All powerful Zeus, with his lightning bolts,
Dispenses his favors in enlightening jolts.
CHAPTER X: THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Zeus is the King of the Gods, and as such permeates the universe with his force manifesting as energy, light, and matter. He is the motivator behind the religious and philosophical urge, particularly metaphysics and natural philosophy. He structures our societies through patriarchy and our individual father-complexes.
Offspring of Cronos and Rhea, Zeus is the head of the Olympian Gods and belongs to the trinity of the father-authority principle with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. As the ultimate authority, he comes closest to embodying the archetype of the Self.
The Self is a Jungian term for the Absolute. It is the ordering and unifying principle which guides the process of spiritual development. We sense the quality of the Self when we can envision our future selves actualizing our spiritual potential. The Self is the God-image in our psyches.
The Self represents the fullest extension and potential of an individual, and provides transcendent experience of the highest spiritual value which comes from beyond one's own personal powers. The inner spiritual resources, termed Zeus by the Greeks, lie deep within our inner nature. Zeus is a metaphor of Light. Zeus is the image of wholeness, presented in the masculine version.
The ancients thought of Zeus as a weather god, the sky god who controlled storms and lightning. However, in our daily life, he also governs our internal weather conditions and may manifest his powers in psychic storms (psychological disruptions).
Zeus is the master of wise judgement and justice. His deep attachment to his daughter Athena personifies his philosophic attitude. Zeus is the prototypical philosopher, or "lover of wisdom." Zeus has the capacity to temper severity with mercy and compassion.
He embodies not only the law, but that creative energy which is the constant urge to spill out and propagate itself. His unceasing urge to impregnate and project himself led to his numerous love affairs with mortals and goddesses.
Zeus is that energy constantly striving to realize new consciousness or new fruits of itself, reflecting his all-embracing expansiveness. Self-appointed "followers of Zeus" seek out numerous lovers in accordance with Zeus' principle of wisdom. This doesn't mean that no complications or consequences will follow. Just wait until Hera finds out!
A man with a Zeus-like temperament is very likely in a position of power, leadership, and service in the community. He employs his wisdom and good will when he exercises his authority. He is a man with cultural awareness, and behaves accordingly for the benefit of himself and others. He combines an intelligent, healthy mind with a robust body.
This archetype corresponds with Trump X, THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE. This depicts the Game of Life which Zeus plays so well. He uses intuition and systematic thinking to further his aims. This path is symbolized as the palm of the hand. A person who is the seeming master of his own fate or lucky, seems to have the world "in the palm of his hand." Good fortune is a gift of the gods, a gift of destiny.
In esoteric astrology the Jupiter center is linked with the solar plexus. In Indian philosophy, the solar plexus is the power chakra, from which this energy is distributed throughout the rest of the body. It is perceived as an internal whirling force within the subtle body, and expressed in personality and experience. It is our fate, fortune, or destiny in dynamic action, with its cycles of good fortune and setbacks. It is the activity of evolution.
The Jupiter center is roughly in the center of the body and controls higher evolutionary development, through the subconscious. This nerve plexus functions like an "abdominal brain" for physical and visceral processes.
The Wheel is a vortex of force3 with a stable center. It is the strange attractor of a life--it's destiny. THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE symbolizes the energies of a master field, a universal field. And we access that field through our solar plexus. It is here, not the heart center, where we store our energy, whether that is love and healing, or tension and conflict. We exchange energies with other people from this center also.
A negative Zeus-type might be effective, but could also be viewed as bossy, or self-righteous in his authoritarianism. People who set themselves up as moral authorities must dispense judgements. When these judgements are severe, they seem like thunderbolts hurled at a transgressor.
Zeus-consciousness has to do with the development of a strong, effectively coping ego, which does not tolerate the thwarting of its will. If we fall into an identification with this principle of ego-strength (father-complex), we may find ourselves dispensing similar judgements, as if we embodied the Law.
The shadow-side of this complex is shown, for example, in high-powered politicians who sometimes cross over the line as if they were above the law--a law unto themselves. They rationalize, deny, and delude themselves that the ends justify the means. We are possessed by Zeus when we act like God-Almighty.
Identification of the ego with the powers of the archetype of Self results in an ego inflation. The ego gets puffed up with air, acting proud, pompous, vain, and presumptuous. When we are caught in an inflation (ego-trip) our ego tries to take credit for the transcendent qualities of the Self.
This may be overcome by developing a conscious awareness of the transpersonal aspect of the Zeus principle. In its positive manifestation it is an increased capacity for objective judgement. To experience this, the ego must give up its false-pride. Overcoming false pride is a major goal of spiritual development. The original purpose of the "I" or ego is to know the universe.
The actual meaning of the word 'Zeus' stems from djeu - meaning the moment or event of lighting up. This is a lighting up, not strictly in the physical sense, but also in the sense of insight and illumination. We get this sense when we dialogue with our subconscious and it yields an answering oracle. This "I-Self" dialogue takes many forms.
Really, there is no distinction to be made between lighting up in the physical or metaphysical sense. The experience of illumination is just as real whether caused by a material source or not. It is Zeus who controls not only the panorama of meteorological phenomena, but also the domain of consciousness.
Zeus connects with all the forms of heavenly light, of both inner and outer world. His essence appears as photons (quanta of electromagnetic energy), lightning, and illumination. He is the archetypal illuminator who "lights up our lives." The type of love which could be described as "lightning striking from above" come in like an electric flash. It is Zeus entering the mortal frame.
The religious view of the natural event we call lightning or lighting up doesn't necessarily require an agent apart from and outside the action. THE GOD IS THE EFFECT. This is his epiphany.
Such a division of experience into action and agent is excluded by the immediacy of the experience in its first actual moment. Only afterward is there a name attached to the event, and even later an abstraction derived from the experience. For a religious experience, event and man are enough.
According to C. Kerenyi (1975), "With the Greeks the event at which 'Theos!' could be called out could happen not only in dreams but also in nature and in history and simultaneously in the additional dimension of spirit."
As king of the gods, Zeus represents a fundamental universal principle. Just as Zeus is the offspring of Cronos and Rhea, so energy is the product of frequency (rhythm) and duration. Einstein expressed relativity through his famous equation, E = MC2.
What is the most fundamental component of existence? An examination of the physical nature of Zeus reveals the metaphysics of existence. The theory of general relativity asserts that geometry is produced by matter or matter by geometry. One never appears without the other in isolation.
Ian Barbour describes the dependency of matter upon duration. He says that "time is constitutive of the being of atoms as vibratory patterns; a wave or musical note requires time in order to exist--a note is nothing at an instant."
Another physicist, Werner Heisenburg describes matter as energy and vice versa. He claims, "Energy is in fact the substance from which all elementary particles, all atoms and therefore all things are made, and energy is that which moves."
If Zeus is perceived as energy, he is this essence of manifest reality. Energy transmutes into matter when it takes on the form of an elementary particle. It manifests itself in a form.
Matter and energy are actually a paradoxical unity. In relativity theory, matter-energy is viewed as a distortion in the structure of space. At this juncture, it is perhaps wise to reflect upon the discipline of science itself as a search for patterns and intelligibility. This is precisely the arena of philosophy and metaphysics.
The ultimate metaphysical task is to synthesize all facets of human knowledge into one grand unified field theory of existence (a mathematical overview). The trend now appears in the scientific community as a fascination with the psycho-physical aspects of energy.
Reality is a holistic gestalt which appears alternatively as space, time, energy, matter, and causation. Most evidence indicates it is a biolographic projection of mind. These abstractions of human categorizing are not absolute qualities or entities of reality itself.
But the basic nature of material existence certainly influences biological systems. Organic growth is a function of geometry and includes spatial relationships and ratios.
Living systems create order from disorder, but must always battle against disruption, entropy, or chaos. No system is self-sufficient. Therefore, order is maintained by bringing in energy (i.e. food, air, water) from outside. The biochemical system has to exchange matter with its environment all the time.
Lyall Watson describes how a complex entity also begins to exchange information with the environment in addition to energy. This essential survival information "arrives in three forms--electromagnetic waves, such as light; mechanical pressures, such as sound; and chemical stimuli, such as those giving rise to taste and smell."
In animals and humans, these three types of signals are all converted by sense receptors which are in direct contact with the environment. When the stimuli contacts the receptor, an electrical impulse (electrical energy) carries the message into the central nervous system. Hermes, electrical message, is a son of Zeus, archetypal process of "lighting up."
Occupations associated with Zeus include the following:
captain of industry
On the level of human emotional response, Zeus is known as the father-complex. Depending on the emotional set and setting of childhood, we may have a positive or negative father image. It is composed of all those things we feel a father should be, and what our personal role models portrayed.
The purpose of the father image is to challenge us into further exploration and growth, and he provides the support that helps us meet the challenges of becoming an individual in our own right. A father encourages us to find our place in the world and develop social consciousness. He counsels us to choose a career where we may be effective, and successful.
The positive father complex expresses in an attitude of extroverted enthusiasm for life. With a positive father-complex, we are eager to learn, comprehend, and experience many facets of life. The positive father counsels one to maintain an objective, long-range viewpoint which is based on wisdom and consideration for others.
The negative father-complex may appear when the father is absent, or a poor example of the higher qualities of Zeus. This type may be tenacious, and greedy, or grasping. Nothing is ever enough to make up for the loss of spiritual fathering.
He is a counterdependent personality, who needs to remain "top dog" at least in his own mind. He would like to control and own everything, and everyone. He is so arrogant he thinks he must take charge of managing everyone around himself. He is continually motivated, like the positive type, but never seems satisfied with the fruits of his efforts.
Zeus is the paradigm of the "self-made man" who might become workaholic and neglect his family-life. This is ironic since these men frequently see themselves as working so diligently in the service of their families.
Today the role of father is no longer confined to being a breadwinner who stays at work for most hours of the day. Males have become more aware of their nurturing capacities. There are implications in the changing role of the father. Now men are encouraged to take nurturing roles, even with their pre-school children.
Even in post-divorce parenting, both father and mothers are staying actively involved in the live of their children. This cultural change is evident in the men's networks which are emerging, and such phenomena as support groups and "paternity leave" for new fathers. Zeus has a love of freedom and independence, but he has a strong sense of commitment to engendering this quality in his offspring.
Keywords associated with Zeus include the following:
AHA!, ambitious, arrogance, alert, achievement, benevolence, comprehension, compensation, conceit, decisive, dynamic, dynamo, eagle, energetic, enthusiasm, enjoyable, egotistical, extravert, expansion, equitable, extraordinary, experienced, fortunate, father complex, glutton, grand gesture, inflation, increase, independent, leadership, lucky, majestic, magnificent, mercy, nobility, optimism, opportunity, overview, paternal, paternity suit, patronize, powerful, power trip, patrician, prosperity, patriarch, perceptive, philosophical, respected, reason, restless, self-assurance, strong will, success, systematic, shrewd, tryst, wisdom, wholeness
Nay, the same Solomon the king, although he excelled in the glory of treasure and magnificent building, of shipping and navigation, of service and attendance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he maketh no claim to any of those glories, but only to the glory of inquisition of truth; for so he saith expressly, "The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the king is to find it out"; as if, according to the innocent play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings could not obtain a greater honor than to be God's play-fellows in that game.
THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING (1605)
Solomon, known for his wisdom and philosophic attitude, embodied the Zeus-type of personality. Solomon sought an ever-expanding knowledge of God and the universe. He wrote the Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs in mid-life, and Ecclesiastes in old age. However, none of these sums up the entire philosophical spectrum of his worldview. That summation is the entire effect of the life of this great philosopher on culture.
Intellectually, the Zeus personality may be considered a philosopher, first and foremost. A philosopher delves into the theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe. Philosophy is linked intimately to morals and character, and produces a calmness or composure even in the face of difficulties.
Philosophers are "lovers of wisdom" who may be compared to devotees or children of Zeus. Philosophy starts with the a priori assumption that it is superior to all other sciences. A philosophic viewpoint takes a cosmic perspective and uses the imagery of penetrating vision. This lucid understanding is said to confer mastery over daily living and the rest of the phenomenal world.
Philosophy works toward unification of perspectives, trying to develop a solid worldview which has an all-embracing coherence. Philosophy has a spectrum ranging from mathematics to mysticism.
Philosophy seeks the razor's edge or balance point between opposites. In their personalities philosophers have an occupational hazard in spiritual pride and sometimes are too pompous in their judgements. Then their pronouncements sound like a clap of thunder and lightning to those whose perspective is a little earthier, (i.e. grounded).
Those not gifted (or cursed) with a philosophic bent find the pontifications of philosophers too abstract to be personally meaningful to themselves. But these people are still faced with the fundamental philosophical questions, such as Who am I?, Where do I come from?, Where am I going?. Is there a god?, Does man have an immortal soul, or free will?
Aristotle's METAPHYSICS opens with the statement that all men desire by nature to know. But this is by no means a universal truth concerning the intellectual pursuit of philosophy. To be philosophically inclined is not a universal, but an archetypal truth. It is the archetypal perspective of Zeus. Psychologically speaking, Zeus equates with the Self, referred to as the Higher Self in the occult tradition.
Those not so philosophically inclined might understand, but not revere, such abstractions of human thought as principle, law, and axiom. To them the varieties of religious experience and philosophical viewpoints may seem as numerous and promiscuous as the liaisons of Zeus.
It is the philosophic imperative of Zeus to fertilize and make fecund so many areas of existence. The offspring of Zeus are all around us, influencing our belief systems, styles of being, and mundane pursuits. We now live in a philosophic as well as cultural melting pot, where integration, synergy, and synthesis describe the ideal. On the personal level this is a balanced, robust personality. On the group level, it marks a healthy community or society.
We can tap into Zeus' wisdom for personal guidance in our daily life. Zeus was not only considered an abstract Olympian god, but also a daimon (or mediator) on a personal level. In other words, he (the Self) functions as an inner guide for the mortals who call on him. His realm involves the entire cycle of human fate; he is the determiner of destiny, delivering what we have earned through our actions. As dispenser of human fate, Zeus reigns like an almighty god.
We contact Zeus when we can "see through" the events of our daily lives to a more fundamental level. On the psychological level, Zeus appears as the "meaning" which lights up the happenings in our lives. For great events, there is a correspondingly profound insight. Sudden insight may be compared to a quantum leap in consciousness.
For example, an insight concerning the nature of Self might be to "see through" to the paradox that the self, which represents wholeness, is not necessarily only good or noble. Since it is all things, from highest to lowest, it also embodies that quality known as pure self-centered selfishness. As a king, Zeus is wholly concerned with actualizing his own will, and from this comes the ability to be beneficent and compassionate, to give of himself. He must, however, enjoy his freedom, untrammeled by societal conventions, or he ceases to be Zeus!
The paradox of Zeus is that he has developed a serene, philosophical attitude, while indulging in his most capricious whims, all the while being a hen-pecked husband! This is a very difficult situation for Westerners to comprehend. But the Zeus-energy is limited and held in check by the other gods. When Zeus becomes too impressed with his own abilities to mediate the opposites, his wisdom can turn to folly and an excessive conceit.
Philosophy can be the basis of a personal and social worldview. Philosophy is not just intellectual curiosity, but functions as a meta-culture. A listing of the chief types of factors which influence the cultural behavior of man reads like a keyword correspondence for Zeus and his concerns.
These include: hunger, sex, self-defense, power, possession, fear, unseen powers, law, custom, hope, self-respect, position, achievement, need for fun, companionship, concern for other, need for children, exercise of skills, appropriate degree of social, political, and individual freedom, appropriate degree of tradition, knowing where one stands with respect to each of the above, role and goal of man.
John Oulton Wisdom (1975) classifies these as follows: "environmental, bodily needs, political, religious, legal, social, human relations, gambling, ideals, identity, knowing the system."
Different philosophies have different goals since they are based on specific value systems. But most philosophies, from the early days of Greek thought have had to contend with the problem of universals, essences, and categories. This problem boils down to the question: "Is a universal a word, or a conception in the mind, or an essence in a natural object?"
No problems are articulated without the existence of a human being. Philosophy is concerned with the dynamics of comprehension and comprehensibility. Zeus represents our PRIMORDIAL AWARENESS and alertness from which philosophy begins. The area where physical and non-physical (or psychic) merge is the human mind.
Just what is the mind, and what gives it the ability to think a thought? We needn't even resort to philosophy for an answer. Modern neurology posits the seat of the mind deep in the brain stem. This higher portion of the stem constitutes approximately 1% of the total brain and is known as the Reticular Activating System, or RAS, for short.
The RAS is fundamental to the support of life. It is even more critical than the cerebral cortex, whose removal is compatible with survival under the proper circumstances. The main function of the RAS is the regulation of arousal. It controls all sleeping and waking cycles, and also the "emotional brain" or limbic system.
The RAS also coordinates incoming and outgoing signals regulating the physical functions of the spinal cord and autonomic nervous system. Even though more recent evolutionary developments, such as the cortex, seem to be the 'seat of consciousness," the 'mind' originates in this ancient formation. The RAS is critical in the production of motivational and emotional feelings. Appetites, emotional effects, and feelings of interest all spring from this mechanism of arousal.
The brain contains many separate mechanisms, each of which is activated through electrical currents passing along its circuitry of insulated nerve fibers. Thus many separate functions are simultaneously coordinated through the RAS.
Passage through the higher brain stem (diencephalon) may change the quality or intensity of an incoming signal. The RAS may inhibit or reinforce sensory messages changing the reception of the signal or message in the thalamus and cortex. This purpose of the RAS is functional integration.
Man is an instinctual robot without the RAS, capable of no decisions, will, memory, or humor. It is still a mystery where the mind (RAS) gets its energy since nerve cells are either activated or paralyzed. Some neurologists do not believe that the arousal comes strictly from neuronal activity in the brain.
It is easy to deduce, however, that the mind focuses attention, is aware, reasons, and decides with understanding. No analogous point has been found in the cerebral cortex which can be stimulated to function with electrodes. There can be no artificial stimulation of belief or decision with an electrical charge. The RAS "lights up" the brain with mind. Consciousness (mind) is an integrative function roughly equivalent to "coherence" in light (i.e. laser).
Philosopher Bertrand Russell expressed an interesting philosophical viewpoint on 'thought' in his PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION:
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth--more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. It sees man, a feeble speck, surrounded by unfathomable depths of silence; yet it bears itself proudly, as unmoved as if it were lord of the universe. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
This seems most true when that thought originates in the higher aspect of our being--the Self, rather than from our wounded personality complexes. Jung noted the paradoxical nature of the Self as the center and circumference of the psyche--its center and symbol of wholeness--the integrative function. The ego originates in the Self and is fulfilled through relating to it as a source of nurture.
The self brings structure and archetypal order to the inherent chaos of the psyche--it organizes and directs the psychic process, much like a musical conductor. The Self strives to realize itself, with or without conscious awareness on the part of the personality. It has its own agenda, and can appear like an alien being, thing, or consciousness when we project its power outside ourselves.
The self is the author of our sense of fate or destiny. If our ego identifies with it too much, we go on an ego trip, claiming transpersonal powers for our puny self. Jung defined the Self as the archetype of the God-image in the psyche, noting that is all we can ever directly apprehend of God, in any event. Only after direct experience of the image do our minds create interpretation, speculation, dogma, or denial of the numinous experience.
Jung alleged that God can be known directly through the symbols of the Self, listening to the voices of the soul. God is immanent in the depths of the psyche, the transpersonal realm. God is everywhere as Self in universe, nature, and man in this animistic perspective. The Jungian process of individuation helps to raise the God-images into conscious awareness, stimulating an I-Thou dialogue between ego and the Self.
The Self also has a shadow-side--the dark side of God--because it is a paradoxical unity. Zeus exemplified this shadow side, acting out his Will no matter what. This shadow of archetypal good, which is archetypal evil creates a challenge for the individuating ego. This is an inherent part of the heroic quest, and leads to humility. The Self appears when we need transpersonal guidance to balance the ego and unconscious perspectives, restoring psychic health.
Further reading on Zeus and related topics may be found in the following:
ZEUS AND HERA; ARCHETYPAL IMAGE OF FATHER, HUSBAND, AND WIFE, C. Kerenyi, Princeton University Press, 1975.
CELTIC QUEST, John Layard, Spring Pub., Dallas, 197 .
THE WOUNDED WOMAN, Linda Leonard
PHILOSOPHY: ITS PLACE IN OUR CULTURE, J.O. Wisdom
PHILOSOPHICAL THEORIES, M.L. Ambrose
THE GAMESMEN: THE NEW CORPORATE LEADERS, Michael Maccoby
EARTH FATHER/SKY FATHER, Arthur and Libby Coleman, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1981.
FATHER, CHILD, & SEX ROLE, Henry Biller, Lexington, Mass., Heath Lexington Books, 1971.
FATHER FEELINGS, Eliot Daley, New York, William Morrow & Co., 1978.
A MAN'S PLACE: MASCULINITY IN TRANSITION, Joe Dubbert, Prentice-Hall, 1979.
A BOOK OF MEN, VISIONS OF THE MALE EXPERIENCE, Ross Firestone (Ed.), Stonehill Publishing Co. New York, 1978.
FIRE IN THE BELLY, Sam Keen
IRON JOHN, Robert Bly
THE FATHER BOOK, PREGNANCY AND BEYOND, Rae Frad, et al, Acropolis Book, Washington D.C., 1981.
THE ROLE OF THE FATHER IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Michael Lamb, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1981.
FATHERS, Ross Parke, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1981.
MEN AND MASCULINITY, J. Pleck and J. Sawyer (Eds.), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1974.
THE MYTH OF MASCULINITY, Joseph Pleck, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1981.
FATHERS, MOTHER AND SOCIETY, R. Rapaport, et al. Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1977.
FATHER JOURNAL, David Steinberg, Time Change Press, Albion, Ca., 1977.
THE FATHER'S ALMANAC, S. Sullivan, Doubleday & Co., New York, 1980.
True to the spirit of Zeus, this reading list is excessive compared with the others, and contains some interesting archetypal correspondences. For example PHILOSOPHY; ITS PLACE IN OUR CULTURE, links Zeus and Athena (Culture) and is written by Wisdom. THE FATHER BOOK is published by Acropolis Books; there's Athena again. Books about men by women show that Zeus is within us all.
This life of yours which you ar living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but is in a certain sense the "whole;" only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystical formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: TAT TVAM ASI, this is you. Or, again, in such words as "I am in the east and in the west. I am below and above, I AM THIS WHOLE WORLD.
"My View of the World" (1925)
Zeus has a metaphysical nature since he represents the wholeness described through the personalities of the other gods of the pantheon. He is the center of the pantheon and, therefore, represents the whole universe of manifest phenomena. He is the father of Athena, Artemis, Apollo, Hebe, Ares, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysus, The Muses, Herakles, the Graces, the Fates, and the Hours, etc.
Zeus is the metaphysical nature of the universe. Just what is metaphysics? It is a branch of philosophy which studies that which is beyond physics. It deals with first principles, seeking to explain the nature of being and the origin and structure of the world.
Logic studies the elements and functions of intelligence, but metaphysics studies being and its essential properties. When we have absorbed the knowledge available through studying physics, the next logical step to examine is metaphysics. Thus, we formulate our worldview through knowledge and belief.
Metaphysical thinking is not vague and speculative, but precise and straightforward. It describes the foundations of our belief systems, disclosing our a priori assumptions, or assumed truths. We all base our worldviews on "assumed truths," therefore each of us embraces a metaphysical viewpoint which has a paramount influence on our lives.
Metaphysics has been criticized as nonsensical or occult by scientists, and heretical by the religious establishment. In reality, it is neither, seeking merely to disclose the presuppositions of our belief systems, from its unique relative perspective. It describes the most general features of our existence and seeks to unify the various domains of value and fact.
Myth is a metaphysical system. Our beliefs about the nature of existence are conditioned by the mythic level of psyche. Myth can be viewed as a preliterate form of science, through which culture was transmitted. Mythic cosmologies, including the latest scientific theories, deal with the descent and ascent of man, echoing the deeper truths of existence. Myths embody a universal meaning with multiple levels of interpretation.
Myths describe cosmological truths because they are in rapport with the fundamental workings of the cosmos. Cosmologies describe the descent into matter of primal universal entities. They use symbols since there is no other language for describing the ultimate nature of things, and symbols are the descriptors spontaneously produced by the human psyche in archetypes, myths, and dreams.
Physicists substitute mathematical formulae, but this is another type of symbol which stands in the place of reality. Numbers, and mathematics, are an artifact of human culture, a human translation of the archetype of cosmic ordering processes. They may give scientists an occasional flash of genius, which is like a stroke of lightning, but it only illuminates a small portion of the path.
Physics is actually a school of philosophy--natural philosophy. We may look at physics' view of "reality" as a modern myth. An examination of the creation myth, as described by physics yields interesting perspectives when compared with the Greek cosmogony.
The overthrow of Uranus, the Sky God, by Cronos and Gaea through his castration fulfills the basic postulate of perpetual transformation. Cronus is the principle of determinism whose function is to regulate not only his father, but his children. Zeus escapes the regulation of Cronos and escapes determinism through his progeny. He uses strategy to escape the laws of Cronos (space-time). In the world of light there is no time, space, or mass. Photons have complete freedom.
The Uranus-Cronos-Zeus cycle describes the generation of the universe. First there is Mater, matter or substance or mass, known as Gaea. She is impregnated by Uranus, the original evolutionary impulse, who is characterized as the Starry Heavens. Cronos castrates Uranus, delimiting him. Cronos (spacetime) thus represents the law of limitation, and embodies duration, chronicity, and chronological order. This implies death, for all forms which come into being, must cease or dissolve at some time.
Zeus escapes being eaten by "Time" through the strategy of producing numerous offspring, of great diversity. Zeus is the expanding universe, whose nature is observable through Doppler shift. The evidence for an expanding universe comes from observation of receding galaxies. Galaxies twice as far away are receding twice as fast, etc., as if all had started from a common point with different velocities about 14 x 10, to 9th power years ago.
But the Greek creation myth did not begin with Zeus. It begins with Chaos--Void Space--which can be viewed as a vacuum with random fluctuation (the random element). From this egg of the universe was born the cosmogonic Eros, the God of Love, or primal attraction. This Eros may also be described as the dominating force in the large-scale dynamics of the universe--Gravitation, the force of attraction which is the curvature of the structure of spacetime.
Even though Zeus represents the unity of the superior progenitor, he is limited by the other gods, as myth shows. Our modern myths of existence may be "seen through" from the archetypal perspectives of many gods.
An imaginal description of archetypal reality discloses Zeus as ENERGY, which can manifest as LIGHT. As radial energy, Zeus is expansive. E = hf means that energy (E) equals the frequency of the light emitted (f) times Planck's constant (h). This formula gave birth to the quantum age. When an atom is split mass is converted into energy.
Zeus is a "quantum god." Recall the lament of Einstein that "God doesn't play dice with the universe." On the other hand, Zeus is inexorably linked with gambling, risk, play and the uncertainty principle. Zeus is a restless force. The speed of light is constant and it has no rest mass, because it never rests. The velocity of light is therefore a universal constant--the same everywhere all the time.
The unstable vacuum, known as Chaos, is not simply the absence of matter, but a complex system, within which matter can arise through random fluctuation. This is probably conditioned by deterministic chaos operating in quantum fluctuation, translating the virtual energy of scalar fields into observable energy events.
Once matter (substance, the velocity-independent factor in momentum) arises, the dynamics of the vacuum lead to our present expanding universe. It grows slowly till it reaches the critical mass for expansion. Once expansion begins from any point, more matter is automatically created, which induces more expansion, etc.
Zeus is thus the "Big Bang", or the entire inflationary scenario of expansion and evolution (Universal Mind). E=mc2 means that as a particle's energy increases so does its mass. More simply, it is speculated that light twists on itself to create matter. We come from light and return to light. An electron is a photon, or a quantum of action frozen into mass.
Light is an enigma since it has no rest mass or charge. Light never rests; it is restless. It is pure action. Light appears in whole units of action which lose no energy. Light accounts for all energy exchange at atomic and molecular levels. Both action (light) and matter come in whole units, which are indivisible.
Unimpaired, light follows the principle of least action, along geodesic world lines. Since light is quantized in photons, light is pure action, and action comes in wholes. Wholeness is inherent in the nature of action, the nature of Zeus, and the nature of Self, and God. The Creator is not separate from the Creation in natural philosophy.
Quantum physics, like religion, reveals first causes. Arthur Young (1976) asserts that Light = quanta of action = wholes = first cause. Photons have total freedom since they are independent of spacetime, and are at the top of the causal chain.
We can trace the Big Bang backwards through physics. As we go backward through time, the temperature gets hotter and hotter. As matter (atoms) get superheated, it becomes a plasma because the heat makes violent collisions between atoms. They can't hold together. So matter consists of nuclei and loose, unbounded electrons.
Before the plasma stage, even nuclei couldn't hold together, so matter exited only as energetic particles. Even earlier in creation the particles couldn't hold together, and matter could only exist as quarks.
Prior to that, conditions are so intense that of the four basic forces (gravity; electromagnetism; strong force which bonds nuclei; and weak force such as radioactive decay) the electromagnetic and weak forces merge, leaving three forces.
Still earlier, the even greater temperature melded the strong and electromagetic-weak interactions, leaving only two forces of gravity and the fused strong-weak-electromagnetic force.
We are approaching the limits of physics which postulates at Planck Time (10-43 second) all forces unify.
To describe this unified condition, physics needs to develop a theory which marries quantum mechanics to the laws of general relativity which describe gravitation. This theory of quantum gravity would be a grand unified theory of the creation.
The Greeks defined relationships among archetypal principles through a pantheistic viewpoint. Thus we might contemplate other physical archetypes and their relationship to Zeus as energy and light.
For example, grandmother Rhea might be rhythm, harmony, resonance, or the phenomena of beats. Themis embodies physical laws, conservation, and action/reaction. Hera symbolizes (molecular) bonding.
Thanatos is the principle of entropy. Entropy is ever-present, just as death in the soul is concurrent with daily life. Hades can influence us through radioactive decay which can be an invisible destroyer, mutating our genes.
Poseidon is characterized as a sea-god. He could correspond with wave fronts (amplitude). He is described as a wave function, wave packet, or tidal field. Hestia's fire is described by the laws of thermodynamics.
Electromagnetism is a hermaphroditic entity. Electricity = Hermes; magnetism = Aphrodite. Hermes also governs synchronicity which is the meaningful congruence of mind and matter. Flow is the confluence of mind and matter.
Apollo is thermonuclear fission by which our sun creates light. Artemis is resonance, which manifests on the human level as empathy. Artemis/Apollo as twins symbolize polarity, + or - charge.
Mars = force, which is mass accelerating. It is tangential energy or vector quantity. Kinetic energy is momentum which is equivalent to mass x velocity. On the human level it is exertion or aggression.
Try to think up other correspondences for natural philosophy. To understand is to transcend.
Jehovah, I AM (Hebrew)
Brahma, Indra (Hindu)
Amoun-Ra, Osiris (Egyptian)
King Arthur (Celtic)
Sun Pin, Lei-kung (Chinese)
Great Spirit (Native American)
All of the great philosophers world-wide, including Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Confucious, Lao-Tzu, etc. The sagacious King Solomon; King Henry VIII of England with his numerous wives.
More recently, the economic "aristocracy" such as the Morgans, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Kennedys. Any corporate entity or leader is an embodiment of Zeus.
A few years ago, the television show DYNASTY typified a whole pantheon of characters. Zeus, was Blake Carrington, Captain of Industry. His shrewish ex-wife Alexis was Hera. His father-obsessed daughter Falon was an Athena. The son-in-law Jeff was Apollonic. Krystal was a combination of Aphrodite and nurturing Demeter. The long-lost son, Adam, was a shadow-ridden Trickster, linking him to Hermes.
R. Buckminster Fuller is a brilliant example of the Zeus-personality. This magnificent mind was an interdisciplinarian and whole earth citizen. He maintained great interest in both the abstract realm of geometry and structure plus the environmental world of daily life. His many works, especially SYNERGETICS 1 & 2, summarize his physico-psycho-social work concerning optimal efficiency and cooperation.
Donald Trump revealed his philandering shadow-side. Sultan of Brunei is the richest man in the world. The head of the federal exchange commission has been called the most powerful man in the world because he controls the value of U.S. currency, thereby controlling world trade situations.
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DIALOGUE WITH ZEUS
We can tap into Zeus' wisdom for personal guidance in our daily life. Zeus was not only considered an abstract Olympian god, but also a daimon (or mediator) on a personal level. In other words, he functions as an inner guide for the mortals who call on him. His realm involves the entire cycle of human fate; he is the determiner of our unique individual destinies, delivering what we have earned through our actions. Are we empowered, or disempowered? As dispenser of human fate, Zeus reigns like an almighty god.
We contact Zeus when we can "see through" the events of our daily lives to a more fundamental level. On the psychological level, Zeus appears as the "meaning" which lights up our personal experience. For great events, there is a correspondingly profound insight. Sudden insight may be compared to a quantum leap in consciousness.
Zeus can be a wise and philosophical father figure for us--mentor, role model, and authority symbol. The purpose of the father image is to challenge us into further exploration and growth. He provides the support that helps us to meet the challenges of becoming an individual in our own right or becoming whole.
If we lacked this guidance as a child, we may have to re-father ourselves. A father encourages us to find our place in the world and develop social consciousness. He counsels us to choose a career where we may be effective, and successful.
The positive father-complex expresses in an attitude of extroverted enthusiasm for life. With a positive father image, we are eager to learn, comprehend, and experience many facets of life. The positive father counsels one to maintain an objective, long-range viewpoint which is based on wisdom and consideration for others.
Seek the philosophical objectivity of Zeus, his insights, and divine wisdom. Seek his paternal nurturing. He symbolizes the archetype of the Self or Universal Mind manifesting in individuals as their fullest extension and actualization of potential. He is pure creative energy. Mass is "crystallized" energy. We come from Light and return to that Light, according to the testimony of physicists and mystics, alike. Meditate on that Light, and become it.
ZEUS IN YOUR LIFE
1. Do you feel empowered or disempowered in your life; does your personal authority spring from internal or external sources?
2. Have you ever suffered at the shrewishness of a jealous, vindictive spouse?
3. Do you set certain limits on your personal freedom? Are you conscious of what they are? Are you accountable to others? Examine where these limitations might come from, i.e. fear or shyness from Persephone, fidelity from Hera, consistency and reliability from Athena, etc.
4. Do you believe we have any free will as humans, or do you believe in immutable destiny or fate? How can you contact your True Will as Zeus, or the higher Self?
5. When our ego or personality identifies with the unlimited power of Zeus, it puffs-up to unrealistic proportions. Zeus is associated with expansion or inflation. With a positive Zeus identification, we expand our horizons. With a negative Zeus identification we go on a terrible ego-trip. How does Zeus affect you positively? Describe the biggest "ego trip" you've ever gone through, and what eventually burst your bubble (ego death).
6. Are your philosophical by nature? Which philosophy-of-life or philosophical school do you feel closest to in attitude? Perhaps it is a religion. Who is (or was) you favorite philosopher?
7. If you can remember "lighting up" with a sudden insight, describe it briefly.
8. Do you think you have enough confidence and self-assurance, or are you self-defeating? Call upon your inner Zeus-potential to develop your will, intuition, reason and leadership capacities.
9. Zeus embodies many of the qualities of a guru. Have you ever followed a wise teacher whom you revered as a role-model?
10. Do you have a strong religious spirit? How does it affect your behavior (restraint, justice or fairness, etc.) and emotions (compassion, guilt, faith, love, etc.)?
11. Can you describe your personal metaphysical viewpoint by examining the foundations of your belief system, or worldview? What are the underlying assumed truths of these beliefs you embrace? Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going? Perhaps you hold a metaphysical interpretation of a major religion, such as Christianity or Judism.
12. Do you produce many "offspring," new fruits of creative projects, either physical results (like art) or metaphysical (like bright ideas)?
13. Do you have a weak or strong ego? Are you a "can do" person or do you tend to fall apart in a crisis or allow others to walk all over you?
14. Are you considered judgmental and harsh or fair?
15. How do you react to the realistic and unrealistic expectations of your spouse? If you are a man are you attentive to your children? Were you when they were small? Hera likes a big, powerful man who is competent and successful. However, there is something of the little boy in them, also. How does your inner child balance your Zeus force?
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