I said in the last blog that Hinduism forms the basic structure of my spiritual beliefs as a Pagan, and that’s because it’s a religion that (as best as I understand it) teaches that all deities, both within and without the Hindu pantheon, are aspects of the singular “God” from which all things emanate. The idea is that if one were to consider all the millions of gods together, they would make a composite image of the greatest, truest form of Divinity itself, similar to how cross sections of an MRI are merged together to render a three-dimensional image of a body. Yet no matter how many gods humanity can discern exist, we will always fall short of a complete understanding, so we patch in the gaps of the image with our own experiences. This method of spiritual comprehension itself mirrors our own understanding of who we truly are as people, so I am forced to conclude that I will never know myself completely, any more than I’ll ever understand God. This is, of course, not unique to me, or to pagans in general, because humans are naturally social creatures, so it’s part of the process by which we come to understand ourselves as intelligent beings.
I may be an extreme extrovert, but even those on the other end of the scale need some measure of feedback from other human beings, which is why some of the most talented artists in history have been introverts. Through the creative process we say to each other, “This thing I created expresses something about the way I think and is therefore a piece of who I am. Please tell me what you think about it so that I can gain some intellectual reference to my own thoughts, and thus understand myself better.” This is the type of creative, exploratory interplay that Dr. Jordan Peterson encourages people to participate in, which is precisely why he is repeatedly maligned in the mainstream media.
As I said in blog 27E, human brains have not evolved to think, but to boil things down to their simplest components and then operate on easily programmable presuppositions. To challenge that device is to challenge the mechanics of the very system upon which every human civilization has operated since the dawn of recorded time, and this isn’t a wild conspiracy theory. I’m not talking about defying a mysterious “they”, I’m talking about human civilization itself rebelling against a man like Dr. Peterson, not because of what he says, but because of what he engenders: Carefully constructed, considerate thought that’s rationally analyzed and debated in a civilized manner. And here I come along with my bloody memes to make it worse!
I know that the more I dive into who I am, and the more that I honestly and boldly call that man forth through the content that I produce, the more likely it is that I too will be seen as a threat as well. For the first time, though, I’m not afraid, not just because I can’t afford to be (I really like my car), but because I’ve already lived that experience, in the world of my meditative vision. Funny enough, it wasn’t until I wrote out everything that I’ve experienced over the past few months that things came into focus. When I think back, I remember feeling like there were things about my vision in the cave that I understood right away, but I couldn’t quite articulate it, and now it all makes sense.
For instance, the post-apocalyptic, desert landscape represented our modern society, desolate and devoid of beauty or vitality. The tavern being projected over a yoga studio spoke to how fake and toxic a lot “spiritual” people, with whom I used to frequently associate, often tend to be. The insects, like the invisible centipede and giant beetles, as well as the fascist soldiers in later visions, were cancel culture trolls that move like a horde of creepy-crawlies controlled by a hive mind, as explained by the barmaid who said, “If you learn how to manipulate the intrinsic forces of the Universe, the Universe is not going to like that. It will manifest ways to stop you; antibodies if you will.” The irony that my Shadow Warrior was vested with that insect motif was not lost on me. My base, human inclination to imbibe of the thrill of ideological scuffles in order to retain cred within some group identity is quite apparent, and even though one group was antithetical to the other, the effect of both on me remains the same. The fact that I had to kill this part of myself was my declaration: An authentic man stands WITH others, but AS himself.
For a while I thought that the barmaid might have represented the ideal woman that I longed for, especially since Ego was so hostile to her. This made sense at first, because it is through falling in love that our egos often suffer the most damage, or else it’s our ego that damages our romantic relationships. However, our ego also tends to damage our relationship with Divinity as well, and I now see the barmaid, a woman with balanced attributes of beauty and bravado, who was capable of utilizing ancient wisdom to channel creative power in order to reshape the world, as being the perfect representation of Aphrodite and Minerva, who can be thought of as two sides of the same concept: Beauty.
Minerva inspired the minds and hands of the craftsman that designed, painted, carved, composed or otherwise created works that are scarcely replicated today. Aphrodite, on the other hand, represents the very concept of beauty itself. She’s seen in everything that pleases the senses and the soul, whether that is something manmade, or natural. One deity drives creation, the other drives its appreciation, and together they would help me go forward.
In my last round through the monomyth, it was sufficient for me to use my mind to overcome the erroneous, racist, sexist, anti-Western, anti-human programming of my youth, as it took logic to supplant such truly awful ideas. The title I’m living through now, however, requires a lot more power than what my mere human mind is capable of bringing to bear, and I humbly acknowledge that fact. After my second Apotheosis in the same monomyth cycle, the parameters of the game were set: I couldn’t doubt myself ever again. Not even privately. Not even for a moment. Okay, I can handle that. After all, I was an arrogant prick for most of my life. Of course, that’s not exactly the right way to live either, is it? As the guide said in the Temple of This and That, the entire purpose of the hero’s journey is to achieve balance, and that’s where the goddesses come in.
Dr. Jordan Peterson has spoken at length about the interplay between order and chaos. In his masterwork, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos he said, “To straddle that fundamental duality is to be balanced: to have one foot firmly planted in order and security, and the other in chaos, possibility, growth and adventure. When life suddenly reveals itself as intense, gripping and meaningful; when time passes, and you're so engrossed in what you're doing you don't notice – it is there and then that you are located precisely on the border between order and chaos.”
In a 2006 paper entitled, Religion, Sovereignty, Natural Rights, and the Constituent Elements of Experience, Dr. Peterson broke down some of the symbols for order and chaos used throughout human history, particularly those used at the beginning of civilization in the creation story of the Mesopotamians, and how the images used in that earliest of human tales connects order to the masculine (the god Apsu), and chaos to the feminine (the dragon, Tiamat). He goes on to explain how the union of the two eldest deities gave rise to the elder gods, who for their part murdered their father and set about to live on his corpse. This enraged Tiamat who created eleven demons with which to kill her children. By this point the elder gods had already started having kids of their own, one of which was Marduk who, as Dr. Peterson pointed out, represented conscious thought; mankind’s ability to think and solve problems. In fact, he was so adept at thinking that all the gods granted to him supreme authority, on the condition that he defeat his grandmother on their behalf. On page 164 of that same paper, he says:
Once Tiamat is trussed and encapsulated, Marduk uses his sword and divides her in two, then cuts her into pieces, and constructs the habitable world from her remains. Thus, the exploratory hero makes the world as a consequence of his encounter with the generative unknown. This idea was so well developed among the Mesopotamians that it was virtually explicit. One of their many names for Marduk was precisely “he who makes ingenious things from the conflict with Tiamat” (Heidel, 1965, p. 58). The mythological description of this process is of course reminiscent of Plato’s injunction to “cut nature at her joints,” in order to further the process of understanding (an injunction whose essential theme underlies the entire practice of modern science).
For his part in humanity’s understanding of itself, Odin can be thought of as an iconographic successor to Marduk. The Germanic god of wisdom underwent a trial when he pierced himself with his spear and hung from the branch of the Great World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights in order to extract the secret of the runes from the Well of Urd. This understanding was hitherto known only by the Norns, the three old crones that controlled the fate of both men and gods alike. Odin, the masculine deity and embodiment of the conscious mind, had to voluntarily suffer a great ordeal in order to gain wisdom from the natural world what the female deities already innately knew.
Consider this account against that of the birth of Minerva (Athena) the goddess of wisdom, who burst forth from the head of Jupiter (Zeus) the god of the sky, fully formed and ready for battle. Likewise, Aphrodite (Venus) emerged from sea foam after Uranus’ genitals had fallen into the waters of the ocean. The fundamental contrast between the two sets of deities, Marduk and Odin with Aphrodite and Minerva, perfectly exemplifies the difference between intelligence and wisdom, which is why the goddesses are needed to so directly influence my life right now. To succeed against what comes next requires more than what masculine drive and intelligence can manage alone; it requires divine, feminine wisdom.
Dr. Jordan Peterson: