Wednesday, July 17, 2013



(So, melancholy?)

(Boeing 777?)

They first maintain that the Soul and a certain “Wisdom” [Sophia] declined and entered this lower sphere though they leave us in doubt of whether the movement originated in Soul or in this Sophia of theirs, or whether the two are the same to them — then they tell us that the other Souls came down in the descent and that these members of Sophia took to themselves bodies, human bodies, for example.

Yet in the same breath, that very Soul which was the occasion of descent to the others is declared not to have descended. “It knew no decline,” but merely illuminated the darkness in such a way that an image of it was formed upon the Matter. Then, they shape an image of that image somewhere below — through the medium of Matter or of Materiality or whatever else of many names they choose to give it in their frequent change of terms, invented to darken their doctrine — and so they bring into being what they call the Creator or Demiurge, then this lower is severed from his Mother [Sophia] and becomes the author of the Cosmos down to the latest of the succession of images constituting it. . . .

Again, if the Soul possesses the plan of a Universe, and by virtue of this plan illuminates it, why do not that illumination and the creating of the world take place simultaneously? Why must the Soul wait till the representations of the plan be made actual?

Then again this Plan — the “Far Country” of their terminology — brought into being, as they hold, by the greater powers, could not have been the occasion of decline to the creators.

Further, how explain that under this illumination the Matter of the Cosmos produces images of the order of Soul instead of mere bodily-nature? An image of Soul could not demand darkness or Matter, but wherever formed it would exhibit the character of the producing element and remain in close union with it. (Plotinus, Ennead II, 9, "Against the Gnostics")

Christ also was not produced from the Aeons within the Pleroma, but was brought forth by the mother who had been excluded from it, in virtue of her remembrance of better things, but not without a kind of shadow. He, indeed, as being masculine, having severed the shadow from himself, returned to the Pleroma; but his mother being left with the shadow, and deprived of her spiritual substance, brought forth another son, namely, the Demiurge, whom he also styles the supreme ruler of all those things which are subject to him. . . . ". . . she in the greatness of her daring inspiring with mind on account of the goodness of the Propator, produced us as their images, having her mind then intent upon the things above, as in a dream . . ." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, I)

Mary Magdalen may be recognized as a figure of very ancient, pre-Christian origin. Her most conspicuous symbol, the ointment jar or pot, is an especially potent symbol, and one which we recognize as belonging also to Psyche and to Pandora. Its association with the ancient mythic female principle is perhaps one of the clues to the enduring appeal of Mary Magdalen; and it is also the unacknowledged motif around which have been shaped the various myths and legends that have been attached to this woman over the centuries. (Christopher Whitcombe)

Thus the Christian projection acts upon the unknown in man, or upon the unknown man, who becomes the bearer of the “terrible and unheard-of secret.” The pagan projection, on the other hand, goes beyond man and acts upon the unknown in the material world, the unknown substance which, like the chosen man, is somehow filled with God. And just as, in Christianity, the Godhead conceals itself in the man of low degree, so in the “philosophy” it hides in the uncomely stone. In the Christian projection the descensus spiritus sancti stops at the living body of the Chosen One, who is at once very man and very God, whereas in alchemy the descent goes right down into the darkness of inanimate matter whose nether regions, according to the Neopythagoreans, are ruled by evil. Evil and matter together form the Dyad, the duality. This is feminine in nature, an anima mundi, the feminine Physis who longs for the embrace of the One, the Monad, the good and perfect. The Justinian Gnosis depicts her as Edem, virgin above, serpent below. Vengefully she strives against the pneuma because, in the shape of the demiurge, the second form of God, he faithlessly abandoned her. She is “the divine soul imprisoned in the elements,” whom it is the task of alchemy to redeem. (Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, pp. 305-6)

I refer to a Jew of the first centuries of our era, namely Justinus the gnostic, who most probably lived in Egypt and was in fact a Christian Jew.

He quotes the words of Hosea 1, 2 in the wording of the Septuagint and understands this as alluding to a mythical figure called Edem, who “whored away from behind the Lord”:
And, he says, when the prophet is said “to take to himself a wife of harlotry, because the land will go a-whoring from the following of the Lord” (Hos. 1, 2), in these words, he says, the prophet clearly speaks the whole mystery, and is not heard because of the wickedness of Naas. (Hippolytus, Ref. V, 27, 4)
For Edem, the consort of Elohim, is also called Israel. (Ibid. V, 26, 36)
It has become clear only recently, who this Edem really is. She is depicted as having the same outward appearance as the Egyptian goddess Thermouthis, who at that time had been identified with Isis: a virgin above her groin, a viper below. So it was established for the first time that such Jewish speculations on a gnostic goddess were somehow inspired by the concept of Isis.

The Garden of Edem

This connection becomes still more clear if we keep in mind that Edem in Hebrew means “earth”, as Justinus the Gnostic still knows quite well:
When the paradise had come into being out of the mutual good pleasure of Elohim and Edem, then the angels of Elohim took of the finest earth—that is, not of the animal part of Edem, but from the human and civilized regions of the earth above the groin—and made man. (Hippolytus, Ref. V, 26, 7)
Increase and multiply, and inherit the earth, i.e. Edem. (Ibid. V, 26, 9)
For he (sc. Elohim) aspired upwards, leaving Edem behind; being earth, she did not wish to follow her consort upwards. (Ibid. V, 26, 14)
It was, however, Isis who was interpreted by the Hellenistic authors as being earth. Among the many witnesses we quote Varro, who in De lingua latina V, 10, says:
principes dei caelum et terra, hi dei idem qui Aegypti Serapis et Isis.
Firmicus Maternus, De errore profanarum religionum 2, 6, affirms the same: Isin terram. According to the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry, Osiris is the river Nile, and Isis is the Egyptian land which is fertilized by it:
Ἴσις ἡ Αἰγυπτία ἐστὶν γῆ
(Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica III, 11, 51).
If any doubt about the meaning of Edem still lingers in the mind of some scholars, this can now be dispelled: Edem means “earth” and resembles Isis.

But at the same time Edem is called Israel and is a symbol of the Jewish people like in Hosea:
This maiden is called “Edem” and “Israel”. (Hippolytus, Ref. V, 26, 2)
The myth of Justinus, however, describes the sacred marriage between Elohim and Edem, that is between God and Israel:
When the father saw that half-woman Edem, since he was without foreknowledge, he came to a desire for her. Now this father, he says, is called “Elohim”. Edem was no less desirous for Elohim, and the desire brought them together in heart-felt love. (Ibid. V, 26, 2)
Edem is not intrinsically evil. It is only when her husband leaves her that she makes herself up in order to make him return to her. When he does not come back, she instructs her daughter, the goddess of love Aphrodite, to create fornication and separation among men:
Then Edem, knowing that she had been abandoned by Elohim, in her grief set her own angels beside her and adorned herself becomingly, in the hope that Elohim might fall into desire and come to her. But as Elohim, held fast by “the Good”, came down no more to Edem, Edem commanded Babel (who is Aphrodite) to effect adulteries and divorces among men, in order that, just as she herself had been separated from Elohim, so also the spirit of Elohim might be pained and tormented by such separations, and suffer the same as the abandoned Edem. (Ibid. V, 26,19–20)
Here the blasphemous view that Israel is at the same time a goddess and a prostitute is only thinly veiled.

It would seem that this can be explained in a satisfactory way by supposing that among the Jews of Egypt the view persisted that the Lord had a divine spouse who is at the same time the cause and symbol of all fornication.

Holy prostitution was unknown to the Egyptian religion. It is impossible that some Egyptian myth about Isis-Thermouthis as a prostitute inspired the myth of Edem-Israel. Isis was steadfast to her husband and for ever faithful. This leads us to suppose that Justinus used traditional material already existing before him, describing Israel as the divine and unfaithful spouse of the Lord, which he welded with the concept of Isis as earth and anguipede.

There is a decisive proof that at one time the West-Semitic love goddess, the Egyptian Isis and the Jewish Wisdom were all welded together. (Gilles Quispel, Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica, pp. 502-4)



(Stephan Huller)

(The carnal Christ)

A grieving couple retreat to Eden, their isolated cabin in the woods, where they hope to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage.

(The superior Christ)

▼ Pneuma & Kosmos ▲

(The Lovers?)

Even the Intellectual-Principle, which is before all the kosmos, has, it also, its destiny, that of abiding intact above, and of giving downwards: what it sends down is the particular [soul] . . .

Thus it comes about that this kosmos, lit with many lights, gleaming in its souls, receives still further graces, gifts from here and from there, from the gods of the Supreme, and from those other Intellectual-Principles whose nature it is to ensoul. This is probably the secret of the myth in which, after Prometheus had moulded woman, the other gods heaped gifts upon her, Hephaistos "blending the clay with moisture and bestowing the human voice and the form of a goddess"; Aphrodite bringing her gifts, and the Graces theirs, and other gods other gifts, and finally calling her by the name [Pandora] which tells of gift and of all giving--for all have added something to this formation brought to being by a Promethean, a fore-thinking power. As for the rejection of Prometheus' gift by after-thought, Epimetheus, what can this signify but that the wiser choice is to remain in the Intellectual realm? Pandora's creator is fettered, to signify that he is in some sense held by his own creation; such a fettering is external and the release by Hercules tells that there is power in Prometheus, so that he need not remain in bonds. (Plotinus, Ennead IV, 14)

(The εἰκών)

Inline image 5

James Mason, the original flying dutchman who promises her deathless timeless love aboard his slick craft, knows what to do with all her aching archetypal beauty. And he embraces her enigmatic grace first by painting her before he even meets her (top), and then after she angrily blots out her face with white he incorporates the white into a De Chirico type mask, restoring and enhancing her unknowable elemental mystery rather than trying to reign it in like the other men orbiting her. An archetype himself, the Dutchman whisks her from the time-bound concerns of mortal men and into the constellations where she belongs. (Acidemic)

In the center is an egg, with a double-headed chick hatching from it. . . . For Jung it is the "captive world-soul" escaping from the chaos inside the egg. He concludes:
Out of the egg--symbolized by the round cooking vessel--will rise the eagle or phoenix, the liberated soul, which is ultimately identical with the Anthropos who was imprisoned in the embrace of Physis (fig. 98). (Psychology and Alchemy p. 202)
Jung is referring to the myth of the Poimandres, in which the double-sexed Anthropos descends from and is caught in the embrace of matter. . . . The ascents of Jesus and the Virgin, both connoted in the sexually ambiguous image of the tarot World card, are particular instances of Anthropos's escape from Physis. At the same time, in alchemy it is not an escape but a transformation, from the impure state of the King and Queen to the divine substance of the Lapis, still very much in this world, just as the Virgin is when she immaculately gives birth to Jesus, and as Jesus himself is while on earth, even after his resurrection. It is the attainment of such divine substance that is the alchemist's goal. To the extent that the tarot is an exercise in the imitatio Christi, that is also the goal, however unreachable, of the tarot sequence as well.

It may be that in this final stage we can also see the final coniunctio described by Jung in his commentary on Dorn, that of the spirit-soul-body union with the unus mundus, the "one world" or world before creation (Mysterium Coniunctionis pp. 465, 534), as the four elements in the corners and the quintessence in the middle. Jung himself says (pp. 465f): 
This third stage wa depicted after the manner of the Assumption and Coronation of Mary, in which the Mother of God represents the body.
A footnote leads us to the Pandora, fig. 232 in Psychology and Alchemy, which I reproduce below. 

This of course is just a refiguration of the 15th century image from the Heilige Dreifaltigkeit.
In that case, the quintessence, the lady in the mddle of the World card, is more spirit in matter than body . . . . (Michael S. Howard, Tarot and Alchemy: "World")

“As much as the image is inferior to the living face, so much is the world inferior to the living Æon. What is, then, the cause of the image? The majesty of the face, which exhibits the figure to the painter, to be honoured by his name; for the form is not found exactly to the life, but the name supplies what is wanting in the effigy. The invisibility of God co-operates also in order to the faith of that which has been fashioned.” For the Creator . . . he designated as “Painter,” and “Wisdom,” whose image that which is formed is, to the glory of the invisible One; since the things which proceed from a pair are complements, and those which proceed from one are images. (Valentinus, apud Clement of Alexandria, Stromata)

Inline image 3

. . . they say that Achamoth sketched these pictures in honor of the aeons. Yet they transfer this work to Soter as its originator who operated through Achamoth so as to present her as the very image of the invisible and unknown Father, she being invisible, of course, and unknown to the Demiurge, and in the same way he created this same Demiurge to correspond to Nus, the son. The Archangels, creations of the Demiurge, are models of the rest of the aeons. . . . don't you agree that I should laugh at these pictures painted by such a lunatic painter? Achamoth, a female and yet the image of the Father; the Demiurge, ignorant of his mother—not to mention of his Father—yet representing Nus who is not ignorant of his Father; the angels, the reproductions of their masters. This is the same as counterfeiting a fake . . . . (Tertullian, Against the Valentinians, XIX)

“What is coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences”. This is what Hendrik van der Zee (“from the sea” in Dutch), aka the Flying Dutchman, says to Pandora Reynolds when she sees her face on the painting he is making the first time they meet in the film “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman“. He’s painting Pandora, the first woman in Greek mythology . . .

The film is about the legend of the Flying Dutchman, a XVII-century man who, after killing his wife for jealousy, is doomed to wander over the seas until he finds a woman who is ready to die for him. It is set in the 1930s in the Spanish port of Esperanza, where a group of wealthy British and American friends, including Pandora Reynolds from Indianapolis, live. The arrival of a boat with Hendrik van der Zee, changes everything. . . . (Alejandro Ribó)

Eikon & Eidolon

Pandora Reynolds: [looking at Hendrik's painting of her] It’s not like I am at all. But it’s who I’d like to be.
[looking at Hendrik]
Pandora Reynolds: Why am I not like that?
Hendrik: Perhaps you haven’t found what you want yet, perhaps you’re unfulfilled. Perhaps you don’t even know what you want, perhaps you’re discontented. Discontentment often finds vent through fury and destruction.
Pandora Reynolds: [suddenly angry] Fury and destruction, is that what you think? Well perhaps I can find something here to destroy.
Hendrik: I’m quite certain you will.
Pandora Reynolds: Your painting of me perhaps. Would you like me to destroy your painting?
Hendrik: [calmly] If it would help to quiet your soul.
Pandora Reynolds: How long have you worked on it?
Hendrik: [still perfectly calm] Does it matter?
Pandora Reynolds: [picks up a palette knife] Shall I do it then?
Hendrik: By all means.
[Pandora uses the knife to scratch out the face of the painted Pandora. Hendrik watches then calmly and wordlessly comes over to inspect the damage]
[stunned by his calmness]
Pandora Reynolds: Aren’t you angry?
Hendrik: I was angry once before. I can never be angry again.
Pandora Reynolds: [pause, then quietly] You’ve made me feel quite ashamed of myself. It’s a new emotion, I’m not sure I like it.

Pandora: It's as if everything that happened before I met you didn't happen to me at all but to someone else. And in a way that's true. I've changed so since I've known you. I'm not cruel and hateful as I used to be, hurting people because I was so unhappy myself. I know now what destructiveness comes from, it's a lack of love.


  1. Great post Jason.
    On the subject of Dutch paintings,you might find this Monkies TV episode starring
    Michael Bell from the movie 'War is Hell' as 'The Artist' intriguing ?

  2. Before I read this post I'd just finished watching Season 1 of The Fall on Netflix (starring Gillian Anderson) which highlighted the Nietzsche quote: "I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

    There's this idea I've been grappling with of late that the very act of creating something in this world, whether by thought form or by physical means, is to propagate deficiency. The Perfect Thing is perfect only up until the point it manifests in this reality. In the open air everything degenerates, festers, spoils, rots, and dies eventually. Even when manna fell from heaven to the Israelites in the Bible they were instructed not to try to keep it overnight. If they did, the next day it would be spoiled and riddled with bugs.

    Divine substance can not truly exist here except in some corrupted form. Thus, to dream, to desire, to continue to bring things into being is beginning to seem futile and selfish to me. If we ever hope to evolve to a higher form, I believe that we must learn the true nature of things (which is the opposite of what we have been told). Attachment to form is the only death, allowance and acceptance is Love and requires no material form. Coming to an understanding of this goes against my every natural human tendency. But it seems like the key.


    Pandora's Clock (also known as Doomsday Virus) is a 1996 television movie based on a novel by John J. Nance about a deadly virus on a Boeing 747-200 from Frankfurt to JFK Airport. The film stars Richard Dean Anderson, Stephen Root, Jane Leeves, Robert Loggia and

    Daphne Zuniga

    and the script closely follows the book.

    Pandoraviruses may constitute a fourth domain. Its biochemical and regulatory functions may have significant biotechnical and biomedical applications.

    Like the legend of the phoenix /
    All ends with beginnings /
    What keeps the planet spinning /
    The force from the beginning /



    air borne

    1. Also note the China Girls dead in the Assiah Boeing 777 crash . . . it's all such a replay of the past year that I don't know what to say about it. "Something in the Air."

    2. The Green Lady in the Blue and Pink Tunic


      WW of the E & Dorothy - (mako)

    3. i meant to post this link for the East / Dorothy current -

      Sea Beasts and Sharknados, most certainly

  4. Wonderful. What happens in the magic cave when the world is consumed by fire?

    1. Thank you. Presumably all Matter (or its Shadow) is destroyed and the Earth is replaced with the Paradigm that exists eternally.

      "When all the seed shall have come to perfection, they state that then their mother Achamoth shall pass from the intermediate place, and enter in within the Pleroma, and shall receive as her spouse the Saviour, who sprang from all the Æons, that thus a conjunction may be formed between the Saviour and Sophia, that is, Achamoth. These, then, are the bridegroom and bride, while the nuptial chamber is the full extent of the Pleroma. ... When these things have taken place as described, then shall that fire which lies hidden in the world blaze forth and burn; and while destroying all matter, shall also be extinguished along with it, and have no further existence."

    2. Kirsten Dunst is the Pleromatic (pneumatic) Saviour (thus the moniker "Aunt Steelbreaker" as she who liberates), in distinction from Willem Dafoe, the human Saviour, who is only of a psychic nature. The three figures alive at the End of the World are the Osiris-Isis-Horus triangle of Plutarch, as Luminosity (Dunst), Space (Gainsbourg), and its product (the Child).

    3. Thanks for that. The last scene always reminds me again of Blake. From Northrop Frye's book on the poet:

      "And as the risen body perceives the new world the old one perishes in flames. Why flames? Because fire is the greatest possible combination in this world of heat and light, and the risen body lives in the greatest possible combination of the spiritual forms of heat and light: energy or desire, and reason or vision. Fire destroys the solid form of nature, and those who have believed nature to be solid will find themselves in a lake of fire at the Dies Irae. But the imagination cannot be consumed by fire, for it is fire; the burning bush of God which never exhausts its material. It is this fire that "delights in its form.""

      Interesting that in the gnostic passage the fire also extinguishes itself.


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