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9-2006: Submitted to Journal of The Interdisciplinary Crossroads
Allahabad Association for Historical and Cultural Studies; 
192-B Allenganj, Allahabad 211002 India
Submitted by Iona Miller

 11,520 word feature – Category: Mythopoesis, Metahistory

Abstract: The pre-scientific philosophical (Platonic) and archetypal (Biblical; Vedic, gnostic, pagan, etc.) notion of a Demiurge (cosmic maker or shaper) or creator-god can be contemporized in terms of the deterministic, self-organizing dynamics of Chaos Theory.  “In the beginning” was Chaos, the negentropic Source.  The creative edge of chaos is implicated in the creation of the universe, as well as in human creativity and learning processes.  We propose a universal theory of creativity emerging from chaos theory.

The most primordial aspect of creation, the Demiurgic Field (DUF) as continuous creation, underlies and continues to influence energic/material and psychic processes.  The DUF is cosmic “zero,” the negentropic source of emergent order or ground state – the source of physical manifestation and our psychophysical being.  We can employ procedures to connect with this source of inspiration and renewal in a holistic manner.  An organic, rather than mechanistic, paradigm for shaping modern culture and creative lifestyles emerges.   


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.  --Albert Einstein



Its Patterning Role in Chaos, Creation, and Creativity 

By Iona Miller (USA) and Paul Wildman, Ph.D. (AUST.)


Abstract:  The pre-scientific philosophical (Platonic) and archetypal (Biblical; Vedic, gnostic, pagan, etc.) notion of a Demiurge (cosmic maker or shaper) or creator-god can be contemporized in terms of the deterministic, self-organizing dynamics of Chaos Theory.  “In the beginning” was Chaos, the negentropic Source.  More than a metaphor, the creative edge of chaos is implicated in the creation of the universe, as well as in human creativity and learning processes.  We propose a universal theory of creativity emerging from chaos theory. 

The most primordial aspect of creation, the Demiurgic Field (DUF) as continuous creation, underlies and continues to influence energic/material and psychic processes.  The DUF is cosmic “zero,” the negentropic source of emergent order or ground state – the source of physical manifestation and our psychophysical being.  We can employ procedures to connect with this source of inspiration and renewal in a holistic manner.  An organic, rather than mechanistic, paradigm for shaping modern culture and creative lifestyles emerges.   

Subtle fluctuations in this creative ground state (DUF) may be pumped up by the ‘butterfly effect’ into perceivable effects.  The human neurosystem may be responsive to fluctuations at the level of a single quantum.  Shaking the system a little can jolt a sub-optimal state, causing it to roll down to a deeper hollow in the energy landscape (chreode), representing a better solution.  Demiurgic intentionality acts through the medium of nature much like our human creative intentionality works as artificer on or through a medium. 

We suggest chaotic excitability is a universal sense organ.  The linkage mechanism of DUF to archetype to human perception or response may be a combination of fractal chaos and quantum mechanical fluctuation, patterned by the metaphysical virtual field ‘intentionality’ through chaotic excitability.  Adaptation is actually a holistic model of a consciousness-expanding process (DUF), involving the mutual interaction of self-reflection and self-correction (shaping) at the individual and collective levels of our existence.  The same essential dynamics that gave rise to the birth of the universe and evolution govern human creativity and learning. 

Keywords:  Disciplinary interface, chaos theory, negentropy, creativity, typology, archetypes, values and ethics, Demiurgic Field, creation myths, information theory, sustainable lifestyles, learning, holism, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, metaphors, paradigm shift, physics, complexity, cross-cultural mythopoesis, imagination, vacuum potential, zero-point energy, quantum foam, noetics, heuristics, consciousness studies.


Any depth psychologist or therapist knows that the stories they hear from most of their clients fall into very few, quite typical tales. What we need are bigger stories to guide us in our complex world. Physics seeks a bigger story in its Holy Grail of a unified field theory. We can recontextualize and enlarge our perspective from the individual to the global and universal through “bigger stories”, such as those from our wisdom traditions and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Mythopoesis means literally, "myth-making," the natural expression of the visionary wisdom inborn to the human species (Lash, et al).  It is a creative act of story-telling or narration, by which human beings "track" their experience and orient themselves to the cosmos at large.

Metahistory is a guiding narrative for human potential, rather than an interpretation of events. The cross-cultural metastory of the human species is an overarching view of past, present, and future. It opens a path toward participation in a story that leads beyond history, a mythos to guide the species.  

Mircea Eliade has explained that overcoming time - the conditioning effects of linear history - depends on remembering what happened in the mythical beginning. In the mythic domain, creation is still happen-ing. Creation myths shift emphasis from the figures (who, what, when, where, how and why) of history to the ground of being.

Even continuous creation must be re-membered. The origin of our world "must not only be known, it must be continually recollected.” "Knowledge of the origin and the exemplary history of things confers a sort of magical mastery over them. "In the archaic and paleo-Oriental cultures the reiteration of the cosmic myth had as its purpose abolishing past Time and beginning a new life with all vital forces intact." (Eliade, 1963, p. 88 ff.)  


Man’s genius is a deity.” –Heraclitus 

Talk not of genius baffled.  Genius is master of man.

Genius does what it must.  Talent does what it can.”  --Bulwer-Lytton

In our desire for adaptation and survival, for novelty, for innovation, for self-expression and self-actualization, we essentially emulate the creative process of the universe, God, or the gods of the ancients.  The creative act draws from the mysterious, the unknown to produce something wholly new, the genesis of new form. 

Inspiration may come from intuition, the numinous, from a seemingly vacant moment of incubation, or from actively seeking to touch our primal source.  Socrates personified the creative spirit of man as his Daemon, or genius.  It did not imply a high I.Q., but an intimate connection with transpersonal creativity, which must be realized. 

The implication is that genius can be awakened within us all to enhance the quality of personal and collective life.  To do so, we must learn to ‘stand in the Mystery.’  For most of us genius remains untapped, veiled behind the doors of perception, sometimes granting a brief, unpredictable glance of the ineffable. 

In this article, we explore the subtle groundstate of our existence from which all being arises.  Ancients have called this the Demiurgic field (DUF), the (pro)creative field.  We can imagine subspace as a virtual energy field.  Quantum physics has many terms for the undifferentiated negentropic domain: quantum foam; the Dirac Sea; unquantized scalar field, vacuum fluctuation; vacuum potential; zero-point energy (ZPE); the matrix or source of all energy/matter. 

Subspace is an unmanifest fundamental reality, a virtual field, waves of informational force. This potential is an invisible flux not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness.  In this dynamic model, there are no “things”, only energetic events.  This holoflux includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and also of that which forms therein.  

This unquantized, domain, a physical analog of the DUF, marks the limit of our ability to peer into the Mystery of nature at cosmic zero.  At the human scale, we are blinded to this primal creative field by modern day hustle and bustle, doing not being.  We have lost touch with our deepest creative roots, tending to favour the cognitive intellect, the light, the sky-oriented energies over the irrational ground. 

However, there are time-honored and new ways of actively reconnecting with this creative force.  Our consciousness appears co-temporaneously with our embodiment, creating the imaginal flux of representational and nonrepresentational perception – the stream of consciousness.  The Vedas identify primal consciousness as the basis of all manifestation, including creative intent..  In this worldview, there is nothing but consciousness. 

We can learn to ‘touch and be touched by the DUF.’ We can drink from this well through a holistic system of learning.  Artificer learning draws from this source to mold our creativity and lives (values and ethics).  Human consciousness is a self-referential system which embodies the principle of connection between logic and chaos in holistic (“whole brain”) awareness. 

We can observe and perceive reality from myriad levels of organization or domains: macrocosmic, mesocosmic, and microcosmic including chemical, molecular, atomic, electromagnetic, and subatomic (quantal) or energetic. Virtual fields are metaphysical, hence speculative, though their presence may be deduced by resonant manifestations. 

A primordial field, more fundamental than energy/matter and patterned by information, manifests through the dance of chaos and order.  Alternatively, it can be modeled and described as the frequency domain of a holographic concept of reality, or as physicist David Bohm’s implicate order.  But here we will rely on chaos theory to unpack the dynamic of unfolding nature and our nature. 

Information theory has been employed to model dynamic processes ranging from the entire universe (Fredkin, 1988) to human neurological functioning, (Pribram, 1991).  Information ‘occurs’ in the dimension of space/time.  The information theory of the universe models bits of information as fundamental, while neurodynamics conceives of quanta of information. This model of brain/mind/consciousness supercedes general systems theory and thermodynamics. 

Physics deals with the energetic aspect of the world.  Information theory deals with the communicational or patterning aspect.  A ‘message’ is communicated from the external world (universe) to the individual and his reactions.  We tend to take the constant imaginal flux of the stream of consciousness (SOC) for granted, rarely focusing our conscious awareness in that direction.  But we can experientially ‘decode’ the universal ‘message’ – potential holistic repatterning -- it contains in terms of intuitions, inspiration, epiphanies, and creative direction. 

There is no channel or receiver as the phenomenon is nonlocal. The conscious mind interprets SOC as information embodied in the fractal nature of imagery and symbols which compress the informational content of the whole.  We suggest consciousness, like creativity, is an emergent phenomenon patterned by strange attractors which govern the complexity of information in dynamic flow. This correlates with Jung’s experiential concepts of collective unconscious and archetypes at the psychic level. 

Complex dynamics is implicated in the energetic translation of ‘waves of unborn nothingness.’  We suggest, in the Platonic spirit, that it shapes or artifices all nature and human nature.  We conclude by listing some ways that this energic system can be seen in our day to day world, where psyche interfaces with matter.  Everything is a manifestation of this esoteric [metaphysical] underlying creative potential, we call the DUF.  At our most primordial level, we are that. 


The first author, (Miller) developed an interest in this level of observation as a foundation for her transdisciplinary work in depth psychology, art, chaos theory, new physics, Hermetics, psychotherapeutics, noetics, consciousness studies, and parapsychology.She has written extensively on subspace as a primal field of creative consciousness (1993-2006).  A synthesis of those explorations is presented here. 

The second-author, (Wildman) first became aware of the idea of the DUF reflecting deeply on the question, ‘where do my values come from.’  Wildman’s interest was a direct result of doctoral work in the early to mid 90’s, an explication of the ‘interests’ that lay behind some 10 years of publishing.  His interest in the DUF was again sparked in developing the concept of an esoteric thesis (1995-95).  See Wildman and Cundy (2002), Wildman (2002).  

These inquiries into the sources of values and interests represented reiterating patterns in his research.  In a sense his ‘esoteric’ voice was speaking through the emergent patterns of the unconscious in the conscious Û unconscious cycle. Harwood (2001), Wildman (2002).  

In my doctoral explication I was able to ‘identify’ several deep patterns in my data that had arisen over the past decade of praxis, that I came to think of as chreodes.’  In chaos theory, chreodes represent the dips/valleys in the morphic field or Universal Energy Grid (UEG) where a ball or water ‘tends’ to flow.  Chreodes are essentially the chaos theory equivalent of archetypes. Sheldrake first identified them as canalised pathways of change within a morphic field []. 

For Wildman the inquiry ball always rolled, and still does, down these valleys.  The next step was to publish the methodology he developed (Reflective Praxis).  Then he simply followed the valleys upstream to see how he embraced a certain value position that is coherent to him although appearing eclectic.  He identified that source as the DUF. 

In this article, we argue that the demiurgic concept underpins or provides the foundation and grounding for the rational as well as the ethical.  In a deeper sense, however, it is just as much a source of the numinous and irrational aspects of manifestation.  It is the eternal dance of chaos and order, the mysterium which is simultaneously deterministic yet unpredictable.   

This is the rationality of the ancients and the renaissance rather than the watered down, colourless, unimaginative, empirically reductive rationality of today. It is also the wellspring of inspiration, creativity, negentropy and self-organizing dynamics in nature and man, including the natural therapeutic process that makes us resilient as a species.  

Healing is the biological equivalent of creativity.  This recursive loop leads ultimately toward spiritual epiphanies as feedback from the infinite ground, the DUF field, which is more than symbolic.  It is the primal source of patterning information. 

Aspects of the DUF 

In the third principle of the Gnostic speculation, the world-maker is commonly called the Demiurge, termed by Basilides "Archon" or world-ruler, by the Ophites. "Jaldabaoth," or son of chaos. He is a creature of the fallen aeon, formed of physical material, and thus standing between God and Matter. He makes out of Matter the visible sensible world, and rules over it. He has his throne in the planetary heavens, and presides over time and over the sidereal spirits. Astrological influences were generally ascribed to him.

He is the God of Judaism, the Jehovah, who imagines himself to be the supreme and only God. But in the further development of this idea the systems differ; the anti-Jewish Gnostics, Marcion and the Ophites, represent the Demiurge as an insolent being, resisting the purposes of God; while the Judaizing Gnostics, Basilides and Valentine, make him a restricted, unconscious instrument of God to prepare the way for redemption. 

  • DUF functions in a Platonic way as an artificer i.e., shaper of the form of manifest reality to parallel that of the ‘idea’, ‘ideal’, heavenly or cosmic templates.  For instance The Bible tells of God ‘shaping’ or artificing the first humans from clay.  In one Greek version of the same pre-scientific metaphor of god(s) creating humans, Prometheus made humans from clay.  In another, Hephaestus created the body of the first woman from water and clay then Zeus breathed life into Pandora, who embodied the woes of corporeal existence. 
  • Demiurge and evolution.  Evolutionary systems are negentropic and are generative systems endowed with self-modifying and self-organizing chreodic capacities.  Their potential for unfolding into object-structures is already implicit or present within the universe of possible states of affairs contained within formally induced sets of dynamic configurations. As such, genetic space is the logical outcome of the convergence of a cosmic concept of reason (yang) and a transcendent concept of nature (yin), thereby, pointing to a creative principle that may be called demiurgic.  Demiurgic intentionality acts through the medium of nature much like our human creative intentionality works as artificer on or through a medium. 
  • The DUF also relates to arcane spiritual paths. It is the transformer aspect of the mysterium in Masonry, etc.  In Kabbalah, it is the Supernal Triad of the Tree of Life glyph manifesting from the Veils of Negative Existence.  In Buddhism, it is the Void.  In Vedic texts it is Pure Consciousness.  This paper sees DUF independent, yet productive, of esoteric paths either spiritual or soulful.  In this light, for example, Masonry is the spiritual or arcane intellectual dimension of Yang spirituality.


Demiurge as Chaos 

Evolution is chaos with feedback.  --Gleick, Chaos 

Our need to procreate and to know originates in what the ancient Greeks called Chaos. The undecomposable domain of Chaos was not envisioned as an emptiness, but a rich, generative source – a bornless nothingness from which all form proceeded.  

In the beginning only Chaos existed.  Structures arise out of chaos in resonance with the existing environment.  Chaos theory gives us a contemporary version of genesis, presenting the universe as a fractal manifestation of nature in dynamic evolution at the edge of chaos. 

All creation stories, including our scientific ones, begin in a fertile Nothingness from which the world springs into being.  Buddhism echoes this notion saying that form is not other than void, and void is not other than form. Each form eventually becomes dissonant with its changing surroundings and begins the process of dissolving back into chaos.  

The seemingly random element (virtual fluctuation > bifurcation) produced the Heavens (Uranus), and Gaea, the deep-breasted earth or matter, from within infinite potential.  In other words, the first descent of matter came across the threshold of the chaotic matrix, the virtual vacuum fluctuation.  For matter to exist, the force of attraction (super-celestial Eros) also had to appear.  This cosmic trinity of chaos, matter, and attraction appears at the heart of modern chaos theory. 

The Greek creation myth speaks to us from the remote depths of the unknown, before the birth of human consciousness.  It represents an aspect of the universe (Uranus, the first patterning of matter as it emerges from the creative edge of chaos), which appeared before space/time (Cronos in the Greek worldview). 

We must not minimize the alienating nature of time, which has become the one undeniable ruler of our world. But neither can we forget Nietzsche’s injunction, ‘one must have a bit of Chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.’

Zero is pure unmanifest potential, even prior to the original creative impulse.  The secret of the universe is that we all contain a bit of it within us, and it is ‘alive.’  Whatever the essence of chaos is, we are that.  It’s psychic equivalent has been called cosmic or superconsciousness, by Bucke and James.  ‘Emptiness’ is an integral aspect of our psychophysical being, mind/matter. 

The view this article takes of the DUF is much like a lens, or a generative matrix for the emergence of self-organization and creativity both in the universe and mankind.  The “no-thing” of pure information becomes a structured “some-thing” through intentionality coupled with chaotic determinism (self-organized emergent order).  A chaotic system is arbitrarily sensitive to perturbation and hence responsive. 

Self-organization is an emergent property of systems and organisms, from the cosmos to human beings.  Chaotic dynamics governs the emergence of this new order from apparent randomness.  The deep coherence of the overall process implies hidden or missing information for holistic patterning within the apparent ‘noise’ or randomness of chaotic patterns.  The traditional and philosophical name of that coherence is the Demiurge. 

Jung (1961) said, ‘To this day God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of life for better or worse.’

Chaos theory provides an interesting philosophical basis for exploring the relationship of psyche and matter – the interface of mind and matter.  Perhaps one of its primary virtues is that it allows us to formulate a theory of consciousness, creativity, learning, and healing based on an organic model of transformation, rather than a mechanistic or cybernetic process. 

Nature repeats herself at all levels of organization.  Therefore, insight on the fundamental nature of matter and the relationship of interacting systems reveals analogies with human existence and behavior.  Whatever nature is, we are that.  As the ancient alchemists noticed, the transformation of matter is analogous to transformation in the psyche.   

This is not to say that consciousness cannot transcend its physical substratum.  If we concur with physicist David Bohm, positing consciousness as pure information, it not only transcends the human sphere but the entire domain of physical manifestation.  In fact, this transcendent demiurgic impulse underlies all manifestation. 

Psyche is not separate from matter; consciousness is not separate from matter.  But this philosophy is neither dualist nor materialist – it is functionalist, i.e. it works.  Yet it also draws on the romantic or idealist traditions of Platonism, shamanism, philosophy, hermetics, the arts, and depth psychology.

Chaos Theory (CT) is the third revolution in science after relativity and quantum theory.  It is the prime source of unpredictability in the macrocosmic world and the human scale, formerly described only by classical Newtonian physics.  Chaos and complexity is nature's own way of organizing systems and creating structure.  All systems emerge from and eventually dissolve back into chaos. 

Chaos is ubiquitous in nature, but it was missed by science due to the overwhelming complexity of detecting its underlying pattern and purpose.  Chaos theory means dynamic processes are deterministic though unpredictable.  Much the same can be said for its discovery in human physiology and psychology, including the creative process. 

It is well established now that most dynamics in nature, ranging from the orbits of planets to psychophysical and behavioral adjustments in life, are essentially chaotic.  We are chaotic systems ourselves, and chaotic systems exhibit holistic behavior.  Holism sees the world in all its diversity as connected through complex feedback loops.  Through the chaotic process of emergence, order appears spontaneously or even instantly within a system. 

The holistic scientific metaphor provided by chaos theory allows us to describe the psyche in terms congruent with physical reality.  This is simply the way nature works, and the way our nature works, too.  It provides a comprehensive psychophysical metaphor for uniting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realities. 

Holism is a paradigm - a worldview, which is equally applicable to the universe and our human existence.  Chaos Theory is not a metaphor, per se, but functions as a science metaphor to describe systems, organisms, and dynamic behavior, including complex adaptation.  It describes how order emerges from the creative edge of chaos.   

People often spontaneously incorporate science metaphors in their self-narratives, using such terms as "black holes" and "melt downs," or "quantum leaps," etc. to describe their feelings or personal dynamics.  And the same can be done with aspects of chaos theory which can describe how we adapt to life at the edge of chaos in our own unique way, how we move culturally and individually from emergency to ‘emergence.’ 

Paradigms from one field of science often interpenetrate others.  Because the findings are more than metaphorical, they translate across disciplines. Metaphors reflect the interdependency of mind and body, and the embodied nature of metaphor holistically reflects the unity of individual and world.  The events and experiences of our lives become embedded in our structure and metabolism.  We might call this embodiment "metaphorms." 

Over time we can expect this paradigmatic shift to penetrate more deeply into the cultural fabric of our lives and an integrative health system and sustainable lifestyle changes for the world. Chaos theory, systems theory, and complexity theory have shown us that self-organizing order emerges from chaos, and is thus the paradigm of the natural healing process.  It describes the dissolution or fragmentation and reconstruction (archetypal death/rebirth) of the volitional self.  It helps us attach a more positive valence to disruptions of our mortal human lives, either through illness, misfortune, or global cultural changes.

Chaos Theory (CT) is a holistic discipline, which has cut across all the sciences, from cosmology to medicine.  It has grown to include models of nonlinear complex dynamics, patterns of randomness, global effects, scale-invariance and deterministic chaos from the quantum to macroscopic realms, including the human scale.   

Gleick (1987) said, ‘Where chaos begins, classical science stops.  By that, he means mechanistic models and linear, causal descriptions stop and the nonlinear rules of turbulence hold sway.  Near criticality, a crisis-point, predictability becomes impossible. 

CT includes the science and computer modeling of fractals, bifurcations, intermittencies, strange attractors, complex feedback loops, and periodicities.  In complexity theory, humans are viewed holistically as complex adaptive systems.  This has also offered us a new, more positive perspective on the nature of chaos and disruption in our lives. 

Chaos comes into our lives through an endless variety of crises and decision points.  We all intuitively recognize how chaos interpenetrates our lives, punctuating our so-called equilibrium, diverting our most carefully crafted plans and detouring our agendas.  Sometimes it hits us broadside, literally as accidents.  It is unpredictability, part of our emotional "weather," and we are generally trying to adjust to it in some way.

Chaos theory holds that the more complex a system, the more stable and self-correcting it is.  Disruption to a linear system throws it off course, but only affects a portion of a complex system, which soon adjusts to "fill in the gap."  Chaos can engulf us either subjectively or objectively, but becomes embodied in any case, beginning by increasing our stress levels, unless we can find creative ways to move it from inside ourselves into an outwardly expressed manifestation. 

Chaos theory helps us explain how new forms, or orders, even new self-images and cultural paradigms emerge from the confusing, empty space of the mind, even from the lacuna between each of our breaths.  There is hidden order in apparent randomness.

The DUF in Myth 

The Demiurgic Field can be envisioned as a transpersonal, transtemporal morphic field of dreams.  This field is transcendent to spacetime and human categories of Past/Present/ Future.  It is the eternal field from which polarized archetypal energies and myths arise.  These archetypes underlie our paradigms or worldviews.  Our intrinsic values and ethics are conditioned and emerge from our worldview.  

Originally a Greek word for craftsman or artisan, in Plato's dialogue Timaeus, the Demiurge is the creator of the world, the builder of the material universe of manifest form. In Platonic idealism, all forms emerge from an ideal plane of universals.  

In later Neoplatonic and Gnostic philosophies, the Demiurge is still considered the autonomous architect of the world, fashioning manifestation from dynamic interplay of opposites.  However, the Demiurge is an entity distinct from and secondary to the supreme God (the progenitor).  Unpersonified, the DUF is the dream from which ‘stuff’ is made, an energic ‘intentionality.’ 

The Demiurge is like a lens for cosmic consciousness, which as it passes through the lens/field then fashions reality with its dualism.  DUF can be imaged as a divine craftsperson possibly like the Holy Spirit, working with the archetypes as patterns for constellating esoteric energies into imaginal, symbolic, or concrete apparitions, eg. Jesus, Gnostic archons, or the Anima Mundi.   

Thus, the Demiurge takes esoteric consciousness as undifferentiated universal energy and through its impact on the plane of emergent form shapes or artifices (manifests) reality (manifestation).  The demiurge then is the supreme morphogenesis, the coming into being of form. 

R. W. Emerson said, ‘Imagination is not a talent of some men, but the health of every man.  The True Imagination of humans gives us access to the mesocosmos, which links to the physical reality of the microcosmos via intuition to archetypes, and to the alchemic realm of the macrocosmos via consciousness.  So imagination has two dimensions – intuition and reason.  

In this view, the DUF therefore underlies the domain of archetypes – it is the domain of Hermes – the messenger between the archetypes and man.  As ‘messenger of the gods,’ he has access to the supercelestial realm, the terrestrial and subterranean worlds. 

In myth and religion, the demiurge is often identified with creator gods that are essentially ‘Saturnian’, such as the jealous and hostile Yahweh of The Bible.  The Greek Cronos (or Roman, Saturn) was so jealous of his offspring, he sought to devour them immediately upon their birth.  It is the relentless antagonism of time toward form and structure.  And, on the religious level it evokes mankind’s rebellious antagonism to the constraints of boundaries and structure – the embodiment of the instinctual side of life. 

These negatively oriented demiurges are linked to the notion of ‘timeboundedness,’ the primary characteristic of their manifestation. They arose to prominence about the time mankind began calculating the movement of the planets in the heavens in ancient Sumeria.  They are counters; they keep a tally, including a ‘spiritual bankbook’ on the activities of human beings.  They are, in fact, personifications of the nature and ordeals of time.  Their spirit is essentially melancholic. 

In India, time is Kal, who is a subordinate deity to the highest unmanifest divinity.  Kal rules the manifestation from the Causal level of Universal Mind to the gross material world.  There is a different Brahm for each manifestation of the universe between dissolutions.  In other words, these deities are the creators and administrators of local universe.   

As the ‘negative’ power, Kal plays a tempter role similar to the Christian devil, but in the east such is considered his fate and job, so he is thought of as just a lesser ‘good’ rather than demonized.  He is also the Lord of Karma, the natural consequences of all action and behaviour – a causal model.  Nothing escapes this all-seeing malevolent eye. 

These negative embodiments of universal generation create conflict with our notions of a ‘good’ god, who is compassionate and loving, rather than rooted in fear, retribution and payment for all-too-human behavior.  This dichotomy has formed the warp and woof of spirituality since Zoroastrian polarization of the forces of creation into negative and positive aspects (Ahura Mazda).  This religion heavily influenced all Mediterranean spirituality through the spread and mixing of philosophical ideas (syncretism), just as ancient Sumerian tales reappeared later in The Bible.  (Eliade, History of Religious Ideas). 

It is this descent through time and matter that creates the limitations of mortality and timeboundedness – that leads all forms toward their entropic demise -- death.  In the mechanistic models of classical physics we are all doomed to ‘heat death’ due to thermodynamic entropy.  But models, which include feminine values, rather than just competitive paternalistic values, are more balanced and optimistic.  Gender reunion is based on interdependent partnership. 

Most of the demiurgic creator gods arose within the minds of men when there was a great cultural translation from worship of the Great Goddess to masculine deities.  This shift marked the move from agrarian to technological societies.  The human psyche has been polarized and out of balance since.   

A possible exception to this notion is the underground current of hermetic philosophy in the Western world, which seeks to holistically reunite the polarized masculine and feminine currents in such arcane pursuits as magic and alchemy – to release the godhead in matter by reconnecting with that Source. 

The internal flow of archetypal process is like a symphony – the music of the spheres.  It is a nonlinear, complex, dynamic flow of pure spontaneous creativity and unfolding possibilities.  Individual archetypes are various instruments within that melody. 

The legendary Egyptian, Hermes Trismegestus was full of this metaphysical spiritual power.  He is godfather of all the Hermetic Arts, the mystic arts and occult powers, as well as science.  Resurgence of this hermetic spirit gave rise to the Renaissance after the Dark Ages.   

Hermes had power over language, writing and signs, and creative rituals, like his predecessor, the Egyptian god, Thoth.  Later, Hermes was identified with the creative Logos, the Word.  The Greek Hermes was messenger of the gods, and thus able to connect the transpersonal (superconscious), human, and underworlds (subconscious). 

The Hermetica included works on magic, alchemy, astrology, healing, gnosis, theurgy, ritual, and philosophy.  These texts were based on notions of sympathetic magic, that like substances sharing an essence could influence one another through resonance effects, synchronicities.  Likewise, the hypnotic and magnetic qualities of charismatic personalities can create rapport with others to influence them.  Hermes, like all archetypes, has a dark side – the Trickster. 

In Hermetic philosophy, God is One and creator of all things which continue to depend on Him.  Everything is part of God, and God is in everything, his creative activity continuing unceasingly.  All things are one and the pleroma of being is indestructible.  Divine powers knit together the energies of the sun, planets and stars, operating on all bodies, animate or inanimate.  This is the notion of cosmic sympathy.  This doctrine of sympathy applies both our bodies and spirits, in the magico-religious worldview. 

As the god who presides over boundaries, Hermes is able to transcend them.  He is therefore also the ruler of ceremonial magic, which transcends the limits of ordinary consciousness, communing with the divine.  Identification with a given energy is accomplished by a three-fold ritual, which echoes the generic creative process: 

1).  Separation from the profane or ordinary state of consciousness.  Dissolution of the ordinary state of consciousness. 

2).  The transition stage, or twilight zone which lies between them.  Creative or chaotic consciousness. 

3).  The new order or perception of reality which occurs in the sacred time of the soul.  Identification with enhanced sense of self, greater well being. 

Hermes is The Magus, the magician, the lord of boundaries, or doorways, the threshold or liminal area.  The inbetween, or twilight zone, enables a state of receptivity to become established.  It allows an emptying process, a letting go.  Ritual acts reawaken deep layers of the psyche.  This brings the mythological or archetypal ideas back to memory. 

Hermes is the god who also rules technological acumen; his latest incarnation is our computer-driven society.  He is the silicon chip, the electrical impulse, the fantasy of the cybernaut and cyborg.  He is the computer whiz, the programmer, the tekkie.  But he is still the motivating archetype behind all the sciences – the quest to unravel and control the hidden secrets of nature and the physical universe.  He also governs the mysteries of the mind, including parapsychology, which inhabits the borderline between “hard” sciences and the occult. 

Myths, according to d’Aquili, present themselves as systems of antinomies, or opposites: heaven/hell, good/evil, life/death. Because of a basic function of the brain he calls that ‘binary operator.’  This function abstracts qualities of things and arranges them as pairs of opposites, or dyads, whose meaning is intimately related to its partner.  He conjectures that it is located on the inferior parietal lobe of the dominant side, and is one way the mind seeks to understand the world.  Myths play on these antinomies and propose solutions to them. 

Myths are like collective dreams; ritual is an enactment of myth.  So, we create myths to satisfy our need to understand our environment and give us some sense of control over it, or an understanding of our place in it.  A given myth has stability of structural relationship and meaning.  In science we call them ‘models’.  Like metaphors, they provide a reference point without defining a reality. 

Jung extensively explored hermeneutics in analytical psychology, particularly in regard to alchemy.  Polyani (1962) carried his ideas forward when he said: ‘Heuristic passion is. . . the mainspring of originality. . . the force which impels us to abandon an accepted framework of interpretation and commit ourselves by the crossing of a logical gap, to the use of a new framework.’  Heuristics is behind our current notion of ‘paradigm shift.’ 

He goes on to say, ‘Having made a discovery, I shall never see the world again as before.  My eyes have become different; I have made myself into a person seeing and thinking differently.  I have crossed a gap, a heuristic gap, which lies between problem and discovery.’ 

The problem becomes not one of how to know something radically new, but how to learn something radically new.  Thus metaphors are instructive.  They are a central Way of leaping the epistemological chasm between old and new knowledge, old and new ways of essential being.  Metaphors help us makes this leap, help us enter a problematic situation in order to solve it, to explore it, and explore the world restructured by this metaphor. 

We can tap the source of creativity, healing and holistic restructuring through imagination and metaphor.  The possibilities for concepts and thought are shaped in very special ways by both the body and the brain that evolved to control it, especially the sensory-motor system.  Conceptual metaphors appear to be neural maps that link sensory-motor domains in the brain to region where more abstract reasoning is done.  This allows sensory-motors structures in the brain to play a role in abstract reasoning (Lakoff, 1999). 

In fact, when metaphors are synchronistic, emergent, spontaneous, self-organizing expressions of our dynamic stream of consciousness, they are an imaginal encoding of information that bridges the domains of conscious and unconscious worlds, material and transpersonal realms.  Such metaphors can be deeply transformative – more than mere language.  They are a technology for changing our behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.  Intentional contact and immersion in these metaphors can transform our spirit and soul. 

How can we know or describe anything about the changes we have not yet experienced, change that by universal consensus takes us beyond the realm of everyday reality?  Metaphors contain a subtle communication by containing meaning in a delicate net of imagery.  In psychotherapy and mysticism, it is characteristic of the Self to speak to ego-personality in the language of myth and metaphor.  It allows us to grasp some image of that which remains as-yet-unknown. 

The mystical and religious literature of East and West, and the secret oral traditions of esoteric spiritual schools have used myths, parables, similes, symbols, and metaphors to allude to that strange process that somehow transforms our deepest selves.  This is the essence of the Hermetic process. 

Classical metaphors of transformation are embodied in the primordial wisdom traditions.  Though they have used many tales, at least ten themes seem to reiterate, over and over.  They include the following dynamic transformations of lifestyle, soul and spirit: 

·        Dream sleep to awakening;

·        Illusion to realization;

·        Darkness (blindness) to enlightenment;

·        Imprisonment to liberation; (freedom)

·        Fragmentation to wholeness (unifying);

·        Separation to oneness (unifying);

·        Journey to destination; (arrival)

·        Being in exile to coming home (returning);

·        From seed to flowering or fruiting plant or tree (unfolding);

·        From death to rebirth (renewal, resurrection). 

Like Hermes, metaphors are a force which connects and interprets.  Metaphors are events, holistic schemas, not objects.  Generative metaphors can be viewed as problem– setting scenes and problem–solving situations.  Our conceptual system is largely metaphorical.   

Metaphor is not merely a superficial phenomenon of language, but shapes our judgments and structures our language.  Displaying many facets, metaphor pervades our everyday non-theoretical language.  A metaphor is a holistic schema, a unifying framework that links a conceptual representation to its sensory and experiential ground.  It embodies the gestalt and ecological properties of thought.  It is the generic basis of myth.


DUF, cont.