers to the best realisations of the old spiritual disciplines which must be abandoned at some point on the path, during the fourth labour of Heracles.
The capacities of harmonisation born from nature are thus no longer available when the seeker is confronted to the root of desire (the Hydra’s venom) which reveals his lack of mastery, reaching his self-confidence, challenging his ability to adapt and his humility (the knee).
The symbolism of Asclepius must be understood mainly as the possibility of working on oneself, thanks to the contact with the psychic being obtained through a strong aspiration (the flame which devours the body of Coronis on the funeral pyre). But this work is often made difficult by the lack of trust in the messages coming from the deeper Inner Being.
The analogy with healing comes from the fact that we are one (body, feelings, mental, soul) and all accident or disorder of any nature and on any plane of the being comes from a lack of sincerity, meaning a rupture with the Divine consciousness. Any mistake on the path, any unconsciousness, any ignorance, any inability to transform oneself reminds us of a healing process, of re-harmonisation.
Asclepius unites with Epione «the evolution of what is calming, healing» who gave him two sons: Podalirius «the one who purifies the incarnation» and Machaon «the one who fights (in matter)». Both of them participated in the War of Troy on the Achaean side, the first as a medical doctor working for the process of purification/liberation, the second as surgeon as a sign of active work in the body (Machaon).
Maybe one should consider these characters as two operative modes of healing-purification. Podalirius would accompany the process through which illness contributes in untangling knots of the past. Machaon would work in the body to solve causes of disharmony with the means specific to each «medicine».
One cannot leave Asclepius without mentioning the year that Apollo had to spend at the service of Admete because of his «prowesses».
Indeed Asclepius had developed his art so much that he even managed to resurrect those «who were dying in Delphi». Pindar notes that “he was doing that for money». Some say that he was using blood which had fallen from the right side of the Gorgon, blood given to him by Athena. If the blood from the left side caused death, the one from the right side brought back life. Zeus, fearing that the world order would be upset, struck him.
Apollo was saddened by the death of his son. But not being able to take revenge directly against Zeus, he killed the Cyclops with his arrows.
Infuriated by these murders, Zeus threatened to send Apollo to the Tartarus but Leto intervened in favour of her son. Thus Apollo was sent as herdsman for Admete, king of Thessaly for one year. Since the crime had been perpetrated in the clan of the gods, the severity of the punishment that was inflicted by Zeus (for an immortal, to serve a mortal!) was necessary. Apollo took advantage of this servitude to help Admete in his endeavours.
There comes a moment in the spiritual progression when the seeker is able to resurrect «the dead», which means to bring back to consciousness memories buried in the unconscious. This is not about ordinary memories of present life which hide in the subconscious, the latter recording without our knowing it the smallest events of our life, but about the part of the being that transmigrates, in other words the psychic memories, particularly from our previous lives. This interpretation is confirmed by Pindar’s text which recalls «those who died in Delphi», which means the elements that have been incorporated to the psychic being (Delphi is Apollo’s sanctuary.) The concept of reincarnation exposed in the mythology seems to be similar to that of Hinduism, with the existence of an eternal Self (Atman) which projects itself into incarnation with the soul, develops a psychic being (Leto) evolving through the incarnations (accumulating the soul’s experiences of each incarnation).
Thus it is not a personality which reincarnates («no thread passes through the beads of the necklace of rebirth») but a state of consciousness that would transmigrate.
Pindar notes that Asclepius «was doing it for money», which is to say in order to satisfy the ego’s desires, to gain the fruits of its experience. But this cannot be done with impunity, without «upsetting the order of the world», without deeply disrupting the spiritual path.
If the seeker engages voluntarily in a search for his previous lives by any means, then the overmind (Zeus) interrupts the work on oneself (death of Asclepius).
On the other hand, the masters teach that if the seeker spontaneously experiences old psychic memories (which are states of consciousness, rather than memories of this or that character), he can integrate them in the understanding of his path. But any intentional search must be avoided, as most of the time, it can only lead to false experiences resulting from an unbridled imagination or from the amusement of vital entities.
In order to resurrect the dead, Asclepius uses the blood from the right side of the Gorgo.
Bringing the dead back to life, as we have already explained above, means to pass some elements of consciousness across the barrier of unconsciousness which separates the One Life from our «divided» mortal state. The Gorgo is the symbol of this limit and its blood represents the leading currents which allow the states of consciousness to cross it. The blood from the right side corresponds to the current which flows upwards from the unconscious while the one from the left side buries experiences into it.
This limit is made of fears, doubts and all the disruptions induced by the Gorgo that were mentioned in the previous chapter.
From a symbolic point of view, let us also note that only one snake wraps itself around the stick of Asclepius, an emblem symbolizing the separative current of consciousness, while two snakes wrap themselves in a perfect balance around Hermes’ wand, the currents of moving away and getting closer, of separation and fusion. The symbolism of these snakes will be detailed at the end of the last volume in an appendix dedicated to the Tree of the Sephiroth and to the Caduceus.
When the highest mental consciousness annuls the ability of investigation in the depth of consciousness (when Zeus struck Asclepius), the psychic light eliminates at the same time the «right intuitions» or the «visions» of a highest order (Apollo kills the Cyclops). In other words, when man calls only upon his mind to reinstate harmony, his inner being takes away from him all possibility for a global vision of himself in truth, for a «holistic» vision.
The psychic light must then work in the shadow in order to help the seeker’s personality deal with the results of his «insubordination» (Apollo must serve Admete «the one who doesn’t know subjugation» as cowherd for one symbolic year). It is a «punishment» for Apollo, since the non-dual must work in duality.
The first stage of this work for «freedom» or « insubordination» must lead to mastery: thus Apollo offers something «to harness together a lion and a wild boar», which is to say «to put under the yoke» the ego and the most fundamental vital energies so that they can work together. This to allow Admete to marry Alceste «a strong rectitude». Later on, this hero will participate in the Hunt for the wild boar of Calydon, which means the surrender of the deep layers of the vital.
The lineage of Chrysogone, second daughter of Almus (the Minyades)
It seems doubtful that this story belongs to the fundamental myths since it has been reported for the first time by a mythograph from the second Century AD, Antoninus Liberalis.
For Pausanias, the second daughter of Almus Chrysogone «the one who was born from gold» or rather «who produces gold» had a daughter with Poseidon (through a subconscious evolution ), Chryse «golden», herself mother of Minyas.
Nevertheless, for most of the other authors, Minyas «the evolution of consecration» or of the «gift of oneself» is simply mentioned as the first governor of Orchomenus, a city located in Northern Boeotia, and whose name means «agitated spirit».
This Orchomenus must be distinguished from another city of the same name located in Arcadia. We already met one of its governors, Erginos, during the hunt for Cithaeron’s lion: it was then about stopping squandering the energies necessary for the work of purification/liberation (Thebes). Erginos is a descendant of Phrixos, himself son of the second child of Aeolus (Athamas) and symbol of the very first experience of contact with Reality. Two sons of Erginos «the labour» (the work on oneself) were famous architects-builders (great participants in the elaboration of the quest): Trophonios «who nourishes the evolution of consciousness» and Agamedes, «who meditates a lot».
We shall follow Ovid’s version for the three daughters of Minyas.
The three Minyades – Leucippe, Arsippe, and Alcathoe – refused to follow the mysteries of Dionysus and were even denying the divinity of this god. Advocating Athena’s work, they condemned the corrupted behaviour of the Bacchants whom they accused of celebrating a chimerical cult in idleness. They used to tell each other edifying stories while weaving.
They then endured all kind of transformations, pleasant at first then more and more terrifying: «How they lost their old forms, the darkness doesn’t let us know. Finally they were transformed into bats, visiting houses and not woods. Enemies of the light, they would fly only at night».
Minyas represents «the evolution of receptivity, of consecration or of self-giving».The three Minyades represent the goals of the seeker who wants to «evolve in consecration». They carry the names of Leucippe «a purified vital energy», Alcithoe «a strong inner life» and Arsippe «a high vital energy (on the vibratory plane) ».
The seeker who is still under the influence of virtuous beliefs gets seriously involved in the work of the yoga which he sincerely thinks he consecrates to the Divine (the Minyades are weaving, which means working on their «spiritual life»). But he refuse to follow the path leading to divine ecstasy. More than any other, this latter yoga implies a purification of the lower nature to avoid the excesses of the vital.
But in this myth, the seeker is sure of what he does and comforts himself in his virtuous beliefs (they tell each other edifying stories) that he has to beware of ways that lead to manifestations of ecstatic devotion. He falls under the spell of his own experiences (they are seduced by the transformations which occur on themselves). But he soon realises that he misled himself into a path of darkness: he was filled with disharmonious mental energy «enemy of the light» and only takes care of the problems of his personality (the bats move «on radar» and visit only houses).
In some variations of this myth, the three terrified sisters sacrificed Hippasus, the son of one of them whom they drew randomly to Dionysus: the seeker thus has to sacrifice «the strength of his logical mental consciousness» as the result of his aspiration to a pure vital (Hippasus son of Leucippus).
This variation of the myth recommends not to get attached to virtue according to the reason’s norms and especially encourages to take into consideration the totality of one’s nature, to «embrace» its shadow.
For some authors, Minyas is also the father of a homonym Clymene «what is acquired by knowledge » (Jason’s grandmother) as well as Elare’s, mother of the giant Tityus conceived with Zeus.
We already met Tityus while studying Hades. As he attempted to use violence on Leto just after the birth of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis, Zeus struck him. We had selected the most common version in which he is the son of Gaia. He represents the hypnotism of «the power of separation» which acts on the deepest of the body unconsciousness, lying on the floor of the underground world and covering nine acres.
In the fragment of Hesiod in which he is the son of Elare, he was born emerging from the earth as Zeus had buried Elare underground in order to avoid Hera’s jealousy. Elare represents «the process of individuation which continues to operate according to the right movement», movement of evolution which Hera pretends to govern on her own. Zeus is her lover because it is a movement in accordance with the law of divine evolution.
But the result of this union, Tityus, caused a separation of spirit and matter, which prevents the incarnation and apparition of the psychic light (the birth of Apollo and Artemis).
It is this Minyas «the evolution of the consecration» that was suggested by some exegetes instead of Magnes «the aspiration» to be one of the seven sons of Aeolus. Not able to justify one or the other option, we shall stick to Apollodore’s list.
ATHAMAS: the beginnings of the quest and the very first spiritual contacts
The story of Athamas covers a long period on the path, from the very first steps in Boeotia until the arrival in Thessaly, province of the committed seekers. Hence, this hero should be placed amongst the first children of Aeolus.
Having no precise elements to determine his place among siblings we positioned him after Sisyphus. But he could just as well figure in first place among Aeolus’ children according to the list of the Catalogue of Women, since the adventures related to him concern the beginnings of the path.
This period can be cut in three great phases which each of his three wives introduce. They are many variations of this myth which cannot be studied here in detail and only the main aspects will be examined through a synthesis coming from Apollodore’s version.
Athamas was a king of Boeotia. He first married Nephele, a second-rank goddess who gave him two children, Phrixos and Helle.
But he soon abandoned Nephele to marry Ino, a daughter of Cadmos, king of Thebes. (In another version, Ino was his first wife and Athamas married Nephele following Hera’ s order while still seeing Ino in secrecy.)
Ino in turn was the mother of two other children, Learchos and Melicerte. As she was jealous of the children from the first marriage, she plotted their death. She thus persuaded the country women to roast the grain prior to seeding. As she anticipated, a famine followed. She made Athamas believe that the oracle had decreed that in order to end it, his son Phrixos, born out of the first marriage, had to die. So Athamas prepared the sacrifice (or maybe he refused to cooperate as Phrixos offered himself in sacrifice). Nevertheless, Phrixos was saved by his mother Nephele who sent the Golden Fleeced ram to his rescue.
For Apollodorus, this marvellous ram could fly and it took Phrixos and his sister Helle away on its back (in the early tradition, it was swimming). As they were flying over the Hellespont, the border between Europe and Asia, Helle let go and fell in the sea.
Once in Colchis, Phrixos sacrificed the ram to Zeus as a sign of gratitude and offered its golden fleece to the sovereign of the Land, Aeetes, son of Helius. The king offered him his daughter Chalciope (or Iophassa) in marriage with whom he had four children, Argos, Melas, Phrontis and Cytisorus. He lived until an advanced age.
After Phrixos’ flight, Athamas was seized with madness, for which, according to some, Hera was the main cause. She would not forgive him for raising the very young Dionysus with his wife Ino. Athamas killed his son Learchos with an arrow and Ino threw herself in the sea with her other son Melicerte in her arms. (Others affirm that Athamas having discovered Ino’s perfidy, slew her son Learchos with his bare hands and then chased her with the same outcome than before). Ino was deified as Leucothea «the white goddess» and Melicerte as «Palaemon», and from then on, both of them answered the call of mariners in distress.
Sisyphus founded «the Isthmian Games» in honour of Melicerte-Palaemon. They are one of the four great Pan-Hellenic Games.
Athamas was banished from his kingdom and settled in Thessaly where he married his third wife Themisto, daughter of Hypseus, who gave him four children.
The Propontis (today’s sea of Marmara) is located between the Aegean Sea, (Aigaion Pelagos) and Pontus Euxinus (the Black sea). It is connected to the first by the Hellespont (the Dardanelles stray) and to the second by the Bosphorus (the passage of the cow). With this symbolic geography, one can follow the progression on the path from the «tempestuous» sea (Aigaion Pelagos) for the budding spirituality until the passage towards the illumination, the Bosphorus.
Colchis is the furthest Eastern coast of the Black sea.
With Athamas, king of Boeotia, we are addressing the preparations for the quest which will really start only with the arrival of this hero in Thessaly.
These beginnings are marked simultaneously by an excessively rigid attitude in the asceticism, a will to follow the way according to the strict rules or order, often even with excesses, and by one or several «experiences of opening of consciousness».
Since these «experiences» which happen in a «cloudy» consciousness (Nephele) can precede the conscious entering into the quest which at this point is little more than a vague aspiration to «something else», sometimes the Ancients gave Nephele the place of first wife, and other times the place of lover of Athamas, even though he was already married to Ino.
Athamas represents the one who enters some «consecration (to the Real) for the purpose of his inner evolution». Nephele «what covers, a cloud» gives the image of a confused consciousness of the object of the quest. The seeker is «lacking something» but doesn’t know what yet. Their children express, with Helle, «a strong individuation» and, with Phrixos, a «thrill».
The latter is the symbol of a first «experience» of opening which happens in a full and ingenuous ignorance of the path, often many years before the seeker starts the journey. (That is why it would be risky to bring together the latter and Epaphus «the one who is touched», the son of Io who we found amongst the ancestors of Perseus.)
This experience manifests as a great inner joy, calm and plenitude. The excitement brought by the unpurified vital does not take part in it. It is accompanied by the feeling of a very strong presence in the world and a sensation of great lightness. It sounds like a promise. In fact, the seeker – or humanity, from a broader perspective – would not engage in the quest if a warning event of which he often does not comprehend the nature hadn’t, in some way, promised a new state, source of immense joy.
But when much later, the seeker takes his first steps on the path, attracted by the rigour of an often absurd asceticism represented by Ino and her children, most of the time, he cannot relate to the memory of this experience and the states which accompanied it.
Ino, with the structuring letters, is the symbol of the evolution in the incarnation. Daughter of the king of Thebes, she also is the expression of a movement of purification in the incarnation (maybe her name means «to purge»). Among the ways represented by the daughters of Cadmos, she illustrates that of the seeker who turns towards a «marked» itinerary and works for it with excess. Her children symbolise «the quest of freedom subjected to some principles» (Learchos) and, it appears, «the one who works forcefully» (Melicerte). This way of incarnation based on rules and the will of the ego is «jealous» of the past «experiences»: the seeker who does not know how to find the original experiences again, be they from his childhood or others that came later, wants to ignore them (in the mythical tale, to destroy them). Engaged in a forced asceticism which follows the movement of the evolution and the logical mental supremacy, he cannot reconcile the reality of his engagement and the memory of this first experience of plenitude: Ino wants Nephele’s children to perish.
To achieve his goals, the seeker persuades his receptive nature (women) to burn the grain before the seeding, forcing himself to purify even before sowing and producing fruits, which is to say even before accomplishing a right development of his outer being.
The consequence is an impossibility of any fructification of his efforts. A spiritual impasse (a famine) and a conflict in the consciousness follow before the seeker can settle on the «right way», which will be symbolised by the third wife Themisto «the rule of rightness, rectitude».
(Some authors add Themisto’s failed attempts to make Ino’s children disappear, which is to say to stop all excessive asceticism conducted by the mind.)
But the recollection of this very first opening had to be conserved and engraved in the memory, first manifestation of a refined sensitivity that the seeker will take years to find again.(Phrixos is saved by «a ram with a golden fleece», fleece which Jason will have to get in Colchis).
When the ram is winged, which is usually the case, it is perhaps the sign that this first experience happens on a mental plane but mainly that this experience happened without the necessity of the preparatory works that Jason has to go through long after.
This «flight» to Colchis thus prefigures the first great conscious experience of illumination. Both experiences (the adventures of Phrixos and of Jason) are in fact of the same nature: openings that result from a development of the sensitivity or of the consciousness (which of course shouldn’t be mistaken for sentimentality) and allow to perceive finer vibrations. The Golden Fleece represents here a general sensitivity of the being while the golden or red hair which we will meet elsewhere illustrate an exact intuition, a connexion to the spiritual world.
The ram walks in front of the herd and it is also the first sign of the zodiac: thus it reveals a beginning. It could have kept in Greece the symbolism which was given to it in the Vedas where it represented the vehicle of Agni, the support of the inner fire or psychic being. In that sense, he is not only a synonym of «awakening» but also of spiritual purity. In some places in Greece, he was closely associated with Hermes and Apollo, and therefore simultaneously with the way of the ascension of the planes of consciousness and with the way of purification. In High Egypt, he was related to the god Amon. One can see in Karnak a row of sphinxes with ram heads which could represent the domination of the strength (which supports and trains the psychic being) over the animal nature.
If Helle falls into the water right at the end of the Aegean sea at the border of Europe and Asia, which is to say the one which separates a «large vision» of the «new» unknown, so far from Colchis, it is to indicate that the process of individuation (Helle) stops at the end of the crossing of the higher mental in order to allow the further realisation of the union. The access to the illumined mind would therefore open the gates to the possibility of physical transformation.
The story of Ino and of her two children ends with a mutation. Under the impulsion of Hera, who makes sure that the evolution moves the right way, this wrong direction on the path is halted. But only the submission to strict rules or authorities must disappear (Learchos). That is why Learchos dies under his father’s arrows, the latter struck by madness because of Hera. Indeed, the myths often explain an infanticide by the madness of a parent, infanticide which depicts the halt of a particular evolutive process or yoga (cf. for example the «madness» of Heracles).
As to the «forceful work» it must be transformed into an «ardour for the fight» that draws its energy from an harmonised vital (from then on Melicerte must act as Palaemon, a sea god).
Likewise, Ino, symbol of the quest turned towards the incarnation, must transform into Leucothea, the white goddess, expression of a quest for purity or for inner righteousness, rectitude. She will then come to the rescue of mariners in distress and more particularly of Ulysses: when the seekers will face the difficulties of yoga, they will receive the help of this inner rectitude and of the forces she kindles to overcome the trials and to pursue the process of purification.
Sisyphus then established «the Isthmian Games» in honour of Melicerte-Palaemon. They mark the first victory in the quest, once the seeker engages on a «right way» (the marriage with Themisto) which is a narrow path (an isthmus) in all the spiritual traditions. For that, he must leave behind him the excessive asceticism and partly abandon the exercise of his own will for the direction of the path (the death of Learchos). This stage is marked by the migration of Athamas from Boeotia towards Thessaly, province of many heroes including Jason who will leave for the conquest of the Golden Fleece. It marks the effective entrance onto the path.
Phrixos, having sacrificed the ram to Zeus, gifted its fleece to the king Aeetes. The latter nailed it onto an oak tree in the capital Aea (Aia) «the place of existence-consciousness» and had it guarded by a dragon which never slept. (According to others, he kept it in his palace.) Thus the luminous and indelible memory of the first stirring of the soul was maintained in the consciousness of the seeker (the fleece was fixed to a nearly eternal structure as the oak is known for its longevity).
Let us remind ourselves that Aeetes is the son of the sun Helius and represents one of the manifestations of the supramental, «the ability of a true and total vision, of the whole and all its parts », while his sister Circe is that of «the vision of the details in Truth». We will find them both again in the study of the myth of the Golden Fleece.
Aeetes gave in marriage to Phrixos one of his daughters named Euenia, «the obedience (to the real)» (or Chalciope «a magnificent voice», which is to say «a powerful expression», or even Iophassa «a bright consciousness»).
Magnes: the aspiration
We already mentioned that the presence of Magnes among the children of Aeolus was only confirmed by Apollodorus. Martin West suggested Minyas in his place according to Timothy Gantz (Early Greek Myths. Ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press) who, it appears, opposes this hypothesis.
The Catalogue of Women, the most reliable source regarding the genealogies of Homer’s time, unfortunately presents a gap in Aeolus’ children’s list. We don’t know of any other list before Apollodore’s and Pausanias’ at the end of the Hellenistic period.
On the other hand, Magnes «the magnet» and therefore «the aspiration» is presented in a far more logical way in the Catalogue of Women as son of Thuia «the inner consciousness», herself daughter of Deucalion and therefore sister of Hellen: in fact, the quest cannot begin as long as this «aspiration» isn’t born, aspiration which is the distinctive sign of the Hellenes, the warriors seeking contact with the Absolute.
We then find at the beginning of the path the fundamental necessities of the engagement illustrated by Deucalion’s five children:
– Thuia «the aspiration»
– Pandora «the gift of self»
– Amphictyon «the infinite expansion of the consciousness»
– Protogenia «the adventurer of the consciousness» or «the adaptation to the movement of becoming»
– Hellen «the abolition of the ego by the perfect equality»
According to another hypothesis, the missing name would be Aethlius «the inner freedom», the first king of Elis (province of the «liberation»), as mentioned by Pausanias (V.8.2), even though this hero was also the most often cited as a son of Zeus and Calyce «flower bud», herself Aeolus’ daughter. This hypothesis seems to confirm Pherecydes’ theory according to which Protogenia had no children.
The lineage of Aethlius «inner freedom» concerns in fact the entrance into the last stages of the path of the liberation. One can find great characters like Leda (the mother of the Dioscuri, of Helen and of Clytaemnestra), Oeneus «Divine drunkenness», Diomede «who is concerned by the Divine», Meleagros «who strives for exactitude» and Deianira «who kills attachment».
The wife of Aethlius, Calyce, who represents «a budding psychic being», gave him a son Endymion «filled with consecrated consciousness», result of the total gift of oneself and symbol of the end of the ego (he is the hero with whom Selene fell in love and who asked for eternal sleep).
Aethlius can therefore have his place as well in the lineage of Protogenia, place which is usually attributed to him, or as a child of Aeolus.
If we place him among the children of Aeolus, the only uncertainty could concern his position in relation to the two last children, Perieres and Deion.
Awaiting for more in-depth studies on this topic, we are maintaining in this chapter the study of Magnes even though he has no notable posterity and is more logically a son of Thuia.
Magnes gets his name from «magnesian stone», another name for magnet.
It is therefore the symbol of the most essential element on the way, «the aspiration». The latter manifests at the beginning as lacking, as a need for «something else», a thirst deep in one’s being which calls for another world or a forgotten joy or even a lost immensity, from the unknown.
This aspiration appears once man exhausted his desire for «the joys of the world», when he starts to perceive his belonging to a truer world and goes on a quest for an elsewhere he can neither define nor describe, only driven by a movement which he recognises in other seekers.
We already met both children of Magnes, Dictys and Polydectes, in the study of the myth of Perseus, since it is Polydectes «who receives a lot» who forced Perseus to fight with the Gorgo. He represents the receptive part of the seeker which keeps receiving «from above» while his brother Dictys «the gillnet fisherman» evokes the labour, the humility and the incarnation in the world.
It is the stage when the seeker starts to confront his fears, more or less deliberately, more or less consciously.
Salmoneus: the first spiritual illusion and the witnessing consciousness (Tyro)
Salmoneus had set his mind on imitating Zeus and for that purpose, he attached bronze pots to his chariot in order to simulate thunder and threw lit torches in the sky by way of lightning. According to Hesiod, he would also have arrogated to himself the name Zeus. According to Apollodorus, he would even have ordered that the sacrifices to Zeus be transferred to him.
Some say that he was originally from Thessaly, having later on moved to Elis.
This made Zeus highly irritated. He made the thunder growl and the earth shake. Then he came down from the Olympus, struck Salmoneus down and threw him into the Tartarus. He spared neither his people nor his city. Only his daughter Tyro was saved as she was opposed to his desire to equal the gods. Zeus took her to her uncle Cretheus who raised her.
Salmoneus «the one who struts» represents a common mistake for the beginners, when the ego imagines itself to be in an advanced spiritual position, thinks he understood everything about the path and even pretends to guide others while he only learned the basics. The seeker deludes himself in all good consciousness and pretends to hold and teach «The Truth»: that is why he asked the sacrifices to be transferred to himself, to his ego.
Apollodorus explains that Salmoneus had left the province of the ordinary seekers, Thessaly, in order to emigrate to Elis, the land of the «liberation» where Olympus, the city of the «champions», of those who have accomplished the Labours, is located. But it could only be presumption since, at this stage, the seeker can only agitate semblances of higher Truths (the lit torches) and of power (thunder) through which he tries to convince himself of his knowledge of spiritual laws. This attitude is only based on a few small experiences or synchronicities which accompany the entrance on the path.
Salmoneus marries Alcidice, seeking to realise «the right way of acting» or rather «the powerful imperative law, the rule (of the evolution on the path) which cannot be transgressed»: he would like to find and even pretends to have found the laws of the spiritual progression without which there will be no awakening nor liberation. Therein he pretends to be equal to Zeus, who reigns on the plane where the forces leading the way lie.
However, there is an element in the seeker (represented by his daughter Tyro) that is not fooled by this masquerade and stands against this pretence, casting doubt and confusion. As little as her margin of action might be (not only is she a girl but also his child), she no less manifests her opposition.
The seeker will not be able to leave this impasse just with his will: it will take the action of reality to put things back in place (Zeus’ strong intervention).
With the structuring letters, Tyro represents «the right evolution of the highest consciousness» which questions certitudes. Therefore we associate her with the «witness» consciousness. It is not question here of the psychic witness (automatic manifestation of the psychic consciousness governed by the gods Apollo and Artemis who immediately knows what is right), but of that which the evolution produces (Tyro belongs to the genealogies of the ascension of the planes of consciousness), which disassociates itself from the mistake by the very fact that the seeker is fully involved in his participation in the world and in the development of his personality.
To put an end to this deviance of pride, it is necessary for «the word» of the inner witness to reach the consciousness, which is to say that Tyro be born. For some, it may take many years. It is only when this word is powerful enough – which means when the seeker is able to sort out the teachings from the collapse of his pretences – that the higher consciousness (the reality) chooses to act and to rapidly put an end to this false movement. Zeus «cleans» the whole rather radically, because the seeker should never fall again for this mistake : the king is sent to the Tartarus and his people (including women, children, servants and even their homes) are wiped out from the surface of the earth as a lesson for the other mortals.
Of course, Tyro escapes from the destruction as the «witness» consciousness must lead to many more progressions. Nevertheless, this budding spiritual consciousness will be able to develop efficiently only under the direction of a more balanced force. That is why Zeus entrusts her education to her uncle Cretheus, the fifth child of Aeolus, as she is still very young. Cretheus is in fact the symbol of a «right progression of the opening to an inner world» or of a «a well set head», or even maybe of a «certain moderation or temperance».
Cretheus: the progression of the witness consciousness and of the ascension of the planes of consciousness. The experience of illumination
With Cretheus, the grandfather of Jason, we are addressing the first great spiritual experience which was one of the most seeked after in ancient Greece, judging by the celebrity of this myth.
This is not surprising as the other great epics – the hunt of the wild boar Calydon, the wars of Thebes, the war of Troy and the adventures of Ulysses – deal with experiences reserved to a very small minority. On the other hand, the quest for the Golden Fleece seemed accessible to sincere disciples.
This experience is the result of a combination of several factors. In fact, Tyro «the evolution towards the highest consciousness» or the witness consciousness first had twins with Poseidon, Pelias and Neleus, before giving three children to her uncle Cretheus: Pheres, Amythaon and Aeson. It is the combined action of the progressions represented by these characters that will lead to the quest for the Golden Fleece. It is Pelias, son of Tyro and Poseidon, «the dark part, ignorant of the way» or «the ignorant will to do well but which is also resisting the evolution», and therefore symbol of a semi-conscious action, who will be the instigator of the quest. Pheres «the endurance» and Amythaon «the growth of inner silence» will play an important part. Jason’s parents, Aeson «the higher intellectual human consciousness» or «human achievement» united to Polymede, tending towards «a powerful mental», granddaughter of Hermes, the god looking after «the development of the balanced capacities of the overmind», will be the main actors.
According to the genealogy given by the Ancients, this first great spiritual experience therefore appears as the consequence of an irruption of a force of the overmind in the consciousness of a seeker engaged on the path of the ascension of the planes of consciousness.
However it can have repercussions on the psychic centre by giving, for example, a strong feeling of divine «presence».
This experience is described in detail by Apollonius of Rhodes in The Argonautica. It is commonly described as an experience «of illumination», which is to say the descent of a spiritual force that illuminates first and foremost the mind.
It may be useful to clarify that the seeker engaged on any other way could have a completely different first great spiritual experience. Sri Aurobindo’s letters give many examples of the diversity of these first experiences.
Poseidon’s lineage with Tyro: Pelias and Neleus
Cretheus founded the city of Iolkos in Thessaly and raised Tyro there. Once she reached adulthood, she fell in love with the river Enipeus. One day, while she was on her way to its banks, Poseidon took the form of the river and coupled with her near its mouth, raising a huge wave to hide their union. From their union, the twins Pelias and Neleus were born. Poseidon revealed his identity to Tyro and asked her to raise the children but not to reveal their liaison.
(Alternatively, the children were raised by horse trainers. Just after their birth, one of the twins was kicked by a hoof which left an indelible «dark» mark on his face. Therefore he was named Pelias «the dark one» while his twin brother was called Neleus.
In other versions, Tyro was abused by Sidero, second wife of Salmoneus. Once grown up, the twins freed their mother from Sidero’s grip «the iron woman» who Pelias would have killed after.)
As adults, Pelias and Neleus fought over power. Pelias chased Neleus away from Iolkos. The latter left Thessaly and went into exile in Messenia where he founded the city of Pylos. He married Chloris with whom he had twelve sons – among which Nestor, Periclymenus and Chromios – and one daughter, Pero. Except for Nestor, all the sons would be killed by Heracles much later, once the Twelve Labours were accomplished.
Pelias remained in Thessaly at Iolkos where he became king after the death of Cretheus. He married Anaxibia with whom he had a son Acastos and four daughters, Pisidice, Pelopeia, Hippothoe and Alceste.
One day, he organised a sacrifice in honour of Poseidon to which he invited all his subjects. When he saw a man with only one shoe arriving at the celebration, he remembered that an oracle had predicted to beware of such a sign, as this man could dethrone him (or kill him). Now, this unknown person was none less than his nephew Jason, son of Aeson and grandson of Cretheus. In order to remove all danger, Pelias sent him to conquer the Golden Fleece, convinced he would surely find death in this adventure.
The lineage of Tyro and Poseidon expresses a work of the «subconscious» to support the «right evolution towards the highest mental consciousness» (Tyro).
On the other hand, a stream of consciousness which creates «the link between spirit and matter» is «called» by this evolution (Tyro aspires to unite with the river Enipeus, the most beautiful river according to Homer).
While the seeker aspires to live an experience of evolution towards union (Tyro’s love for Enipeus), the fertilization happens only in the subconscious. However, the highest consciousness is warned of an inner event (Poseidon makes himself known to Tyro) but shouldn’t seek to inform the rest of the being while dealing with the results (Tyro must keep quiet about the origin of the children born from the union while raising them).
In other words, the subconscious acting for the development towards the highest part of the mind (Poseidon united with Tyro) contributes in its own way to putting the necessary elements in place for the Quest for the Golden Fleece. The twins’ names seem to define on one hand an «inexorable» impulsion towards individuation (Neleus) and on the other hand a more «undecided and dark» movement with a powerful imprint of the vital force (Pelias).
These two movements are strongly marked by the subconscious. That is why the seeker doesn’t recognise the participation of the inexorable impulsion as an integral part of the path (Pelias chases Neleus from Thessaly).
It is however this part of inexorability that will help crossing this threshold (Neleus settles in Pylos «the door»).
(Another interpretation of this passage could be built around the name Neleus understood with the structuring letters as «the evolution of the process of individuation».)
Neleus and his children
Neleus weds Chloris «fresh» (the «inexorable» movement towards individuation linked to the past or to «karma» which seeks «the new»). The latter gave him twelve sons and one daughter Pero of great beauty (very true) whom all the men of the time wanted to marry.
Pero can be understood either as a feeling of «incompleteness» which is the motor of the search, or as «the right evolution for the balance link (matter/spirit)». Pero will finally marry her first cousin Bias «the strength» and will conceive Talaos «the endurance».
Among the twelve sons of Neleus, three are mentioned by Homer: Nestor «the evolution of rectitude in the incarnation, the sincerity» or « the capacity of integration of the experience», Chromios, and Periclymenus «all that concerns what has been acquired».
Much later eleven of them will die from Heracles’ hand, what they represent being no more useful or having become an obstacle to pursue the path and only Nestor will be spared. The disappearance of Nestor’s eleven brothers occurs for some at the end of the Tenth Labour, during the return of Geryon’s cattle towards Mycenae, thus much later after the murder of Iphitos. It marks the end of the need for forces contributing to the liberation, and therefore the state of a seeker «free» from the ego, from desire and from duality. Only «sincerity» will be necessary to pursue the path in the body.
Nestor will live very old and, according to some, will participate in all the great epics. He will even be present in Troy where he will lead a contingent of warriors more than three generations later. In the Iliad, he is the «the old cart driver», an element that directs the quest from its beginning. He will be one of the few to come back from this war, one who integrated its reason and its end, representing sincerity that cannot die as long as the quest is going on. Watching over «the integration», he acts as «a guardian of the Temple’s doors»: that is why he reigns in Pylos «the door» or «the passage».
Pelias and his children
The other twin son of Tyro and Poseidon is Pelias «the dark», who is «indecisive» and «ignorant» of his path. If Neleus is the impulsion «from above», he is the one from «below». In fact he represents what is marked by a strong vital impulsion in the being, because he bears the indelible stamp of a horseshoe on his cheek. It is also the ignorant will to do well resisting the evolution. Requesting the Golden Fleece from Jason, he is the transient motor of this period of the quest and will not survive it. As he is indispensable in this period, he will be celebrated by great games after his death organised by Medea on her return from Colchis. If the domination of the vital impulse is necessary at the beginning, it will have to give up its place to the inner flame of the psychic being.
Pelias weds Anaxibia «the dominating force» or Philomache «who likes to fight» with whom he had several children among which Alceste «a strong rectitude or sincerity» and Pasidice «justice in all things». These are the two most ancient names in the Catalogue of Women. Other authors added Pisidice «who believes in justice, who preaches justice», Acastos «impure», Pelopeia «the depression», and Hippothoe «an active vital». We shall see later that Acastos «the impurity» tried to cause the death of Peleus, Achilles’ father.
Let us note that for some authors, Tyro was abused for a long time by her stepmother then named Sidero: « the right evolution towards the highest consciousness » (Tyro) cannot express herself freely because of the constraints and limitations induced by the mental rigidity of the seeker (Sidero means «of iron»). We already mentioned that the yoga is a process of expansion and loosening on all planes. For a very long time, the seeker will therefore still be under the influence of mental crystallisation, beliefs, prejudices, opinions, etc. which are dreadful obstacles for the yoga. The suppression of the identification and attachment to all those mental forms is an integral part of this first stage of yoga.
The lineage of Pheres (from the couple Cretheus-Tyro)
We shall start the study of the three lineages born from the union of Cretheus and Tyro by that of Pheres «the endurance».
Cretheus was settled in Thessaly and his lineage therefore belongs to the province of ordinary seekers.
Pheres founded the city which carries his name in Thessaly and of which he was the king. His half-brother Pelias succeeded to Cretheus on the throne of Iolcos. Pheres married Periclymene with whom he had two children, Admete and Lycurgus, the father of Opheltes.
The name Pheres evokes he «who can bear, endure» and with the structuring letters «the right action of the higher consciousness within the being».
He represents one of the essential foundations of the yoga in the process of liberation, «the endurance», without which nothing can be accomplished.
This action of the higher consciousness expresses itself in two ways embodied by Pheres’ sons, Admete «who is rebellious» or «non-captive», which is to say he who rebels against all shackles and limitations, and Lycurgus «the nascent inner light». The name Admete can also express «a powerful mastery» if the alpha particle is copulative and not privative. This story could therefore also be interpreted as the basis of the work of a «powerful mastery» (Admete) seeking to realise «a perfect sincerity» (Alceste).
Admete and Alceste
Admete, son of Pheres, fell in love with Alceste, daughter of Pelias. But the latter had announced that he would give his daughter only to one who could yoke together a lion and a wild boar to pull a cart. The challenge seemed unrealisable.
Yet, at the same time, Apollo was at the service of Admete as herdsman.
(We have seen previously that Zeus struck down Asclepius, son of Apollo who, as revenge, killed the Cyclops. He was then punished by Zeus and sent at the service of a mortal, Admete.)
Apollo, who liked Admete and already doubled the number of his herds produced the requested yoke and offered it to him, thus enabling him to marry Alceste.
But Admete forgot to honour Artemis during the marriage ceremony. So, when he opened the nuptial chamber, he found it teeming with snakes, omen of premature death. Apollo came to his rescue for the second time. He explained his mistake to Admete and told him how to soothe the goddess’ wrath.
The god also persuaded the Moirai (intoxicating them according to Aeschylus) to make him «immortal» if when the time came someone accepted to die in his place.
However, when the moment arrived, Admete couldn’t find anybody who accepted to sacrifice for him, not even his ageing parents. However, at the very last moment, his wife Alceste offered herself.
(Plato affirms through Phaidra’s mouth that the gods, moved by this gesture, granted her to stay with her husband. According to Euripides, on the very day of Alceste’s death, Heracles stopped by Admete’s home when he was on his way to seize Diomede’s mares. He then fought in Thanatos over Alceste’s tomb, bringing her back among the living)
Admete and Alceste had a son Eumelos, who according to the Iliad, owned the two fastest mares after Achilles’ horses. They were «fast as birds, of the same coat, same age and of sizes so equal that their backs were level». Apollo raised them in Pieria and they were «spreading Ares’ terror everywhere ».
Euripides’ version of Admete’s story is the only complete one we have. Even though we take this author’s work with caution, it seems the core of the story has been preserved since its origin.
We previously saw the beginning of the story: Zeus struck down Asclepius and Apollo killed the Cyclops out of revenge (the highest mental consciousness annuls the capacity to investigate in the depth of consciousness and the psychic light at the same time makes the « right intuitions» or the «visions» from a higher order disappear).
The light of the psychic being must then work at the service of the ego trying to free itself (Apollo was sent to Admete, he who works at «breaking free from the yoke »).
This happens harmoniously and it is why the psychic light enables much progress in this liberation (Apollo doubled Admete’s herds.)
This «will of liberation» tends towards a «strong rectitude-sincerity» (Admete wants to unite with Alceste). But the seeker cannot realise what is required with the sole strength of the will of his outer being, namely to have the ego (the lion) and the most primitive animal and instinctive forces (the wild boar) work together under the control of the highest possible consciousness (the chariot’s conductor), without fighting nor restraining them, but by using their combined energies for the purpose of the quest.
In fact, normally, when they are neither stifled nor repressed, these forces pull each one on their side and, at least for the archaic vital forces, without showing the slightest willingness to cooperate to the path.
What is requested at this stage is not to kill the lion permanently (first labour of Heracles) nor the wild boar (it will be later the purpose of the Hunt for Calydon’s wild boar), but to master sufficiently their expression and to conjugate their forces in order to have them cooperate to the quest. Therefore it is rather to avoid wasting energy by working with «righteousness».
The wild boar is the symbol of non refined expressions of the animal life in man in relation to the «vital necessities» (the crude ways of eating, sleeping, practicing sexuality, etc.).
Therefore, it is not a question of imposing constraints such as excessive fasting, staying awake or sexual abstinence – all of which could be used by some for the purpose of domination – but of an appropriate balance until the time has come to act otherwise.
The ego alone cannot comprehend the right attitude since it can only swing between laxity and exaggerated constraint. Thus Apollo, the opening of the psychic light (the inner being), makes the yoke and offers it to Admete.
However the seeker is not attentive enough to the necessary purification of his nature (Admete forgets to honour Artemis). That is why it is shown to him that «his will for liberation» – without the corresponding purification – rapidly loses its effect (Admete must die prematurely).
By turning back to his inner being, he simultaneously receives the explanation of his mistake and the way to address it with the indication of what must be purified and put in order (Apollo explained to him how to appease the goddess).
Furthermore, the psychic light wants to raise «this will for liberation» to non-duality (Apollo intervenes with the Moirai in order for Admete to become immortal), which is to say for the corresponding action to operate from the unity and no longer from the ego. This can only happen at an advanced stage of the quest which only Euripides situates during the eighth labour of Heracles.
It also requires a change of plane with the obligation to obey in a way or another to the laws of the evolution of consciousness (to the halts of fate). The Moirai are the divine arbitrators who can solely judge if this or that progression is accomplished. They must therefore receive the proof of these realisations: someone must offer his life to confirm them, death indicating a realisation. The only proof attesting that Admete achieved his task is the death of his wife Alceste (the goal of a hero being, as we established, symbolically represented by his wife). When the seeker reached realisation of a «perfect sincerity», he can then enter the world of non-duality (immortality).
(The fact that the gods – or Heracles – let Alceste come back among the living in order to live with Admete is not confirmed in the ancient myths and it does not seem coherent to us, except if we consider beyond the plane of non-duality the ongoing effort of sincerity in the body.)
According to some authors, Admete «the work of liberation» participated in the Argonauts’ quest as well as in Calydon’s wild boar’s hunt which precedes the wars of Thebes by one generation and the war of Troy by two of them. This hunt occurs at a more advanced stage on the path and Admete’s participation suggests that at that time, it is not only a question of ensuring that the initial vital forces be no more an obstacle for the quest (yoked with the ego) but are eradicated from the seeker’s being.
Admete and Alceste had a son Eumelos, «harmonious, well articulated (each thing in its place)», who according to Homer owned the fastest horses after ’Achilles’: it is «the harmony» in which each thing is at its right place, result of a «strong will for liberation» and «of a great sincerity» which enables the fastest advancement on the path, at least until Achilles’ horses enter the story.
Pheres had another son, Lycurgus «who desires the light passionately» who became king of Nemea in Argolis, the city where the consecration and the end of the ego must happen (the death of the lion which was killed by Heracles on the outskirts of this city). (There could be two more opposing interpretations of the name «Lycurgus» and we chose the most coherent.)
With an homonym Eurydice «the right way of acting», he had a son, Opheltes, «who tries to serve». Still a child, he died bitten by a snake during the departure of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. In fact, he was laid down on the ground while an oracle had ordered to wait to do so until he could walk. Indeed, the will to «serve» should not incarnate as long as it has not reached enough maturity.
Opheltes was renamed Archemoros «Fate which commands» or «Fate which begins» who consecrates the end of the personal will to serve, which in a way or another deploys always partly for the benefit of the ego. The Nemean Games were celebrated in his honour during the departure of the Seven against Thebes. Therefore they can be placed at the beginning of the work of purification of the centres (the chakras) which occurs after Calydon’s wild boar’s hunt. With the Isthmian, Pythian and Olympic Games, they are one of the four great games.
Nevertheless, the sources regarding Opheltes’ genealogies being rather contradictory, we shall develop the study of this character during the study of the wars of Thebes.
Pheres also had a daughter Idomene «the seer» who became the wife of Amythaon, who we are going to study now. The higher consciousness which enters the being and «supports» (Pheres) enables also to «really see» «what is».
Amythaon’s lineage, (from the couple Cretheus-Tyro)
Cretheus and Tyro’s second son is Amythaon. The name of the latter can be interpreted in many ways. We will simultaneously keep in mind «who pretends nothing», «who has no personal goal», «who doesn’t tell tales», and also and especially «who enters a certain (inner) silence». He married Idomene «who sees», daughter of Pheres. The seeker therefore engages on the path of those the tradition calls «the seers» like the Vedic Rishis from the Intuition time. This state is characterized by an intuitive perception of the Reality which is more like a vision than a comprehension.
Amythaon settled with his half-brother Neleus «inexorable» in Pylos «the door», which makes them both «keepers of the threshold». He who doesn’t take also on a right perception of reality cannot pass the stages towards liberation and risks a long period of wandering.
Amythaon had two children: Bias «the strength» and Melampus «the man with black feet», a famous seer, symbol of an intuition or of a «vision» from the planes of the spirit, without anchorage in matter. We met him in the myth of Perseus during the sharing of Argolis into four kingdoms (Cf. the madness of Proetus’ daughters in chapter I of this tome). The descendants of these two heroes will play an important role in the Wars of Thebes.
The lineage of Melampus
With Melampus «who has black feet», the elders introduced a lineage of seers whose predictions come from the heights of the spirit, differentiating them from those coming from the psychic or bodily consciousness. In fact, other seers, like Tiresias, receive their inspiration from the purification/liberation process, or from the psychic light like Manto, Mopsus, Idmon and the seer Calchas «crimson», son of Thestor «rectitude coming from within, sincerity». (Cf. plate 29 for the lineages of seers.) Crimson is the colour that fills the breech in between magenta and indigo in the colours of the chromatic circle and symbolises the place of divinised matter. That is why Persephone, who swallowed a pomegranate seed (crimson), cannot completely come back to the world of «mortals» (beings living in separation). Nevertheless the colour crimson related to Calchas doesn’t seem to come from the pomegranate, but from a seashell, sign of some perfection of life at its origin in matter. Besides, the name Calchas could be brought together to Καλχαινω «in deep meditation». Which is confirmed by Calchas’ sister’s name, Leucippe «a bright white vital force». And this is why Calchas recognises that the seer Mopsus, whose unitive intuition comes from the body, is superior: the intuition doesn’t come any longer from the vital, as deep as it is, but from the body.
As seen in the previous chapter, Melampus had his ears purified by snakes while he was sleeping. He learned the language of the birds and was the first mortal to predict the future: the seeker becomes able to understand the sacred language of symbols which the ordinary man «cannot hear» and senses he has to perform a task. After his encounter with Apollo, some psychic illumination sheds light on his purely mental intuitions: Melampus then becomes the best at sacred divination.
At this stage, the seeker acquires on the path an «intuitive sensitivity that enables him not only to interpret symbols, primarily those of the mental and of the dreams «the language of the birds», but also the signs (of Reality) in life.
We also saw earlier that Melampus and Bias obtained a part of Argolis after Melampus cured the daughters of Proetus: from then on the intuitive capacities gain an increased importance in the quest.
The lineage of Melampus «the intuitive mental sensitivity» which concerns only the development of the intuition in the ascension of the planes of consciousness, is organised according to two great lineages, that of Mantios «the prediction» and that of Antiphates «he who makes very visible, who manifests». On the other hand, the more we progress in each lineage the more the characters express a developed intuitive sensitivity.
The lineage of Mantios «the prediction», unlike other seers who work from signs, relies on visions, illuminations, revelations or inspirations. That is why it is considered by mythologists as «inspired divination».
Mantios had three sons: Polyeides, Kleitos and Polypheides.
– Polyeides «he who has many visions»
– Kleitos «he who is famous on the highest plane of the spirit». He was famous for his beauty which is to say capable of a truly «right» intuition
– Polypheides «he who gets many protective visions». Although he belongs to the lineage of Melampus, he received his gift of prophecy from Apollo, from the psychic light, sign of a more correct vision. His son Theoclymenos «a famous contact with the inner being» was known for his visions and assisted Telemachus, the son of Ulysses.
The latter is the father of Oikles «a famous consciousness», himself father of Amphiaraos and Eriphyle «a great quality of presence» who in his turn had two sons, Alcmaeon «a powerful consecration» and Amphilocos «he who realises a powerful attention ».
The other lineage, that of Antiphates «he who makes very visible, who manifests» or on the contrary «what is indescribable» is related to a more psychic sensitivity, albeit still translated in mental terms. Antiphates had a son Oikles «a famous consciousness», himself father of Amphiaraos «who approaches the right perception». The latter had two sons, Alcmaion «a powerful consecration» and Amphilocos «he who realises a powerful attention » or «the intuition of what is to be born (related to childbirth)». The seers of this lineage will be particularly active in the stories of Thebes related to the process of purification-liberation.
The lineage of Bias
Bias fell in love with Pero, daughter of Neleus, desired by all men. (Here we give Pherecydes’ version as it is the most detailed). But Neleus would only give her away to the one who would bring him the cattle of Phylacus (son of Deion) which was guarded by a ferocious dog. Bias asked his brother Melampus to help; the latter accepted even though he knew it would cause him to be imprisoned for one year at Phylacus.
During his imprisonment, thanks to his gift of divination, he heard the conversations of the worms who were eating away the framework. Thus he could escape the collapse of the building by asking to be transferred to another cell. The guardian who had treated him cruelly could not escape.
Phylacus then recognized the great seer in him, set him free and gave him back his cattle, provided however that he would cure his son Iphiclos. In fact, the latter was sterile because he had been terrorized in his childhood by his father who chased him with a knife to punish him for an inappropriate action. As he couldn’t catch the child, the father stuck the knife into a tree and the bark covered it as time passed. Melampus found the knife, collected the rust and mixed it with some wine in a potion he had Iphiclos drink for ten days. The latter healed and conceived a child, Podarces.
Bias then married Pero who gave him Talaos, himself father of Adrastos and Eriphyle.
This process happens in a period of the quest which is difficult to define precisely but which has to precede the Wars of Thebes. We are addressing it here as we can consider that it is a process of which the first cycles occurs during or even before the quest for the Golden Fleece (that is why some late authors mention Talaos, son of Bias, as one of Jason’s companions).
It concerns the collapse of mental constructions which, in order not to disturb deeply the seeker or to see him falling under the grasp of vital forces, has to be led with discernment. He must be accompanied by a profound work on fear and culpability.
This story starts once the seeker wants to apply to the feeling «of incompleteness» (Pero) a «force» (Bias) which starts to act within him (to fill in «the lack» or «the need»).
For this, he needs the support of his intuition (Melampus) in order for the experience of union (cattle of Phylacus «the guardian», son of Deion «union in consciousness») to be transferred and utilised by Neleus, the «inexorable» movement of destiny.
However, this «intuitive sensitivity» knows it will have to withdraw to the background (to be imprisoned) during a symbolic period of a year, enough time for the minuscule but tenacious forces to «wear out» the mental constructions that «guard» the evolution until they collapse (until the «worms» gnawed on the framework of Phylacus «the guardian»).
But the seeker is warned in time of the collapsing of its mental structures, «hearing» about the advanced state of damage from the mouth of the «destroyers» themselves, and he escapes unscathed.
The intuitive mental sensitivity thus is free but must still cure Iphiclos’ sterility «he who is strongly locked», son of the «guardian» Phylacus. The sterility was caused by the fear of disappearing, following a supposedly wrong action which the consciousness of the superego wanted to punish: it would be an old culpability which has not been relieved by the punishment. The intuitive sensitivity then retrieves the object which caused this impotence, a knot of fear deeply buried in the vital (the knife which was covered with the bark of a tree).
It is the absorption of a little bit of the object of fear weakened by time and therefore no longer harmful (the rust) mixed to a Divine drunkenness (the wine) that frees from impotence and gives back the power of acting, which is creativity.
The force can then fully get to work for the union of spirit-matter.
This disappearance of mental constructions and of the deep knots of fear and culpability is therefore a preliminary to restoring order to the body’s centres of energy which will be the subject of the Wars of Thebes. Adrastos «the inner peace», son of Talaos «the endurance» and of Lysimache «who stops the fight», and therefore grandson of Bias and Pero, is the leader of the first expedition. We shall find these characters again later in this study.
To finish, let us note that Pelias, Neleus, Admete, Bias, Melampus and Jason are associated with a close family relationship (cousins through their father, uncle and nephews through their mother), which means that they represent parallel progressions which will in due course be the cause for a very strong experience of inner contact. For that, an additional element brought by Aeson’s lineage is needed.
The lineage of Aeson (from the couple Cretheus-Tyro)
The last son of Cretheus is Aeson (Aison), father of Jason. His name (Αισων) most probably means «fate» in the sense of «personal achievement» (Aisa Αισα is deified in Homer with the meaning of Destiny.) With the structuring letters, one can also understand «the human consciousness submitted to mental cycles» or even maybe «a reversal of the consciousness ΙΣ» from the outside towards the inside.
The name Jason has exactly the same structuring letters as his father’s name ΙΣ (Ιασων) but separated by an alpha, which could indicate more individuation.
Aeson weds Polymele «rich in herds» and evokes a well-developed personality. Others give him Polymede or even Alcimede as wife, «a developed, powerful thinking» herself daughter of Autolycos «he who is his own light, his own guide» and therefore granddaughter of Hermes, the god of the overmind who I sin charge of the development of the highest level of mental knowledge, the overmind.
The couple therefore represents a seeker who tends towards the acquisition of a powerful individualised mental, of a broad understanding.
The presence of Autolykos in the ancestry of Jason indicates that the seeker must have reached some independence from doctrines, teachings and masters, positioning himself in a relationship of freedom rather than of blind submission.
Aeson had two children: first Jason and much later Promachos «he who fights in the front » who, as a child, was killed by Pelias.
Aeson has no legend of his own except for some who affirm he was rejuvenated by Medea after the conquest of the Fleece. Youth being the symbol of adaptation to the movement of becoming, the rejuvenation of Aeson implies a better submission to «the higher will» following the illuminating experience.
The other children of Aeolus
We shall discuss later the other children of Aeolus: Perieres, Deion and the five daughters, before the study of the war of Troy. Perieres «the right movement» is the grandfather of Penelope, of the Dioscuri Castor and Pollux as well as of Helen and Clytaemnestra. Deion is the great-great grandfather of Ulysses, who is the greatest «adventurer of consciousness» on the path of liberation. His corresponding achievements shall be examined during the study of the Odysseus.