The temple sacrifice of a lamb to cleanse the impurity that is sin, is always suspect of becoming a cargo-cult, incomprehending, magic substitute for sacrificing the pseudo-freewill egoic thinking. When Abraham (a mythic pseudo-historical figure) sacrificed the God-provided lamb, *that* was a true and correct and pure and righteous sacrifice, a meaningful sacrifice in which Abraham formally and ritually rejected his false, egoic thinking about time, self, and control.
Abraham's sin (delusion) was not cancelled *because* he sacrificed the lamb; Abraham's sacrifice of the God-provided lamb was not efficacious via Pelagian-type works-based salvation. The corruption of the priests amounts to turning it *into* a profit-driven cargo-cult monkey-imitation incomprehending magic ritual, or a just plain misguided lower attempt at religion, rather than real religion.
The theologians who tried to frame the Jews and practicing righteousness or salvation through works, were hypocrites who themselves didn't understand no-free-will and the difference between a righteous and unrighteous sacrifice. Or those accusers were evil liars out to frame the Jews, or they stupidly fail to recognize in the Jewish scriptures the emphasis on the difference between a genuine and an illegitimate magic sacrifice.
Suppose we have in front of us Abraham and a well-meaning but uncomprehending priest. An uncomprehending priest can be called a bad priest, unfaithful priest, or wicked priest.
(The priest may be bad in the sense of being profit-driven, but that criticism seems out of place in the Old Testament scriptures. Abraham seemed vulgarly profit-driven too, rather than high-moral driven like Jesus, but bracket that off.)
Abraham holds the knife above Isaac, but sacrifices the lamb instead, and his sin is cleansed -- he becomes righteous with God, his transgressions are cancelled, and so on. The priest sees this. The priest doesn't understand *why* or *how* the sacrificing of the lamb is connected to Abraham being declared righteous by God.
In like manner, I, trembling, bended the knee to acknowledge the coherent meaning of the godman savior concept, and my thinking became purified of the egoic corruption (my egoic demon left me, my child was cast down into Hades, shiva stood on top of the homunculus, my inner Michael the Archangel pinned my inner serpent). Now, from the point of view of an onlooker: was my demon cast out *because* I bended the knee?
By no means; not at all. Bending the knee is actually not necessary. No physical action is necessary; bending the knee was just a way of mentally assisting the sacrifice of my child thinking.
Suppose the onlooker sees me bend the knee and accepts that my thinking has been Reconciled with Truth (saved, or purified, or made righteous in God's eyes, or be reconciled to Zeus or Isis or the Goddess Matrix or to my Higher Self). That onlooker might incorrectly conclude that I was Reconciled *because* I bended the knee -- like Abraham sacrificing the lamb. They would be mistaken.
They might then bend their own knee like a good magic supernaturalist lower Christian, but they would not actually be a true follower of the higher Jesus by that action. We could say they merely follow the lower Jesus (which isn't saying much - one could say that's following the Devil), rather than following the higher Christ. To be righteous in God's sight, bending the knee is as inefficacious as keeping Moses' commands.
Millions of lower Christians pray and attend church and take the placebo eucharist all the time, and are still counted among the damned (the lost, the egoic thinkers, the unrighteous, the unfaithful, the followers of false gods, devil worshippers, those who are outside, the unforgiven, the sinners, the children of darkness, the false Israel, the Titans, the evil ones who crucified Christ, the harlots, the impure race, the sons of perdition, the sons of Ishmael rather than Isaac, and so on).
The true Israel does not keep the commands as a method of becoming Righteous; rather, they do it only as a sign of their understanding no-free-will and therefore assigning all power to God as puppetmaster. To assert that the true Israel seeks Righteousness through following Mosaic law is either framing the Jews or failing, oneself, to understand and be counted among the Righteous or the Reconciled.
>after several years on the Gospel of Thomas list, have seen a bunch of posts from people making really over the top remarks about angels, gods and the like. There are also posts that one knows came from people who had genuine experiences. Of course, your next question would be, "how can you tell the over the edge remarks weren't genuine?" Guess the answer is that I can't, but the list members seemed to sense which ones were not as well.....
>for example, there was one who seemed to be saying God had told him to kill himself.
He may have been the authentic one. In the mystic climax, the mind's perfected logic says that the lower self must be killed, as God offered up his Son as a righteous sacrifice in the mythic plane. The mind contains an innate impulse to kill the lower self to gain transcendent knowledge and self-integrity. This impulse can be directed successfully to a comprehension of the meaning of the godman's willing death of his lower kingly self, so that one participates in the godman's death on the mythic plane as the godman. Or the impulse can fail and be interpreted literally as killing oneself bodily to gain righteousness and reconciliation with the transcendent deity.
From Gnosis issue on death -- obviously this is a mystic metaphor, that when the rabbi died, the clocks stopped. Always read "death" first as a mystic death, not as bodily death.
>As an atheist I wouldn't want to call drugs like LSD "entheogens". I prefer the term "psychedelic", meaning "soul manifesting", because I see psychedelic experience as a psychological adventure.
I think the concept of "soul" serves the purpose of propping up the deluded mental model of ego as a metaphysically free agent who authors his own future by acting upon the world independently of the time axis.
Who supposedly goes to enjoy his heavenly reward or suffer his hellish punishment for his supposedly metaphysically free moral actions? The soul. Such a soul is the daemonic lie.
"Soul" or "the soul" has also been a mysterious word that has no resonance with me at all. It has no connotation within my thinking. It is an empty shell of a term that fails to resonate in any framework of meaning I possess, just like my grandfather's completely alien explanation that Christ's blood paid a ransom for our sins.
It just leaves me with a complete black-box with a question mark on it; I don't even know what is supposed to be inside.
I have no idea what people *mean* by the utterance of "soul", but now I have definitely found an understanding of it that makes sense, fitting perfectly into the ego-death theory I'm gathering together.
It's interesting that an atheist translates 'psychedelic' as "soul manifesting". As a cognitive theorist, I prefer the translation "mind revealing". 'psyche' minds "mind". 'delos' means "reveal" or "show".
If I were to coin a Greek or Latin term for such plants and chemicals, I would create a translation of the English phrase "cognitive-loosening agents", because I am interested in what it is that makes these plants "mind revealing".
These plants reveal the mind because of their primary action, which is the loosening of cognition, or the binding intensity within mental construct association matrixes.
The egoic mind enters the labyrinth of exploring the entheogenic
state. The curious mind that seeks adventure and wants to fully
grasp profundity and the nature of self as controller will be drawn
curiously and inexorably toward the intuited strange attractor
Once the mind starts thinking the thoughts involved in the vortex,
the will starts becoming traitorious and starts drawing the mind,
against the will yet by means of the will, into the center. There
are both positive and negative aspects of this labyrinth as a puzzle
that you try to solve that ends in your metaphysical death.
On the one hand, finding the route that leads into the lair of the
Minotaur is joyous successful discovery and solving the great riddle
of self as an imposter controller, an imposter governor-sovereign.
On the other hand, finding the route that leads into the heart
suddenly is revealed as something you maybe don't really want to do
after all, because it means the risk of self-control chaos and the
certainty of a kind of sacrifice.
Congratulations, you have solved the puzzle, now you shall willingly
kill yourself by fully transgressing egoic self-control. The puzzle
then is how can we cheat the immortals' justice and logic? How can
we fulfill the highest spiritual goal of "fully transgress the egoic
self-control delusion" while living and returning to tell about it?
And why, why would this really have to be harmful in any ordinary
sense, when it's all about an extraordinary insight? To "fully
transgress" means to kill, but what does "kill" mean in a relevant
How can we "fully kill the deluded egoic controller" or "fully kill
the deluded false worldmodel?" It means a radical shift of identity,
establishing a barrier to shut out the old egoic identity.
One extreme is the gnostic or philosophical way, of salvation and
redemption through knowledge alone. The ego is strictly a mental
construct, and to kill it most directly and pointedly requires a
purely mental action -- the *thought* of a sacrificial killing of
That is the most fitting and appropriate sacrifice. You could say
physical sacrifice is a sin, in that it misses the mark. How could
physical sacrifice ever be the most appropriate type, for
establishing and securing a mental comprehension of the illusory
nature of the egoic mental construct?
Either the sacrifice is mental, or nothing. It must happen on the
mental realm, or it's a misfire. Gnostics consider the sacrifice of
Jesus to be just an idea, only an event in the mental realm.
Although nothing stops us, practically, from choosing when and where to meditate in our exotic spice garden, from the metaphysical point of view, it is not in our sovereign power to command the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is hidden from us when we suddenly decide to meditate here, now, using this technique instead of that one. So even before the Holy Spirit *manifests*, it has *already* secretly steered us onto its cognitive onramp.
We are already navigating along the crazy rails on our way to the heart of the sun, center of the labyrinth -- the bull-man of ego death, our deathly double on the road ahead, is *already* proceeding to meet us at the fatal point of doom in the future of our stream-of-cognition worldline. The mind is not yet going into overdrive trying to escape from its own falling doors of logic that drop into place ever faster in a fatal attraction.
We don't yet perceive it, but our mind is *already* being pulled along the single-path labyrinth toward the dread, devouring, bull-man Minotaur at the heart of the labyrinth...
The eagle's beak stabbing Prometheus' liver, or the side-piercing sword of the Eagle-standard Roman army, is the event of being stabbed not just by time, but perhaps more to the point, one's cybernetic heart and core is "pierced" by one's own worldline -- the stream of mental constructs, frozen in spacetime, constituting a person's life, which was created before the foundation of the world, from outside of all time. It is the piece of your labyrinth of ego death that stabs the egoic thinking dead.
So I would say the spear or lightningbolt of Zeus is, cybernetically and explicitly, the idea of a that sequence of mental constructs lying along the time axis in such a way that ego's supposed power over the future thought-stream is fatally overthrown, disproven, compromised, revealed as irrational and fantastic, deluded, incoherent, impossible, null, impotent, only a dead power this whole time.
This is the fatal defeat of egoic thinking; the cybernetic homunculus is cast down into the land of the shades, into Hades, where it remains active in the mind as merely a practical convention, a practical impossibility, practical nonsense and absurdity. You'd have to be the very creator of time itself, a God over Time, to be able to create your own train of mental constructs that is laid across time.
The following is somewhat a report of facts, primary data; and somewhat an uncertain hypothesis ventured. Your mileage may vary; it's very early in this paradigm; this is merely a sketch of possibilities that need research and corroboration by multiple investigators who are committed to scientific discovery.
My main concern here is not truth, but rather, to describe the mental dynamics that are our birthright and potential. The frozen block-universe model certainly is coherent, for all practical purposes, even independent of Bohm. Wilber has written related material saying religious insight of cosmic unity or no-separate-self is distinct from Bohm's type of physical-realm holistic cosmic unity.
What is truth? What is coherence? It is not necessary to push these ideas to some point of perfection. The point is, these are extremely potent ideas that are our potential and birthright to discover: the timeless frozen block-universe idea, and the Greek mystery-religion idea of a person's entire life of conscious experience as a frozen thread of mental constructs (which essentially appears in Watts' book The Way of Zen, too).
Ego death is not so much a "true proposition", as a *discovery* of certain mental dynamics that are completely beyond question. Ego death, viewed as a mental potential, is a fact. And the ideas or philosophical propositions of block universe determinism and of the frozen thread of mental constructs, successfully explain this fact.
It is a fundamental data to be explained, not a hypothesis to be proven or disproven, that *when* you use loose cognition and put egoic self-control on trial in the courtroom of your mind, using mature and sophisticated rationality that rejects all magic thinking, and you consider the idea of frozen block-universe determinism, and consider the idea of the sequence of your mental constructs as being a thread or worldline frozen into that block universe from start to finish, you *will* get shocked and your egoic scepter *will* go flying across the room and *will* "bend the knee to accept the mythic godman concept", so to speak.
I have no confidence in anything I say; I'm just reporting the descriptions of dynamic ideas which seem to hang together. I would like to hear whether other scientific TechGnostic psychonauts are forced to the same active -- rather than hypothetical -- conclusion.
Some of the above strong propositions about what dynamics lurk in the mind can be considered mere hypotheses, but remember, scientists must be guided by data interacting with experimental techniques and paradigms and theories, and I above put forth a paradigm with its own kinds of data, kinds of proof, kinds of conclusions, kinds of methods.
*Does* the mind really contain an electrifying egodeath potential? If you think the above thoughts in loose cognition, *will* you actually be shocked and jolted? I suppose anything, any report, any method, can be questioned -- but in any case, here is the experience-proven paradigm, data, explanation, and conclusions. Run the experiment yourself, and we can establish some consensus.
Alas, I lost faith in the value of "scientific consensus", the moment I saw how the dominant, popular quantum mechanics scientists -- the Copenhagenists -- deliberately abused semantics, conflating the "collapse" of our knowledge into a determinate measurement, with the "collapse" of the particle itself.
It's taken decades to undo that erroroneous, rationality-hating, psychologically-motivated move; only now is the good sense of Einstein, Schrodinger, and Bohm being admitted as legitimate, with their frozen, holistic, timeless-deterministic model of spacetime, utilizing hidden variables. God does not *necessarily* play dice. Quantum Physics interpretation offers us a choice: either bafflement, magic, wonderment, joyful throwing up of the hands; or hidden variables.
I pick hidden variables, with Einstein and Bohm, even if it should necessitate accepting action-at-a-distance. At least it *makes sense* and is designed to be much more visualizable than the deliberately vague Copenhagen interpretation.
The following is somewhat a report of facts, primary data; and somewhat an uncertain hypothesis ventured: From what I can tell, there is an apparent choice offered you (or a choice carried out in your mind) -- when you are trapped in the heart of the single-path time-labyrinth: either sacrifice your freewill thinking, or go insane and lose control (at least, that's one possible thought that can occur: that the holy spirit shows us "look, I the puppetmaster can either force you to sacrifice your freewill thinking, or I can force you to go insane or trans-sane and lose control.
You are nothing, you are the puppet, your cybernetic self-control is a proven joke and absurdity.
It is remarkable how ideas work themselves out through the mind, against your will, of their own accord. My brain used to storm me, from late 1985 using a dense shorthand notation and a highly abbreviated and choppy way of writing -- not publishable or readable.
This need for shorthand was even more urgent when the Holy Spirit of loose cognition miraculously descended on me through the spontaneous, inexplicable grace of Jesus (as happened with some Christian mystics of old who happened to cultivate exotic gardens). You can't argue with the Holy Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit chooses to descend on you while you are tending to the fruits of the garden, that is not for us to choose the time and circumstances; no, it is up to the Holy Spirit to inspire us even of what to gaze upon in the garden and which plants to cultivate. You can't force Grace, after all; no, the Grace of God is the secret true controller of all our decisions, including our so-called volitional choice of -- as a random example -- what to eat.
Can we be in control of God's grace, and in control of the Holy Spirit, given that we now have the Holy Spirit on tap at our beck and call while meditating in the garden? Doesn't this utterly demolish and bring to ruin everything that's ever been written by Reformed theologians about our total depravity, our lack of the freewill power needed to put faith in Jesus, and about our fundamental inability to reach out to accept Jesus' free offer of grace and salvation?
No; you see, the catch is -- we don't possess the freewill power to decide, sovereignly, with metaphysical freedom, when and how to enter the state of loose cognition. When I, prior to repentance and transformation of my spiritual orientation, decided to consume the Eucharistic flesh of Christ, I *thought* in my sin and delusion and spiritual blindness that *I* commanded the sovereign power of a metaphysically free decision. But in reality, the whole time, God was, as always, my hidden puppetmaster.
Even if someone should do something so evil, immoral, sinful, criminal, and reprehensible as inhale cannabis -- God forbid! -- *that too* would be, whether that sinner realizes it or not, an act ultimately under the control of God. So the insane and reckless, therefore seemingly freely willed decision of the demon-possessed to lift the sinful hooka-hose of immorality, that act too, is all part of God's plan and revealing of his formerly hidden glorious kingship.
This is the Old Testament equivalent of the conversion on the Road to Damascus. It is the confrontation with the childself-eating Minotaur in the mental construct sequence in the peak of the mystic experience. A person's enter worldline of mental constructs is frozen in spacetime like a thread in a marble slab or like a snake frozen in ice -- understanding this vividly amounts to the experience of control-death or cyberdeath. That's the thought that kills the childself.
Freke and Gandy emphasize ego as body, but I emphasize ego, more than they do, as a presumed *controller* -- thus my emphasis on no-free-will, more than on no-separate-self. A real master-theme in myth is one creature over another -- that's the higher over lower self. When you use a "rebirth" metaphor, all sorts of parent/child relations are shown such as mother holding child. Watts talks about riding an ox in search of the ox.
In Numbers 22 in the Old Testament, the donkey is the egoic control system that a person's mind and consciousness rides. Notice especially how the walls relentlessly close in until there is no cybernetic steering freedom; when one has no choice but to receive whatever mental construct has been placed next in your path, the donkey short-circuits and dies, giving up the demon.
This "labyrinthine trap of ego-death" passage from Numbers is likely taken from ancient religious lore and adapted into its OT scriptural context.
The walls are frozen time, the timeless fixity of one's mental construct sequence. Compare Osbourne: "We're going off the rails on a crazy train." Notice the vineyard theme in the second step of one's fearing and turning away from the holy thought that kills (and fulfills) -- wine = psychoactive mixture.
In the third step of the spacetime walls closing in on the egoic control system, all backdrop fades away and the demon comes face to face with its fatal impotence. One's egoic mind finds itself abandoned in this totally abstract mental arena: the angel of the Lord stood in "a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left".
Balaam said to the angel of the Lord , "I have sinned [have been a stupid ass]. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me [egoic control]. Now if you are displeased, I will go back." [I plead you to not kill my self-controller self. I will avoid knowing the awesome, astonishing Truth about my cybernetic self-control heart and contacting enlightenment.] The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but [now you know the Truth, that inherently, you can] speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius
by Lucius Apuleius, Graves, Robert Graves (Translator)
Thanks to the book Lost Goddess for mentioning the chapter "The Golden Ass in a Labyrinthine World", in Hellenistic Religions, Luther Martin. It reminded me of a dreamlike, surreal memory of reading about some Old Testament story of the donkey between walls -- in the book Gospel Fictions.
Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction
by Luther H. Martin
Do scholars recognize the isomorphism between Balaam's Ass, Golden Ass, Road to Damascus, and Minotaur Labyrinth? I did a quick Web search, but found no real hits for: balaam labyrinth.
I would say more (or less) but I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.
21[The diviner/seer] Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab [intending to curse Israel, as hired]. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord , she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again.
26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord , she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
29 Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."
30 The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"
"No," he said.
31 Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
32 The angel of the Lord asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.  33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."
34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord , "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?"
38 "Well, I have come to you now," Balaam replied. "But can I say just anything? I must speak only what God puts in my mouth."
39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the princes who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he saw part of the people.
4/24/02 I wrote:
>We are already navigating along the crazy rails on our way to the heart of the sun, center of the labyrinth -- the bull-man of ego death, our deathly double on the road ahead, is *already* proceeding to meet us at the fatal point of doom in the future of our stream-of-cognition worldline. The mind is not yet going into overdrive trying to escape from its own falling doors of logic that drop into place ever faster in a fatal attraction.
>We don't yet perceive it, but our mind is *already* being pulled along the single-path labyrinth toward the dread, devouring, bull-man Minotaur at the heart of the labyrinth...
>The eagle's beak stabbing Prometheus' liver, or the side-piercing sword of the Eagle-standard Roman army, is the event of being stabbed not just by time, but perhaps more to the point, one's cybernetic heart and core is "pierced" by one's own worldline -- the stream of mental constructs, frozen in spacetime, constituting a person's life, which was created before the foundation of the world, from outside of all time. It is the piece of your labyrinth of ego death that stabs the egoic thinking dead.
>So I would say the spear or lightningbolt of Zeus is, cybernetically and explicitly, the idea of a that sequence of mental constructs lying along the time axis in such a way that ego's supposed power over the future thought-stream is fatally overthrown, disproven, compromised, revealed as irrational and fantastic, deluded, incoherent, impossible, null, impotent, only a dead power this whole time.
>This is the fatal defeat of egoic thinking; the cybernetic homunculus is cast down into the land of the shades, into Hades, where it remains active in the mind as merely a practical convention, a practical impossibility, practical nonsense and absurdity. You'd have to be the very creator of time itself, a God over Time, to be able to create your own train of mental constructs that is laid across time.
Question: Donkey myths recognized equivalent to labyrinth?
Am I possibly the first scholar to recognize the equivalence of the religious riding-donkey stories and the death-in-a-labyrinth myth?
Is it fairly common knowledge among theologians that Numbers 22:21 -- the story of Balaam's Ass -- is equivalent to the Minoan myth of the Minotaur in the labyrinth that eats children? Or am I the first one to recognize this?
The donkey-in-labyrinth myth expresses the mystic-state experience of the stream of mental constructs being recognized as fixed in time so that whether you try to evade ego death by turning left away from the thought or turning right away from it, every move you mentally make actually only confirms the idea of inability to escape whatever thought lies ahead on path, in the preexisting stream of mental constructs.
I recognized the equivalence when I read the chapter title in the book Hellenistic Religions, by Luther Martin, "The Golden Ass in a Labyrinthine World". The rider-on-a-donkey theme, and the theme of falling-off-the-donkey and dying or becoming enlightened, is actually very common in myth; the rider is the higher consciousness or higher self or enlightened post-initiation adult-self, and the donkey is the stupid, illogical, lower ego-self or child-self including mundane self-control.
One story of a church father or mystic has him riding a donkey too fast in a forest and dying by hanging from a low-hanging tree branch. The book The Religion of Paul the Apostle (about Paul as shaman) shows an icon of Paul falling off his horse on the road to Damascus, but I am certain that it should show a donkey instead.
On Paul's trip to Damascus to persecute the Christians, he instead becomes enlightened and becomes a convert. On the diviner-for-pay Balaam's trip to curse the Jews, he encounters the angel, his eyes are opened, and he confesses sin/harmartia/erroroneous thinking regarding his donkey-self-ego, and instead of cursing the Jews, he blesses them. Thus Paul's ride to Damascus is the New Testament equivalent to the story of Balaam's Ass in the Old Testament.
My question is, have scholars before me recognized the isomorphism among any of the following myths?
o Balaam's Ass (Numbers 22:21)
o Paul falling while travelling on the road to Damascus
o The child-eating Minotaur in the Labyrinth (Minoan/Greek myth from Cnossus/Crete)
o The monk or church father who "died" by hanging from a low-hanging branch while riding a donkey
o Similar religious mythic stories involving riding a donkey or encountering an angel of death in a labyrinth
o Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as a sacrificial king
The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius
Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction (has a chapter "The Golden Ass in a Labyrinthine World")
by Luther H. Martin
Numbers 22 (Balaam's Ass)
>Don't forget Tristram Shandy's encounter with a donkey in Laurence Sterne's novel. Shandy is fleeing death, and encounters a donkey at the gates of Lyons. He gives it a macaroon, but it eats his trousers:
>I can see the links between the different donkey myths (although I think you should also have a look at Apuleius -
> which certainly has a link with the other archetypes you cite) but I can't for the life of me see why you're roping the minotaur in. Can you explain how you're making that connection? The minotaur wasn't a donkey, after all - that would have been a far less scary experience for the sons and daughters of Athens.
Perhaps that should be "Minoa/Crete/Cnossus", not Athens.
Did you read the story of Balaam's Ass? It might be a unique integration of the Minotaur myth and the various donkey-riding egodeath/enlightenment myths. My research question amounts to:
Have other scholars discovered that the Balaam's Ass story integrates the Minotaur myth with the various donkey-riding egodeath/enlightenment myths?
The Minotaur is equivalent to the angel that Balaam and his donkey are threatened by; the angel destroys delusion regarding one's self-control agency. The Minotaur is not equivalent to the donkey; rather, the Minotaur (which eats children or kills the child-self in the labyrinth) amounts to enlightenment *about* one's stupid asinine, childish, lower self, or child-self assumptions about one's nature as a "self-controller over time".
In the Minotaur myth, the elements are:
o Child entering the labyrinth
o Child eaten by Minotaur
o Minotaur at the center of the labyrinth
o Adult exiting the labyrinth (per my conception of the myth)
In the various donkey myths, the elements are:
o Human rider
o Donkey that is ridden
o Rider falls and dies, or hangs
o Possibly the idea of the donkey walking through *labyrinth* of world (per Golden Ass, especially Martin's chapter title "The Golden Ass in a Labyrinthian World").
My discovery, prompted by that chapter title triggering a memory of the surreal scenario of an Old Testament talking donkey caught between two closing-in walls, is that the Balaam's Ass story links the Minotaur myth with the various donkey myths, because it combines the structural elements of both:
o Near-death of both the lower donkey and the higher rider
o Death-dealing entity (angel of enlightenment about our lower self-control donkey-nature)
o Labyrinth forcing an essentially fatal, unavoidable collision with the mythic death-dealer
I need to know if I am the first scholar to discover that Balaam's Ass is a connecting link between the Minotaur myth and the religious donkey-riding myths.
>>I'm not sure about this "mystic or church father" you mention. Is this perhaps a garbled reference to the death of Absalom son of the Israelite king David? See http://www.ccel.org/wwsb/2Samuel/18.html.
Thank you for pointing out that story. I still think I read some other mythic-sounding story in a history of Christianity book, about a monk who died by hanging from a low-hanging branch while riding his donkey on a -- as I now seem to recall -- *narrow* path.
I don't understand all the parties and motives in the Absalom story, but here is my paraphrase. It has something to do with the ancient theme of sacrificing the king's son to save the king's kingdom. I read all such religious stories as more or less opaque stories of the sacrifice of one's lower, donkey self-identity, in order to awaken to one's higher self.
King David accepted his people's advice and stayed in the city instead of going to the battle. He commanded "Be gentle with the young man Absalom (David's son) for my sake." David's men won, killing many. Strangely, "the forest claimed more lives that day than the sword" (whatever that means).
--> The king's son Absalom happened to meet David's men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going. David's men saw this but missed the opportunity to kill Absalom, whom they were personally against.
The man who missed the opportunity to kill his personal enemy Absalom said "I would not lift my hand against the king's son" because of the king's command "Protect the young man Absalom for my sake."
--> The other man took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom's heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. Ten of Joab's armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. Then David's men stopped pursuing Israel. They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him.
Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, "Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has delivered him from the hand of his enemies." "You are not the one to take the news today," Joab told him. "You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king's son is dead." Two runners delivered the news of victory in the battle. Ahimaaz called out to the king, "All is well!" He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, "Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king."
The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Then the Cushite arrived and said, "My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has delivered you today from all who rose up against you." The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be [dead] like that young man."
--> The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you-O Absalom, my son, my son!"
So the "king", always representing the mystery-cult initiate, has managed to preserve his kingdom and rulership, but only by sacrificing and abandoning his "son" (his lower, egoic childself and way of thinking regarding self-will and self-command). Just as the mind can move past the Minotaur or Lord's angel into maturity but only by letting go of one's lower way of thinking, allegorized as child or donkey, respectively.
How the Balaam's Ass story is like the child-eating Minotaur labyrinth story
To highlight the Minotaur labyrinth aspect of the Balaam's Ass story again, here is my paraphrase of the Balaam's Ass story, with an emphasis on the parallels to the Minotaur/labyrinth child-killing myth:
When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand:
Step 1 (road): The angel stood in the road to oppose Balaam. So Balaam's donkey turned off the road into a field.
Step 2 (narrow path with walls): The angel stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. So Balaam's donkey pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it (alludes to old "limping king" theme when ego-power is partly crippled, indicating partial ego-death and partial enlightenment).
Step 3 (narrow place): The angel stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. Balaam's donkey lay down under Balaam. (ego-power or child-self collapses; full enlightenment).
Balaam said to the donkey he was riding (his lower child-self): "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now." Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Lord's angel standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord (acting like child-eating Minotaur) said "I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. I would certainly have killed you by now."
Balaam said to the Lord's angel, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back." He is permitted to go forward, now reconciled with both his lower donkey-self and with the Lord's angel, promising he will only say what the Lord makes him say.
Summary of the abstract psychology theory that explains both the Minotaur and Balaam's Ass myths:
In terms of the Minotaur labyrinth, the mind enters the labyrinth of introspection, encounters the ego-killing idea (Minotaur bull-man), negotiates with it, and has to accept the death of the ego delusion of personal self-will and self-command in order to move past that realization; adult ego-transcendence results.
Statement of my research question:
o Have other scholars recognized the equivalence of the Balaam's Ass story and the Minotaur myth?
Minor adjunct questions to contribute toward that master question are:
o Have other scholars besides me recognized these types of stories as a sacrifice or abandonment of the lower child-self (ego) in order to realize the higher adult-self?
o Have other scholars besides me recognized the equivalence of all these types of religious donkey-and-near-death stories?
o Have other scholars besides me recognized the donkey-and-near-death theme as a sacrifice or abandonment of the lower child-self (ego) in order to realize the higher adult-self?
A recent labyrinth-and-religion book states that there are two kinds of labyrinths: single-path, and multi-path. This is incorrect, as far as the cognitive phenomenon of ego-death is concerned. The most important type, the truly religious-experiencing type of labyrinth, is experienced as a decreasing-choice labyrinth. It is not as though you experience entering the labyrinth through a narrow door and the walls are immediately crushing in on you.
Rather, you at first enter the seemingly wide-open world itself, which isn't experienced as a restricted-motion labyrinth at all. But as you approach the heart of the labyrinth, it's only then that it starts dawning on you that there are walls, and that they are closing in on you. More than physical walls, this is a perception of the walls forming one's frozen-in-time stream of mental constructs, one's worldline that is timelessly suspended in spacetime.
I would try to draw this so that initially there are very many alternate (all 1-way) paths but they always end up leading to the core zone. Near the core zone of the maze, there are fewer and fewer alternatives, and they all lead to the innermost zone where the alternatives are reduced to three, two, one, singularity.
Adriadne's magic ball of thread for Theseus (a king's son) maps to the worldline of mental constructs, also allegorized as the thread of one's life that is entirely woven, measured, and cut by the Fates prior to one's incarnation.
Note the similarity of the names "Adriadne" and "Ariadne" the web-weaving, soul-snaring spider. Entering the labyrinth of the mystic altered state is like becoming increasingly tangled as a controller in the mind's own stream of mental constructs about self-control, until control is completely killed and short-circuited, completely escaping its own desperate clutch, so that the only hope for cosmic order, the only Way out of the trap that threatens total chaos of self-control, is the descent of a caring god from above, a personal controller agent from outside time.
The ego way of thinking experiences being gradually, increasingly caught and tangled in the trap of introspection of mental constructs regarding time, self, and control.
http://members.aol.com/maatmandala/mandala.htm#spiralb - excerpts with my annotations:
>>The Spirit, as Theseus in Greek Mythology, enters the labyrinth of the lower planes of manifestation to slay the Minotaur symbolizing the animal desires [the egoic control system/ kingship-pretense] of the Lower Self. He successfully leaves the maze by following Adriadne's thread. This is the thread-self or sutr-atma of consciousness which links the Lower Self of Personality [egoic thinking] with the Higher Self of the Individuality [transcendent thinking].
>>Achilles is vulnerable in his heel [the limping, half-enlightened, half-crippled pseudo-king], which the serpent-Scorpio of the desire-mind in the physical body. He enters Troy (the Lower Self) [egoic way of thinking] and kills Hector (the passions of the Lower Self) [delusion about personal sovereign kingship]. This is symbolized by his slaying of the Queen of the Amazons. The dragging of the body of Hector three times round the walls of Troy relates to the triadic nature of the Lower Self (mind, emotions and sensations) [victory over delusion - I would break out the 3 aspects of mental revision into categories such as discovery of metaperception, discovery about illusory nature of self-control, and discovery of frozenness of time].
>>>http://members.aol.com/maatmandala/mandala.htm#spiralb - excerpts with my annotations:
>>>The Spirit, as Theseus in Greek Mythology, enters the labyrinth of the lower planes of manifestation to slay the Minotaur symbolizing the animal desires [the egoic control system/ kingship-pretense] of the Lower Self. He successfully leaves the maze by following Adriadne's thread. This is the thread-self or sutr-atma of consciousness which links the Lower Self of Personality [egoic thinking] with the Higher Self of the Individuality [transcendent thinking].
One should not primarily think that the Minotaur labyrinth story is about killing the Minotaur. The primary story is about the Minotaur killing the child-self. The above is a fine epic hero story, as the mind does in some way overcome or move past the Minotaur (or the angel of the Lord blocking Balaam's path), but one must remember that this is a heroic-style telling of the story that is layered on top of the central idea and more basic myth, which is that children do enter the labyrinth and do get killed by the Minotaur.
It is implicitly understood by initiates that adults come out of the labyrinth, most likely by level-jumping out of the system -- that is, by being lifted by a god-outside-the-system that one's own parent-self is identified with. One must remember that the idea that comes first is that the Minotaur kills the children, not that the king's son kills the Minotaur.
A single initiate enters the labyrinth and dies one time only. (It's true that the egodeath experience is actually broken into multiple sessions, but I'm talking of an ideal single initiation that results in full mystery-religion salvation/enlightenment.) So as far as the ideal initiated person is concerned, the Minotaur dies in that he has done has work of eating the initiate's one and only firstborn child-self. For that initiate, the Minotaur is no longer relevant, in the theoretical ideal case.
The child-self enters, the child-self and Minotaur battle and they both die, and the adult exits with a god's help -- perhaps better, a "god-man" or a "god-adult" exits. Admittedly the whole point is that the child dies; it makes no sense to talk of the Minotaur dying. However, it might make sense to talk of the Minotaur ceasing to exist, or becoming eternally safely caged... but by the same token, we might as well talk of the whole labyrinth collapsing.
Another reading of the Minotaur myth that would fit the traditions is that to prevent lots of children from being eaten, the king's son slays the Minotaur but is himself slain, so that the king's lower child-self has been sacrificed to bring salvation to his kingdom.
Mithras slays the bull of cosmic determinism, divine Necessity, Fate, or heimarmene, and does so by postulating and personally identifying with rulership above time. The bull maps to the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Ego death is like the most powerful beast that fully overpowers egoic self-control thinking.
Ego death is an overpowering mental construct, the idea of time-stabbed control-loss, that lurks as a potential in the mind awaiting the mind's discovery of it.
To encounter this absolutely ego-overpowering bull-man in the labyrinth, coming face to face with it, and yet escape the labyrinth alive and with a sane and coherently ordered mind, the mind must adopt the Mithras godman configuration, which is the only way to preserve the mind's integrity and avoid destructive control-chaos. The mind must identify with Mithras and have the mind of Mithras.
To rely on Mithras as savior is to rely on the transcendent assumptions and mental worldmodel of self, time, and control that are represented by the Mithras figure. The only way to retain mental order during the encounter with the overpowering bull discovered lurking in the self-control subsystem of the mind, is to construct transcendent faith and identify with the higher Mithras identity and rely on that mental pattern as your only hope of escape and preserving mental order.
Is this all true? There is a clear consensus about these dynamics among the mystery-religion initiates, mystics, and acid-rock lyricists. Based on human knowledge to date, I think the only people who wouldn't concur with this way of seeing things is the uninitiated, such as exoteric religionists and non-Experienced humanists.
In the near-death experience, the experience of moving through a tunnel toward a bright light is a common standard theme. While listening to Iron Maiden's Heavy Rock song Heaven Can Wait, I noticed the line "I see a tunnel, I stand amazed". The entire song is highly mystic. The following lines map directly to the story of Balaam's Ass in the labyrinth-like space confronting the angel of death:
Is it now could it be that the angel of death has come for me?
I snatch a glimpse of the light's eternal rays
I see a tunnel, I stand amazed
Into the paths of rightness I'll be led
Take my hand, I'll lead you to the promised land
To see the truth, the path for you is decided
The idea of the tunnel expresses experiential awareness, in the mystic altered state, of one's life and sequence of thoughts, or river of consciousness, as a worldline frozen into the timeless spacetime block universe. The lyrics of "Crazy Train" by Bob Daisley of The Ozzy Osbourne Band similarly allude to the experience of one's stream of thoughts as a rail, thread, or 1-dimensional channel that leads inexorably and inevitably, of necessity, to a personal control-crash singularity.
Supernal light in ancient mystic cosmology such as in Mithraism is correlated with a transcendent death-and-rebirth experience. These themes support a generalized model of mystic peak experience as a narrowing-option labyrinth leading to an egoic controllership death-and-reset experience along with the experience of supernal light such as through meta-awareness, hyper-consciousness, or meta-perception feedback.
Artist: Iron Maiden
Song: Heaven Can Wait
Album: Somewhere In Time
Can't understand what is happening to me,
This isn't real, this is only a dream,
But I never have felt, no I never have felt this way before,
I'm looking down on my body below,
I lie asleep in the midst of a dream,
Is it now could it be that the angel of death has come for me?
I can't believe that really my time has come,
I don't feel ready, there's so much left undone,
And it's my soul and I'm not gonna let it get away.
Heaven can wait,
Heaven can wait,
Heaven can wait,
Heaven can wait til another day.
I have a lust for the Earth below
And Hell itself is my only foe,
'Cause I've no fear of dying,
I'll go when I'm good and ready,
I snatch a glimpse of the light's eternal rays,
I see a tunnel, I stand amazed,
At all of the people standing there in front of me,
Into the paths of rightness I'll be led,
Is this the place where the living join the dead?
I wish I knew this was only just a nightmare.
Take my hand, I'll lead you to the promised land,
Take my hand, I'll give you immortality,
Eternal youth, I'll take you to the other side,
To see the truth, the path for you is decided.
My body tingles, I feel so strange,
I feel so tired, I feel so drained,
And I'm wondering if I'll ever be the same again,
Is this in limbo or in Heaven or Hell?
Maybe I'm going down there as well,
I can't accept my soul will drift forever.
I feel myself floating back down to Earth,
So could this be the hour of my rebirth?
Or have I died or will I wake from dreaming?
The mind is filled with delusion while it walks the labyrinth to enlightenment. It says "I-ego am walking toward enlightenment, as an empowered freewillist separate-self." That mind is impure, corrupted by a chaos-demon or three. Upon reaching enlightenment, the mind says "Lord, I've been a dumb ass! How could I have been so dense and stupid as to consider myself a power-wielding, sovereign, freewillist separate-self?
I've been guilty of delusion and pride of the most foolish and asinine sort; my thinking has been corrupted and contaminated with a logical monstrosity; I've been a prostitute to delusion in all my interactions with the world." (No offense to sex workers or donkeys intended.)
But by the same token, upon reaching the angel of death, when the donkey has successfully carried the mind to that point, it's apparent that no one is metaphysically guilty of anything; the donkey never had any metaphysically free opportunity to think any differently than how it was designed to -- and the delusion did achieve the goal.
So the donkey and the whole world cleared of any possibility of metaphysical guilt and wrongdoing; all actions are now recognized as being owned by Isis (or God), and the mind can't criticize the donkey any more than criticizing Isis. So this is one sense in which the prostitute Mary Magdalene becomes Virgin Mary: the donkey mind is recognized as being guilty of delusion but is by the same token cleared of any blame; the impure is purified.
The demon of self-will leaves the mind, and the mind switches from being impure to pure.
>>Osiris does NOT come back from the dead, the perfected Horus does, so the mainspring of Christianity - resurrection - is nowhere to be found in Osirianism. Osiris-to-Horus seems always to have been more a spiritual transformation than a return from the dead.
>Actually, though, the idea is the same.....the God figure coming back after the earthly version is dead.
The underlying point, referent, dynamic, and meaning is the same: first the individual exists in the lower form (egoic consciousness, based on the egoic worldmodel), then, during the series of mystery-initiations, the lower self-conception is put to death, and the higher self-conception replaces it (transcendent consciousness, based on the transcendent worldmodel).
The first-born son is not chosen by God; the second-born son or the last-born son is chosen by God. First we are born through flesh, the literal womb -- but we are not pleasing to God, not transcendent, not enlightened, not divinized, not reconciled with transcendent truth. Then we die spiritually and are born spiritually -- then, we are pleasing to God, transcendent, enlightened, divinized, reconciled with transcendent truth.
Osiris is the lower self; his death is fecund and enables the higher birth. The deluded ego is here portrayed as necessary rich fertilizer to enable growth of the new, better crop -- the transcendent self-conception. The king must die to bring fertility -- Frazer was misguided in his interpretation of this, or he was only aware of the conception the noninitiates have of the meaning of the sacrificial king.
The important thing is the driving idea behind the logic of the sacrificial king -- which is, the description and idea of, in the mystic state, the sacrifice and necessary killing of the lower self concept, in order to gain the essentially incompatible higher self concept: "Oh, I perceive now that I am *not* that, but I *am* this instead."
>>And the idea of Isis conceiving after intercourse with the dead Osiris is a hell of an idea.
Death of Osiris, birth of Horus -- brought about not simply by self-willed activity, but rather, from a divine point of view, the rebirth is brought about by Isis, transcendent ruler over cosmic destiny and Fate (whereas Osiris is defined as, above all, the assumption that Osiris rather than Isis is the determiner of Osiris' destiny). The evil godless king must die, he who put himself on the throne, so that the divinely approved and holy king can be put on the throne by God, by Isis, by the transcendent benevolent determiner of our destiny.
First Jesus is the secret king, not revealed as king, then he willingly is put to death, then he ascends to reign from the heavens beyond the deterministic sphere of the fixed stars. Jesus before crucifixion is like Osiris; Jesus after dying and being reborn in the cave and ascending to heaven is like Horus, and is then recognized and revealed as the secret ruler over cosmic determinism.
Is the pre-ascension Jesus evil? No, he is the lower self that is predestined for salvation, redemption, regeneration, just as the Jews can be seen as the good originators leading toward the Jesus figure. "The Jews" is a shifting allegorical construction which can represent the lower self concept or the higher self concept, depending on which framework.
Each mythic item must be evaluated within the "higher-vs-lower" framework. This polarity can be expressed in an unlimited number of ways. It's theoretically possible to put the snake on top and God on the bottom, or Jesus on the bottom and Lucifer on the top; these are all just symbolic pointers pluggable into the same fundamental main religious fact: we begin life in delusion of ego, then during the mystic state, we rise to the transcendent mental worldmodel.
That encapsulation of the essence of religion (doing away with the lower self-concept during the mystic state, resulting in the higher self-concept) can be allegorically described in an unlimited number of ways, including a mixture of socio-political-military allegory, healing, exorcism, magic, and astrology -- as in the Jesus figure.
>But in Judaism there are two separate lines: the king may be absent but the high priest makes the atonement. See Hebrews (the arguably earliest letter in the Christian canon), which compares Jesus to the great high priest Melchizedic (the one king priest that Abram gave a tenth to). It is not the king that must die, but the sacrificial lamb sacrificed by the High priest.
>In Hebrews, this becomes one and the same; the agent of sacrifice becomes the sacrificed. There is no need for resurrection, because according to the letter to the Hebrews, Jesus was made (for a time) a little lower than the angels. This idea is not from Egyptian or Greek religion; it is from Hebrew or paleo-Hebrew religion. There is no Horus (representative), only the angelos and high priest -- it is thus a more perfect sacrifice. Then this is an intercessor (intermediary) rather than the god himself.
We need valuable analyses such as this -- true comparative religion. It's a good idea that the sacrificer and sacrificed should be represented symbolically as the same figure.
But it's still all equivalent symbology; all the symbols represent aspects and dynamics of one's own single, mystic-state mind, regardless of whether symbolized by different characters or a single character. The king, priest, and lamb all are symbols representing oneself or dynamic aspects of each individual's psyche, so it is arbitrary and not really an improvement when you symbolize spiritual regeneration and reconciliation with divinity by using a single character, Jesus, rather than a separate king, priest, and sacrificial victim.
King, lamb, priest, resurrection, sacrifice -- these are all just various humorous combinations of symbols and symbol systems describing the same underlying thing. We need to compare these systems from the basis of recognizing that they are different schemes and thematic systems that all have the same underlying referent and ultimate meaning. They are different ways of saying the same thing; they are different on the surface level, and they are the same on the underlying level.
The Christ-myth theorists are better scholars and critical thinkers than the historical Jesus researchers. What explanation rings true, and which one sounds forced: an entheogenic-only Christ, or a sober moralist as the foundation of this religion?
Religions are not usually founded by default-state conventional moralists, but rather, by entheogenic visions in which morality itself is rendered deeply problematic.
In accord with Reform theologians, I maintain that false religion is that of the preconceptions of conventional morality. Conventional morality-based religion is false religion. Religion that transcends moral agency altogether is true and profound (and also scriptural).
Reformed theology transcends morality altogether -- that is the essence of its war against the orthodox theology, which is, above all, based on preconceived expectations based within conventional ideas about moral agency.
Real religion, including Reformed and Gnostic theology, transcends moral agency altogether, and the most effective way to call into question moral agency, to put it on trial in an even higher court than the lower court of conventional morality, is via entheogens.
There are two judgements: the lower judgement in terms of conventional egoic moral agency, and the higher judgement in terms of transcendence of moral agency altogether.
Lower religion seeks to avoid sin or moral wrongdoing. Higher religion denies the category of sin and moral wrongdoing. This is not to make an ordinary-mode assertion that one may as well act badly or kindly. Rather, it is a higher-mode assertion that one cannot take ordinary sovereign credit for any of one's actions.
The only sin is believing in sin (in the ordinary way). The only way out of sin is to see the unreality of sin (or the deluded aspect of the conventional conception of moral agency).
The crucifixion is a complex multifaceted symbol of the virtual exchange of sovereign power between puppetmaster and puppets, author and characters, creator and creatures, programmer and virtually autonomous agents. There are several main ways the transcendent mind can view the crucifixion:
o In the Holy Spirit, God admits that he is guilty for the deluded rebellion he forced upon us, and he atones for his own rebellion- through-us by crucifying himself.
o The arrest of the ego as moral agent, its judgement, willing crucifixion, and the mind's resurrection, as an expression of what we experience in egodeath in the mystic altered state.
o A deliberate way of artificially handing us the burden of guilt- agency to give us the gift of (virtual) ego, which requires God to reject or seemingly restrict his sovereign power.
Merker wrote (paraphrased):
>>Morals are related to Mortal. 'Mortal' is a metaphor for having fully realized and (thereby transcended) Fate. Upon that one rises beyond the Realm of Mortality to the Transcended Realm of Immortality. Morals only make true sense in a free-will world, in a fated world there are morals but they are understood as being only there because of Necessity. Such is explained the mystery of the immoral-yet-holy man.
>>Zen poems explained: the run-of-the-mill vagabond is described as being the holiest creature: you need only to realize Fate to become god-like/a God. Thus "Gods" (actually meaning holy men) don't need to adhere to morals; morals are only meaningful to mere Mortals. "Gods" doesn't refer to some creatures you've never seen, but rather, to enlightened people, who have experienced and transcended Fate.
>>The Gods of Ancient Greek are laughed about by "enlightened" people today who are so educated that they think they know that there are and never were gods -- but actually, the gods are among you. Jesus is the story of a, or the, man-god. God vs. gods is not a problematic issue; 'god' can mean a single god (and people being generally different) but it can also subsume all earth-walking gods.
>>One could also think in terms of 'god' being used by unholy people and "Gods" being used by holy men-gods who know that God can divide himself in some sense. The unholy men don't know that. "Either you are with God or you are against him" means either your thinking is consciously aligned with Fate, or your thinking is configured as a would-be rebel, unconscious of the rule of Necessity over your thoughts.
A person becomes basically enlightened when they realize consciously and experientially that all the world and their own thoughts and movements of will are ruled by timeless determinism -- Fate, Necessity, Heimarmene. A person then goes on to become divine when they realize fully how problematic the conscious rational realization of determinism can be, causing self-control seizure and instability, needing to be rescued by transcendent thinking which explicitly includes a mysterious fudge-factor, metaphorized as high magic, high supernaturalism, and miracle.
One is deterministically rescued by the divine, by the higher part of oneself that is one with the divine, by divine type of thinking, by thinking that is aligned with the divine. There is no rational justification, in any familiar sense of rationality; only a transcendent type of what could be called rationality, or trans-rationality, suffices to enable practical control stability to be returned.
First we awaken to find ourselves in prison, and then this state becomes stormy and turbulent, then by transrational miracle and transcendent thinking one's higher self lifts one up out of rationalistic determinism. One is not guaranteed to revive practical control stability, except by miraculously mysteriously originating faith that one can and will be brought back to stability. This one-foot-in-the-air trans-logic eludes any ordinary logic.
There is no *logical* basis in any ordinary determinate sense of 'logic', upon which to build one's house confidently. Only those who go beyond the bounds of ordinary logic can move from the deterministic hellish prison of self-control seizure into the trans-deterministic realm, regaining practical stability while retaining full enlightenment that according to rationality and the mystic state of experiencing, one is an utterly helpless puppet, nothing but an empty pattern, frozen into spacetime.
In religious metaphorical language, a 'mortal' is one who is still subject to ego death or a series of ego death initiations. An immortal is one who has gained imperishability by burning away their perishable, mortal self. The mortal self is subject to freewill moral agency injunctions. The immortal self has transcended freewill morality, and follows the transcendent law of Love, having been rescued by one's own anchoring in divine transcendent compassion when all possible resources of rationality have failed and led only to their own powerless demise on the spacetime cross.
Most pop Zen and New Age religion is moralist: they assume that the enlightened person is subject to the rules that apply to freewill-shaped moral agents.
The mythic limping king maps to the single-footed mushroom as well as the half-brokenness of the egoic control system, but in myth I'm slightly more interested in cybernetic self-control theory, which other researchers have overlooked though it's the main realm of meaning.
Entheogen myth researchers focus on the plants and stop there, with only a naive, crude, unrefined, undeveloped view of religious experiencing; they don't even try to make sense of religious experiencing or review the theory of religious experiencing; their theory of religious experiencing doesn't extend beyond "The hidden secret is that religions were originally all about entheogenic plants -- that's how they gave the mystic death and rebirth experience."
Sure, fine, so far as it goes, but what I wanted to know was how does self-control work, and what exactly is mystic death and rebirth such that it is some profound insight having something to do with personal controllership?
Dan Merkur is positioned better than the entheogen-focused researchers because he's written about religious experiencing aside from entheogens, but he uses a psychology paradigm, which has little potential to fully understand the essence of religious experiencing. He's written about religious experiencing from a psychology perspective, and about entheogens in Jewish mysticism.
My theory is that the heart of religious experiencing is about self-control agency, even more so that unity consciousness or discovering no-separate-self. Religious revelation is more about the nature of self-control than the nature of separate-self. Most pop religion that is focused on religious experiencing focuses too much on no-separate-self, and translative (rather than transformative) self-improvement, thus avoiding the main point, which is truth (wisdom) about personal self-control cybernetics.
>i'd like to know where the "thunderbolt through skull" motive
>you have used on your website belongs to.
>i'd like to have a poster with this motive, it's got that certain
>something, a reminder of that magic moment.
http://www.accessplace.com/gdtc/1023.htm -- the album was released 1976, the same year as the album 2112 (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Ai6ke4j170way) with its circle-star (inverted pentagram) motif
There is a t-shirt with the LSD molecule instead of a lightning bolt in the skull -- there's another version with a dancing skeleton with top hat and cane inside the skull. Probably visible online if you search persistently.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000002H2H -- Ride the Lightning by Metallica (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Aq9txlfwe5cqi has interesting commentary reminding me of the sudden unexplainable explosion onto the scene of Hendrix. This was Metallica's first LSD-informed album: "exhibiting staggering musical growth and boldly charting new directions that would affect heavy metal for years to come. Incredibly ambitious for a one-year-later sophomore effort, Ride the Lightning finds Metallica aggressively expanding their compositional technique and range of expression. Every track tries something new, and every musical experiment succeeds mightily. The lyrics push into new territory as well — more personal, more socially conscious, less metal posturing. But the true heart of Ride the Lightning lies in its rich musical imagination."
That review's emphasis on the unexpected, inexplicable high innovation also reminds me of the album Caress of Steel, which I consider as Rush's first significantly LSD-informed album. I also consider Iron Maiden's Somewhere In Time to be their first and most significant LSD-informed album. This same character of an initial explosion of novelty is reflected in Hendrix' first album. I'm particularly interested in what happens when you take a somewhat experienced young band just past their initial growth phase and hungrily looking for the muse, and introduce awareness of LSD.
Led Zeppelin - Physical Grafitti - 1975 http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Aeb7uak3k5m3b
Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same (live) - 1976
>> Mystery-initiation secrecy brought down the Roman Empire
>This whole concept of the marionette seems farfetched. Is this not
>just more 'shock-relief' or just another argument from authority?
>What is your source for "Socrates administered the cognitive
That is a somewhat old page and I possibly should rewrite it to update it. Lately I assume that Socrates didn't exist, in any significant sense; he seems like an ideal constructed figure. Socrates' death in jail from drinking hemlock is deliberately isomorphic with ingesting entheogens; it is suspiciously or conspicuously easy to compare the Socrates life and death with that of Jesus.
I haven't done the research I'd like to on the fated marionette theme, though Cicero mentions that idea. Robert Crumb has a cartoon panel portraying this sense of being a marionette of God during an LSD session.
I need to order Michael Rinella's dissertation about mystery secrecy and Greek inebriation. The entheogen chapter fits well with and generally confirms my hypotheses about the nature of mystery secrecy and death penalty for profaning or revealing the mysteries, corrupting the youth.
http://wwwlib.umi.com/dxweb/search -- enter 9733831
Plato, Ecstasy, and Identity
Michael A. Rinella
State University of New York at Albany
UMI order number 9733831
UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-1346
1-800-521-0600 or 734-761-4700
I operate from within the paradigm that visionary plants were the continuous abundant wellspring for Greek culture and Greco-Roman myth-religion in general (including Christianity and Judaism), just as one should start with the assumption of drug-based religion in Classic Rock music (Muse-ic), treating the presence of psychotomimetic hallucinogenic drugs as the norm, rather than as special cases. The presence of visionary plants in myth-religion-philosophy is the norm, not a few deviant, isolated, special-case instances as even the entheogen scholars too often imply.
I advocate a maximal entheogenic interpretive framework; the goal here is to see entheogens everywhere in order to discover most fully their extent.
-- Michael Hoffman, saintly helpless puppet of god, cleansed and purified of all moral blemish, my moral culpability having been nailed to the timeless spacetime cross, washed away by the blood of the bull which I have drunk, thus becoming sober and no longer inebriated. I am prevented from explaining any more; the remainder is the hidden oral teaching.