Akhenaten, birthing and the sun
Birth of Israel at http://www.bmts.com/~damilos/birth.htm
I was re-reading an essay by Elaine Pagels, _What Became of God the Mother?_, and came across the same birthing analogy for Exodus that you pointed out. Didn't you mention that you used to be interested in Gnosticism and that you had once interviewed Pagels? Perhaps this is where this imagery comes from? Anyway, Pagels mentions this image in the context of the disappearance of the feminine in the three major monotheistic religions, and how the feminine image was still present in Gnostic sources, before this imagery was expunged by Christian theologians. In the following passage she cites from _The Great Announcement_ (or _Pronouncement_), which, to my knowledge is no longer extant, except in fragments, and was attributed to Simon Magus. Most of what we know about Simon is from accounts of Christian polemicists, like Irenaeus and Hippolytus, so I don't know how faithfully they represent Simon's actual philosophy.
"_The Great Announcement_, a mystical writing, explains the Genesis account in the following terms: "One Power that is above and below, self-generating, self-discovering, its own mother; its own father; its own sister; its own son: Father, Mother, unity, Root of all things."(22) The same author explains the mystical meaning of the Garden of Eden as a symbol of the womb: "Scripture teaches us that this is what is meant when Isaiah says, 'I am he that formed thee in thy mother's womb' [Isaiah 44:2]. The Garden of Eden, then, is Moses' symbolic term for the womb, and Eden the placenta, and the river which comes out of Eden the navel, which nourishes the fetus."(23) This teacher claims that the Exodus, consequently, symbolizes the exodus from the womb, "and the crossing of the Red Sea, they say, refers to the blood." Evidence for this view, he adds, comes directly from "the cry of the newborn," a spontaneous cry of praise for "the glory of the primal being, in which all the powers above are in harmonious embrace."(24)
22. Hippolytus, _Refutationis Omnium Haeresium_, ed. L. Dunker, F. Schneidewin (Göttingen, 1859), 6.17.
23. Ibid., 6.14.
24. Irenaeus, _Aduersus Haereses_, ed. W. W. Harvey (Cambridge, 1857), 1.14.7-8.
I thought Erle would be pleased by this observation since I believe he was of the opinion that Amarna was the Garden of Eden. If the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus was the blood of birth, then it isn't too much of a stretch to reason by this logic that Moses was the baby who was created in the paradise of the womb which would have been Egypt. Hippolytus says that Simon speaks of this Eden as being the "caul" that covers the fetus , so this would correspond to the veil that hides the true identity of Moses, connected to the navel of the earth, the _omphalos_, in Amarna.
P.S.: As I was writing this, a friend told me that the space shuttle blew up, so I'm going to go find a TV to watch. I know this is crazy, but the first thing I thought was that Arab terrorists were somehow responsible since the first Israeli astronaut was onboard.
De : benbenbooks <firstname.lastname@example.org[mailto:email@example.com]
Envoyé : mardi 4 février 2003 03:18
À : firstname.lastname@example.org
Objet : [akhnaton] Re: Exodus a 'birthing' story
You are trying very hard to attribute my thoughts to others - and I am sure that is possible because so many people believe that nothing new can be said. All is meme. But those who make that claim do so by denying that each individual must 'learn' about the physical world and the eternally variable abstract possibilities all over again. Someone once said that 'roses are red' and ever since we each learn that 'roses are red' event though some people have bred all sorts of colored roses that are not red. But then breeding itself is a sort of meme, isn't it?
Yes, I used to write radio documentaries on Gnosticism in the late seventies, early eighties, and Pagels was one of my 'stars'. Check the date of the essay where you "came across the same birthing analogy for Exodus that you (Daniel) pointed out. It seems to me that that thought must have percolated through the ether and I was one of the several people who 'caught' it.
As it happens, I have been reading a book since Christmas on the same topic as Pagels' essay: Leonard Shlain's "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess." The work has been 'debunked' by a professional 'debunker', just as Julian Jaynes' book (in the 1970s) was debunked and declared useless as a tool to get into the mind of early civilizations. I figure that professional debunkers are just that: they find the weakness of an argument, and artificially expand it until they make it seem as if the entire work is a farce. They recommend that we throw the baby away with the bathwater.
Curiously enough, Shlain does not refer to Jayne at all in his book. He must have taken the Jayne's debunking seriously!
Shlain's weakness is linguistics: at his cross examination (by the debunker) he was not able to say (because he probably did not know) that some languages are concrete-based, others are abstract concept based. The concrete-based languages breed civilizations where the feminine is lived and respected (ancient Egyptian, Coptic) while in the abstract concept based languages the feminine is repressed but its memory is honored (Greek, Latin, English).
The symbolic womb of a nation or a peoples is an ancient metaphor. Thank you for quoting Pagels' reproduction of "The Great Announcement" because I had indeed forgotten how alike the Gnostic creator, or the "One Power" is to Atum, the self-created creator. The only difference is that what Atum had created came into being without pain, without birthing, without a womb: all came from an interaction between Atum's semen and the chaotic waters of Nun.
A friend of mine has come up with a theory that the earth used to be a placid water planet with a basalt shell between its molten inside and the water cover. Then a large chunk of another planet crashed into the earth, cracked the basalt shell and became Pangea. This initial land-mass then separated through the spin of the earth and eventually assumed its current position of seven continents. That is another 'birthing' story that I like. I heard it is not unlike the writings of Zachariah Stichin (sp?).
Being so wrapped up in the 'developmental theory', I cannot help but see a developmental analogy between Akhenaten positioning himself as the sperm in the womb of Akhetaten, (see www.bmts.com/~damilos/deepthroat.htm ) and Jesus some 1300 years later positioning himself as the sperm at Qumran, birthing not a nation, but a world religion that became hijacked by limited interest groups, namely the orthodox bishops like Iraneaus and Hyppolitus.
I also wonder if Akhenaten know what he was doing, or was a victim of fate?
You mentioned the hypothesis wether Akhnaton had an influence over the sun, and to which extent? If we look at it in the Steiner/occult way – as also described by Claude de Contrecoeur - there is a perspective through which things 'transform' rather than they compare. In this 'imaginary' world the sun can be turned into such thing as a tiny flame of emptiness and planet earth, or Amarna, as a large full equiped kitchen - or else.
Even in the physical realm, we can see how tiny is a string of AND compare with an ovum; and how large are the consequences in their meeting. We can also think of the posible influence of earth industry over distant solar systems in the years to come, with long tasting consequences. Especially if the Amarnian experience edited the program of this industry - as it is a high historical probability - all this can make Akhnaton and his type of activity a consequent influence on the life of the sun and/or solar system.
Regarding wether Akhnaton knew what he was doing; we can probably rely on the Oedipian report - where we are informed that he knew not much at first; Oedipus was 'unconscious' of what he was doing at first. Then he realized much more. Perhaps was he still limited yet, since he was blind or castrated, the story say.
By the way, recently an Asian psychoanalyst wrote in a French list to remind us of a play about Oedipus earlier than Sophocles. In this play Jocasta is called Epicasta (see caste of Io or Epi). There Oedipus was quite aware that he killed his father; he did it intentionally in order to marry his mother and to take power. What a bad boy! It is Epicaste who was unaware of the plot; and only later she realized, and consequently committed suicide in shame, while Oedipus continued to reign as a tyrant. We remember also a later play, in Rome by Senequa, where Oedipus did nothing of all this (or at least did not kill his father) but it was Creon who made him believe so, in order to shame him and force him to leave the country - so Creon could take power from this trick.
Opinions, opinions should we say?.. hum.. perhaps there is much more to grasp. For the series of these 'opinions' may elaborate a code, and be the key.
PS: by the way again. We have much to learn in considering Schreber (one of the founding four analysis by Freud) who was, as noticed by Velikovsky, stroke by a delirium who made him behaving and thinking in ways that could be compared with Akhnaton. As you are mentioning the analogy between nations and womb, it is striking to read Schreber, suffering from a pregnancy that he owed to the sun (according to him). He believed that he would be responsible for birthing masses of human beings that he qualified as'botched up'. Industrial run for consumerism, mass conditioning, hormone and
No sooner the question (whether Akhnaton had an influence over the sun?) left my synapses, the quantum 'participatory' theory entered it: that we participate, on the quantum level, in all of creation. That statement actually sounds right down Gnostic!
I have a serious question about that 'imaginary' world, a world that could be equally occult and delusional at the same time, depending who does the labeling. The question is, "If we have the power of imagination, where does that lead us?"
Of course, any question asked usually leads to its own answer. We call Steiner's work on the various levels of reality 'occult' because he did not document his work like a scientist (or a bureaucrat). Joseph Chilton Pearce, an American Psychologist, stated right at the start of his published works that all things called 'psychic' and 'occult' are biologically based functions of the physical body interacting with the brain. He sums up his life's work in his latest (sixth) book, "The Biology of Transcendence", which I am reading and have not finished yet.
But my own 'imagination' works overtime every time I think about levels of consciousness (or reality), and about transcending from one level to another. Our brain 'trains' for the better part of our first seven years to 'learn' a cultural reality of the physical world. Next, the brain 'trains' for another seven or so years to use abstract logic and, therefore, to hone our intellect.
We also have imagination and intuition, and various levels of 'psychic' sensitivities. Unfortunately, we don't 'train' our brains for any period of time to deal with or to 'learn' the use and purpose of any of these other biological abilities. Or, rather, our culture does not officially consider any of the other levels of realty or consciousness as a mainstream necessity for a purposeful, constructive and productive social life.
Yet, there are all sorts of 'occult', 'religious' and 'spiritual' training schools in every culture, from Buddhist monasteries to "Self-Realization" training courses, from martial arts Do-Jos to Roman Catholic catechism classes. I went through two such Western 'mystery schools' before I realized that, although the nomenclature (or symbolism) is different, the area of the brain and the extent of human perception being trained is the same.
Precedent for other than the dualistic physical-mental levels of realities exist in several cultures. I call the first two dualistic, because, since our Western culture stops with the physical and intellectual training, it is stuck with the resultant duality - there is nowhere else to go when we have only two levels of reality to work with. But the Hindu/Buddhist systems have seven levels (some diehards claim 12); the Kabbala claims ten levels or 'sephiroth' on the tree of life; and even our Roman Catholic system has seven levels of 'sacraments' and even the most ordinary people are able to reach level three.
This last statement is likely the reason that Claude de Contrecoeur preferred the (Roman) Catholic French or Spanish view of the world rather than the Protestant German or English way of seeing the world. The Roman Catholic still allows its adherents to open a third level of reality to mitigate the basic two and get rid of the 'either-or' mentality of dualism.
I believe that the European leaders line up according to this schema in their response to President Bush's "WE have no choice but to bomb Iraq" mentality of denial (that he has a dualistic alternative) and repression (of any number of possible choices). The English have backed him unconditionally right from the start. The French cannot understand his closed mindedness, his blindness to collateral dangers.
If we have such blatant gaps in understanding between cultures of two and three levels of consciousness, we can expect to have even more gaps between those 'sects' or subcultures where our or five levels of reality are the norm, are learned and practiced.
My time at this computer is unfortunately up so I must leave it at that. The dualistic work-day is beginning.