Prometheus and Pandora
Of all of the great mythologies and traditions that we have inherited from our forefathers, one of the deepest, richest, and most profound is the mysteries of the Greeks. The Greek mythologies that we learn about as we are educated in the Western world come from a very ancient tradition that unfortunately has not been fully transmitted through our school text books and children’s story books. Those simple tales provide us with the garments, the outer coverings of the ancient stories, but the garments do not reveal the soul of those mysteries.
The classic Greek stories of the gods, titans, and heroes are not just comic book stories or fairy tales. They are a profound reflection of the most ancient and venerable sciences of this universe. So when we recall the stories of Odysseus, Perseus, Herakles, Jason, Athena, or Medusa, we have to purge from our mind the comic book interpretations of these stories, and delve instead into their true heart, their true meaning.
This becomes complicated for us because we have grown up with certain assumptions about mythology, history, and stories. In modern culture we have been saturated with thousands of years of supposition, theories, different concepts and different interpretations of these stories that are not informed by the true esoteric tradition. So we have a great disadvantage. It is much the same as the traditional religions that we have grown up with; we grew up hearing the Sunday school interpretations of the Bible for children, or the various superficial interpretations of the scriptures, in which the scriptures are “dumbed down.” The Sunday school interpretations for children are superficial. They do not convey the true meaning that is hidden inside the stories.
I give you this preface because in today's lecture we will examine a myth that most people have heard of, and most people have heard interpretations of, but firstly, the story is always told the wrong way, and secondly, the interpretation is always wrong.
It is good to remember that these stories were originated by an esoteric tradition, a form of teaching that was not public. After thousands of years of hearing scholars and intellectuals debate and compare their theories and suppositions, the public has no real idea that these stories actually have a true meaning, an objective, intentional meaning that is not debatable or interpretable, but is clear and objective. The real meanings in each myth are not just theoretical. They are not just concepts or theories, open to interpretation, locked in debate with each other. In reality, myths have a true meaning.
We ascribe meanings to certain things based on our interpretation of them, but those interpretive meanings do not always correspond to the true meaning, the true value or the true mystery hidden inside the symbol. Sadly, most people grasp their subjective interpretation and remain unwilling to let go of it, meaning that they will never be able to acquire the true meaning. So, let us not fall into that mistake. Let us have an open mind and receptive attitude, so we can acquire the real meaning of what we study.
"Once upon a time there were gods only, and no mortal creatures. But when the time came that these also should be created, the gods fashioned them out of earth and fire and various mixtures of both elements in the interior of the earth; and when they were about to bring them into the light of day, they ordered Prometheus and Epimetheus to equip them, and to distribute to them severally their proper qualities. Epimetheus said to Prometheus: ‘Let me distribute, and do you inspect.’ This was agreed, and Epimetheus made the distribution [of claws and fur and other attributes] . . . Thus did Epimetheus, who, not being very wise, forgot that he had distributed among the brute animals all the qualities which he had to give-and when he came to man, who was still unprovided, he was terribly perplexed. Now while he was in this perplexity, Prometheus came to inspect the distribution, and he found that the other animals were suitably furnished, but that man alone was naked and shoeless, and had neither bed nor arms of defence. The appointed hour was approaching when man in his turn was to go forth into the light of day; and Prometheus, not knowing how he could devise his salvation, stole the mechanical arts of Hephaistos and Athene, and fire with them." - Plato, Protagoras (Greek philosopher C4th century B.C.)
In the ancient Greek mythology, it is related through a variety of sources that Prometheus was given the task of creating man. Prometheus is represented as a titan, a god, who was given this task by Zeus, the father of the gods, whose other name is Jupiter (Io-Patar). Prometheus was given the task to create man from clay.
Now, if we were just remembering our comic book interpretations, we would think that Prometheus was a literal god in a human-type body (with lots of muscles, of course), who picked up some clay from the ground, and started sculpting a man from it. But that is just Sunday school stories for children. That story is symbolic, and the literal interpretation does not reveal the true meaning of the story.
Prometheus as a word, of course, comes from Greek. The meaning of Prometheus is: "He who sees before." In other words, Prometheus relates to foreknowledge: to know the future, to see something in advance of it happening. This is a kind of intelligence or kind of force that is beyond what we think of as intelligence. It is a kind of wisdom or insight into existence. And obviously if we have come from a tradition that is based on the Bible, then we would immediately see that Prometheus relates with the beginning chapters of Genesis.
“And the Jehovah Elohim formed Adam [of] the aphar [dust] of the adamah [ground], and breathed into his nostrils the neshamah [breath] of life; and Adam became a nephesh chaiah [living soul].” - Genesis 2:7
Prometheus is Jehovah Elohim. This is the force of creativity as expressed through the Logos, the upper triangle on the Tree of Life. Prometheus represents the Ray of Creation, the Light of Christ, that organizes and forms Adam, the man.
Of course, that man, “Adam,” is not a physical body. Again, this is a place where people fall into misinterpretations. They assume that the story of Prometheus relates how the physical body originated. Scholars, teachers, and professors all assume that the story of Prometheus was concocted by primitive people that were seeking to merely explain the mysteries of being alive. These scholars ignore that the ancient Greeks were not at that level of being. These stories come from an ancient, secret knowledge, and the originators of these stories hid the esoteric tradition in these symbols. Prometheus is known in every religious tradition, but with different names. The Greeks did not invent Prometheus. The Greeks did not invent the symbol of man being created from clay, the earth. You can find that symbol in every great religion.
Adam, the man, symbolizes not a physical body, but the entirety of our Being. This is represented on the Tree of Life.
The man, Adam, created by Jehovah Elohim-Prometheus, is our Inner Being, the primordial, pure Adam, who is an androgynous, perfect creation that reflects the Logos, but is not yet fully developed. That is, the Adam of chapter two in Genesis is the archetypal structure of our Being that needs to unfold and develop. That is why the whole rest of the Bible and other scriptures exist: to tell the story of that development.
Prometheus was given the task of creating the man. So, upon creating the man, the Gods began to divvy up the gifts that man would need in order to grow. Prometheus went beyond because he wanted the best for his creation, and he, through a series of different types of symbolic stories and events, you could say he "tricked" the Gods, or he went beyond what was originally intended for man, and he provided for men the best of the sacrifices. Whereas the Gods were supposed to get the meat of the sacrifices, instead the Gods got the bones and man got the meat. This symbolic story represents how the forces and energies of evolution are focused on developing the real “man,” Adam, in other words, the Spirit. This development is dependent upon the good graces of Prometheus, Christ.
The story is represented in different ways in different presentations of the myth, but the end result is that man is left without the means of living. This cryptic phrase is written in writings of Hesiod [a Greek writer].
“For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life.” - Hesiod, Works and Days (Greek epic 8th or 7th century B.C.)
Of course, the “scribes,” the intellectuals, interpret this as the knowledge of farming. The reality is that life is created through sex. Firstly, in the beginning, Adam, then man, was androgynous, not yet fully formed.
“So Elohim [god and goddess] created Adam in their own image, in the image of Elohim [god and goddess] created; male-female [androgynous] created.”
Elohim is a plural word that can mean god and goddess, or one being that is both god and goddess. Truly, “God” is not male or female, but both, and manifests as one, the other, or both, depending upon what is needed. In order to create, sexual cooperation is needed, at every level of nature. That is why in traditional religions, the gods are always accompanied by their goddess-spouse. The Bible reflects this fact, but modern believers do not see it.
The Elohim had created Adam in their image, male\female, androgynous. Man was man/woman, not divided, not yet fully formed. In other words, man could not reproduce in the way that we know now. There was additional work that had to be done. In order to facilitate that, Prometheus had to steal the fire from the Gods. You see, the Gods withheld two things from man at this stage. The means of life (sex), and fire.
"For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life. [...] But Zeus in the anger of his heart hid it, because Prometheus the crafty deceived him; therefore he planned sorrow and mischief against men. He hid fire; but that the noble son of Iapetos stole again for men from Zeus the counsellor in a hollow fennel-stalk, so that Zeus who delights in thunder did not see it. But afterwards Zeus who gathers the clouds said to him in anger: ‘Son of Iapetos, surpassing all in cunning, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire--a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be. But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction.’
“So said the father of men and gods, and laughed aloud. And he bade famous Hephaistos [Vulcan; the god of fire] make haste and mix earth with water and to put in it the voice and strength of human kind, and fashion a sweet, lovely maiden-shape, like to the immortal goddesses in face... But when he had finished the sheer, hopeless snare [Pandora, Eve, the first woman], the Father sent [Hermes, Mercury]... to take it to Epimetheus [the brother of Prometheus] as a gift. And Epimetheus did not think on what Prometheus had said to him, bidding him never take a gift of Olympian Zeus, but to send it back for fear it might prove to be something harmful to men. But he took the gift, and afterwards, when the evil thing was already his, he understood.”
The Greek myth is in perfect alignment with the Bible. This is how the Greeks represented the division of the sexes.
“And Jehovah Elohim [Prometheus / Hephaistos] caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which Jehovah Elohim [Prometheus / Hephaistos] had taken from man, made he a woman [Pandora, Eve], and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” - Genesis 2
Prometheus, in his longing to push the development of the man, steals from heaven the sacred fire by keeping it inside of a stalk of fennel, or in other words, a reed. This is the Greek way of represented the taking of the rib from Adam.
Naturally, if you have studied these teachings, you would immediately know that the fennel stalk represents the spinal column through which the fires of the Holy Spirit begin the processes of creation. The spinal column is represented throughout the book of Genesis by the Hebrew letter ו Vav, which begins every sentence of those first four chapters of Genesis.
“ו [And] Jehovah Elohim [Prometheus] caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
“ו [And] the rib, which Jehovah Elohim [Prometheus] had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“ו [And]Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” - Genesis 2
This story of Prometheus represents how divine forces can descend through us, into us, and give us the powers of creation, knowledge.
We have probably all heard the story of Prometheus giving fire to man, and because of that, man gained all of the arts, all his skills, all of his abilities to create. The ability to cook, to heat, smithing, pottery, all the different types of arts and crafts needed in order to have life and survival. But that is all superficial. It is merely garment that covers the soul, the real meaning of this story. What that fire provides, what Prometheus truly is, is the very force of life itself. Prometheus is the fire of existence. Prometheus is Christus Lucifer. The Latin word Lucifer means “bearer of light” or “bearer of fire.” That is Prometheus, “the one who sees before.”
Prometheus-Lucifer is not outside of us. Again this is the place where the storybook ideas cloud our judgment and our ability to see the meaning. We tend to think of Lucifer as a guy in a red suit with a pitchfork who is running around somewhere doing bad things. That is not the case; that is another misinterpretation of the teaching that has been propagated for centuries.
In the original Christianity, Lucifer was well understood and venerated; that is why the early leaders of the church were often named Lucifer. There was even a group of Christians called Luciferians who focused especially on Lucifer. Sadly, the translator Jerome had a political disagreement with a Bishop named Lucifer, so he changed a passage in the Bible by adding the name Lucifer:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” - Isaiah 14:12
The original passage does not say that. It says:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!” - Isaiah 14:12
Ever since then, over centuries the concept of Lucifer was perverted into what people think nowadays, that Lucifer is “the devil.”
The real meaning of Lucifer is “the bearer of light.” Lucifer is is the greatest angel, the first angel, the first in the hierarchy, the most resplendent, the most beautiful. But again, that angel is not outside of us, it is inside of us. It is inside of you.
Prometheus-Lucifer is the fire in every atom that makes up who you are. It is the fire of life. Prometheus-Lucifer is the fire of intelligence, of living, of creating, of being.
The goal of Prometheus-Lucifer is to create the man. Not the physical man, not a physical body, but Manas. Mind. Man. Manas is Sanskrit, it relates to our mind, to our spirit, to intelligence. The man that Prometheus is creating is the Primordial Adam, Adam Kadmon, the Being. That Adam is the Tree of Life itself.
If we look at the Tree of Life, we see Adam, the body of the Cosmic Man: that is our Being, and the fire that descends through that tree, that gives it life and existence, is Lucifer, Prometheus.
Do you see that cosmic man, that Adam Kadmon, is not our physical body? It is not our vital body, our astral body, our mental body. It is ALL of them, united, and made one. That equals enlightenment, liberation, self-realization, the complete human being, the perfect Being.
None of us are that. We are still a man in formation, a mind in development. Imperfect. Without that flame filled with cognizance of itself.
Prometheus is not done with us. We are still in the process of formation, trying to be made. Nonetheless, because of karma, because of cause and effect from our past actions, things get very complicated in the story now. This is partly why if you learned anything about the myth of Prometheus, there are so many variations, there are so many ways of discussing the story and comparing the story, so many interpretations. It is much like, if we look at the American flag for example, we all have a impression or meaning that the flag inspires in us, based on our experiences. That flag has a very different meaning to people in different countries. A very different meaning. And that flag had a different meaning 100 years ago, or 200 years ago. In the same way, Prometheus is a symbol, like a flag, who represents many different teachings, depending on how we are related to it. Nevertheless, there is an objective, true meaning, but the reach it, we have to purge our mind of cobwebs and darkness.
So the aspect of the teaching that we will be discussing today is related to us personally. Not just in history, the story of Prometheus just like the bible, has many levels of meaning. Just as we discover in the bible that the creation of Adam and the formation of Eve relates to our ancient past, likewise, Prometheus, and the creation of man, relates with our ancient past. But, we are more interested in what is happening with us right now, and how to make a better future. So in the context of discussing Prometheus, we are going to focus on how to interpret the myth and understand the story relative to us now. If I do not address a particular aspect of the myth, it is because I am focusing on us.
Let us see what the fire provides, if we have it within:
"[After stealing fire from the gods Prometheus instructed mankind in the arts:]
Prometheus: Listen to the miseries that beset mankind--how they were witless before and I made them have sense and endowed them with reason. I will not speak to upbraid mankind but to set forth the friendly purpose that inspired my blessing. First of all, though they had eyes to see, they saw to no avail [had no comprehension]; they had ears, but they did not understand ; but, just as shapes in dreams, throughout their length of days, without purpose they wrought all things in confusion. They had neither knowledge of houses built of bricks and turned to face the sun nor yet of work in wood; but dwelt beneath the ground like swarming ants, in sunless caves. They had no sign either of winter or of flowery spring or of fruitful summer, on which they could depend but managed everything without judgment, until I taught them to discern the risings of the stars and their settings, which are difficult to distinguish. Yes, and numbers [Kabbalah], too, chiefest of sciences, I invented for them, and the combining of letters, creative mother of the Mousai's (Muses') arts, with which to hold all things in memory. I, too, first brought brute beasts beneath the yoke to be subject to the collar and the pack-saddle, so that they might bear in men's stead their heaviest burdens; and to the chariot I harnessed horses and made them obedient to the rein, to be an image of wealth and luxury. It was I and no one else who invented the mariner's flaxen-winged car that roams the sea. Wretched that I am--such are the arts I devised for mankind, yet have myself no cunning means to rid me of my present suffering... Hear the rest and you shall wonder the more at the arts and resources I devised. This first and foremost : if ever man fell ill, there was no defence--no healing food, no ointment, nor any drink--but for lack of medicine they wasted away, until I showed them how to mix soothing remedies with which they now ward off all their disorders. And I marked out many ways by which they might read the future, and among dreams I first discerned which are destined to come true; and voices baffling interpretation I explained to them, and signs from chance meetings. The flight of crook-taloned birds I distinguished clearly--which by nature are auspicious, which sinister--their various modes of life, their mutual feuds and loves, and their consortings; and the smoothness of their entrails, and what color the gall must have to please the gods, also the speckled symmetry of the liver-lobe; and the thigh-bones, wrapped in fat, and the long chine I burned and initiated mankind into an occult art. Also I cleared their vision to discern signs from flames,which were obscure before this. Enough about these arts. Now as to the benefits to men that lay concealed beneath the earth--bronze, iron, silver, and gold--who would claim to have discovered them before me? No one, I know full well, unless he likes to babble idly. Hear the sum of the whole matter in the compass of one brief word--every art possessed by man comes from Prometheus.""
Since all of us are as yet unformed, we are those who do not have the fire yet. When we acquire the fire, we acquire comprehension spiritually, consciously. The fire is the Kundalini. From the Kundalini we acquire knowledge of the future and the past, knowledge of all sciences, philosophies, and arts, and most of all, knowledge of the divine.
But of course, humanity did not use this fire for good. Humanity has used it for desire. That is why humanity was cast out of Eden, and Prometheus was punished. The spiritual fire was taken from us, and we entered the wilderness to suffer.
The Punishment of Prometheus
When Prometheus stole the fire from heaven in order to create the man, the Gods became angered, and Zeus was upset; he needed to punish Prometheus for this. As a comic book story or Sunday school story, this sounds crazy... that the Gods get mad at each other and punish each other, but we have to understand that this is not a comic book. The myth of Prometheus relates to very elevated levels of existence within us that deal with subtle forces of nature, about which we are completely ignorant.
To illuminate that, we need to understand firstly that Zeus - Jupiter [the father of the Gods] relates with the sephirah Kether on the Tree of Life, and in Buddhism relates with the Dharmakaya, the body of the law. Therefore, Zeus represents the first begotten, the first manifested, the cosmic law, balance, harmony, equanimity in all things.
We are out of balance with Nature. In us, when Lucifer, our own inner Prometheus, is seeking to create the man, he does so by bringing the fire by heaven to institute that creation—however, we are not free from karma, the effects of our past actions. This is why Zeus—as representative of the Law—says, "Ok, you took the fire, but you have to pay because of your past actions; you are not an innocent babe coming into existence, you have karma, you have made mistakes."
This is emphasized in the punishment, symbolized in the story. This punishment takes on several forms.
“And ready-witted Prometheus he [Zeus] bound [atop a mountain] with inextricable bonds, cruel chains [karmic debts], and drove a shaft through his middle [spinal column], and set on him a long-winged eagle, which used to eat his immortal liver; but by night the liver grew as much again everyway as the long-winged bird devoured in the whole day.” - Hesiod, Theogony (Greek epic, 8th or 7th century B.C.)
This is a great agony. That chain is the karma. That eagle is the forces of the Holy Spirit, forces of God related with Binah [creation] to Da'ath.
The liver is an organ that purifies our blood. The blood is the vehicle of our karma (our karma is carried in our “blood”; i.e. our genes). The liver has five lobes, which relates to the Arcanum Five, the symbol of the law of karma. That symbol is very deep.
All of this represents how Prometheus-Christ-Lucfier pays our karma on our behalf. Zeus is simply the agent of the law, who balances all action in nature. In other words, in order for us to reach liberation from suffering and the complete development of the man, we have to pay what we owe, we have to rectify our previous mistakes. Prometheus represents how the core of our Being suffers due to our karma.
Pandora / Eve
Before that punishment is instituted, Zeus commands that the woman be created. Now in some stories, if you read Hesiod or some of the other writers, they present the woman as a punishment. But that is only relative to a certain aspect of the meaning of the story. Unfortunately, people have only heard that the woman was evil. Much like the story of Adam and Even, the story of Pandora has been used to malign women. This is a gross misinterpretation of the story.
In the Greek myths, Pandora is the archetype of the first woman. We have all heard the story of Pandora opening the box or the vase, and from that vase or box escapes all the evils that plague mankind. This story has been grossly misinterpreted, in the same way that we have always misinterpreted the story of Eve. If we have grown up in a Western household, we have grown up blaming Eve for the suffering of humanity, right? Everyone says, “Eve is the cause of the fall of mankind, because Eve ate the fruit; she listened to the serpent.” So, we with our “comic book minds” blame women. We have had centuries of this, of women being blamed, punished, and considered less then men, because of this misinterpretation. But that is all a lie.
Eve / Pandora does not represent a physical woman. Eve / Pandora is a symbol of something much more profound...
“So said the father of men and gods, and laughed aloud. And he bade famous Hephaistos [Vulcan; the god of fire] make haste and mix earth with water and to put in it the voice and strength of human kind, and fashion a sweet, lovely maiden-shape, like to the immortal goddesses in face...”
Hephaistos / Vulcan created a woman by combining the earth with the water. These are very deep alchemical symbols. This woman is made with all of the greatest qualities of the Gods. Hesiod goes on to say...
“...and Athene [Athena / Minerva] to teach her needlework and the weaving of the varied web; and golden Aphrodite [Venus] to shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs. And he charged Hermes [Mercury] the guide, the Slayer of Argos, to put in her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature. So he ordered. And they obeyed the lord Zeus the son of Kronos [Cronus / Saturn]. Forthwith [Hephaistos, Hephaestus / Vulcan] the famous Lame God moulded clay in the likeness of a modest maid, as the son of Kronos purposed. And the goddess bright-eyed Athene girded and clothed her, and the divine Kharites [Charites, Graces] and queenly Peitho [Persuasion] put necklaces of gold upon her, and the rich-haired Horai [Horae, Seasons] crowned her head with spring flowers. And Pallas Athene bedecked her form with all manners of finery. Also [Hermes] the Guide, the Slayer of Argos, contrived within her lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature at the will of loud thundering Zeus, and the Herald of the gods put speech in her. And he called this woman Pandora [“All-Gifts”], because all they who dwelt on Olympos gave each a gift, a plague to men who eat bread.”
So, Hesiod is addressing an aspect of this story that relates with our psychology. That is, in this particular recounting of the story, Pandora represents our mind: that part of ourserlves that has the potential to reflect all the qualities of the gods, but if misused becomes the source of all suffering. But this is not the only presentation of the story, because elsewhere we find that Pandora is described as receiving all the boons and benefits of the Gods but nothing deceitful or negative. In fact her very name means "All Gifts" or "All Giving". Pan is “all.” Dora is “gift.”
The Greeks worshipped Pandora since she was seen as the mother of the living. Remember, the name Eve means "the mother of the living." In Hebrew, it is spelled חוה chet-vav-hei.
The letter ו vav means “and,” and that vav ו also represents the spinal column.
The spinal column is the center of the Tree of Life through which those forces descend. In other words, Prometheus is the fire of Christ that descends through the Vav, the fennel stalk, to deliver the fire of heaven into the man, to give us power, knowledge, and “the means of life”—sex.
The letter hei represents the woman and the womb. It is how life is gestated.
Furthermore, the vav represents a man. The complement of the man is the woman, the letter zayin. In Kabbalah, it is known that the zayin is taken from the vav. In other words, these two letters are the two sides (ribs) of the Tree of Life. When the vav and zayin are together, they form the letter Chet, which is the first letter of the word chai, "life."
When Hephaistos formed this woman from the earth and the water, all of the gods came to give her their greatest gifts... Beauty, intelligence, wisdom, a beautiful voice, a beautiful appearance. And when the Gods beheld her they were amazed, because she was the most beautiful creation yet, just like Eve. Then she was given to the brother of Prometheus, as a wife.
Now, let us not fall into the comic book interpretations and continue thinking that this describes a group of gods in beautiful physical bodies. Let us remember what we are talking about here: subtle spiritual principals, deep within our Being. Prometheus is Lucifer, Christ... Who is his brother? Remember, when Lucifer descends into nature, in us, Lucifer inverts because of karma. Remember, Prometheus is chained to the rock, bound by karma, therefore he becomes Satan. Not out of his will, but because of the karma.
You see, the Ray of Creation is one, all the way down the Tree of Life, but when it passes through the sphere of Malkuth, that ray inverts. So therefore, we see at Malkuth a great juncture. Malkuth is related with our physical world, our physical body. Above it are the heavenly realms, and below it are the hell realms. But the Ray of Creation that illuminates all of it is the same ray, but polarized. In the upper worlds, it is is Lucifer / Christ, in the lower worlds it is Lucifer / Satan. It is the same light, but conditioned. That is why Dante represented Lucifer bound in hell, but shedding tears: for us. Lucifer is Christ, bound by our karma.
The light below is Prometheus chained to the rock. That rock is the sephirah Yesod (Hebrew: “foundation”), sex, patar. Patar is part of the name of Jupiter / Zeus: Io-Patar. Patar means “rock.” Jupiter is that force conditioned, trapped, and caged, here in relation with Prometheus, in Klipoth.
When the woman Pandora is created, she emerges from the earth and the water. What is the Earth? The body, the sephirah Malkuth. Adam is formed out of the dust of the earth, and Pandora/Eve is formed out of the dust of the earth, but the difference is that Pandora is also created with the waters, or sexuality. Moreover, she receives all of the beauty of the Gods, all of those archetypes.
When Pandora is created, all the gifts of the Gods are given to her. She has all the perfections. Zeus gives her his gift, a vase, an urn.
Now, as an incidental note, when this story was translated some centuries by Erasmus, he made a mistake. He mistakenly translated the word vase as the word box. That is why we always hear about Pandora's “box.” There is no box; it is a vase. It is important, there is a difference here.
Pandora is given a vase by Zeus. Let us look at the shape of this vase, and listen to a story that is even older then the story offered by Hesiod. Homer wrote this little short passage in The Iliad, which will reveal the entire meaning of this story to you, if you study it carefully. In the Iliad, Homer wrote this:
“There are two urns [pithoi] that stand on the door-sill of Zeus. They are unlike for the gifts they bestow: an urn of evils [kakoi], an urn of blessings [dôroi]. If Zeus who delights in thunder mingles these and bestows them on man, he shifts, and moves now in evil, again in good fortune. But when Zeus bestows from the urn of sorrows, he makes a failure of man, and the evil hunger drives him over the shining earth, and he wanders respected neither of gods nor mortals.” - Homer, The Iliad (Greek epic, 8th century B.C.)
Do you remember that in the Garden of Eden resides the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? These two urns represent Da'ath, the Tree of Knowledge, which is hidden in the Tree of Life. The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life are really one tree with two aspects. Homer is explaining here the core secret of this mystery.
Throughout the ages scholars have debated which urn Zeus gave to Pandora, but they ignore that the urn is one urn with two aspects. It is the same urn. It is the Tree of Knowledge (daath). It is the secret doctrine, hidden in the Tree of Life. That urn has the potential to give good or bad. Depending on how it is used, it can be used for the benefit of mankind or the destruction of mankind. That urn is within us. That urn is Da'ath, the Tree of Knowledge, within us.
Let us examine what that means. To firstly understand what that means we need to see a little bit more about Pandora.
Remember, Pandora is not a physical person. Pandora is an archetype containing the archetypes of all of the gods.
Pandora represents our Divine Mother.
Pandora is created by Hephaistos / Vulcan. Pandora represents the unfoldment of the Divine Mother from the sephirah Binah. She represents the very intelligence that carries the force of the sephirah Da'ath (the Tree of Knowledge). She is the one who receives all the benefits of the Gods above. She is the archetype. She is the one who gives life.
“And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” - Genesis 3
She is Eve / Havah, as a primordial archetype. This is why in all the ancient myths, Pandora is related with Demeter / Gaia, and this is why the scholars are so confused about Pandora, and they cannot figure her out. They all think Pandora is a physical woman. She is not! She is an archetype who has levels of meaning, but the first and most important is that she is our inner individual Divine Mother, who has in her hands the secret knowledge: Da'ath. This is why in all of the traditions around the world the one who teaches the soul to enter the secret knowledge is the Divine Mother. She is the one who teaches the path to the initiates. She is Athena, Minerva, Hera, Tara, Dakini, Mary, Maria, Isis. She is all of those goddesses, who has her secret rituals, secret knowledge that she bestows on those who are worthy to receive it. This is Pandora, in her superior aspect.
Pandora is inside of us. She is the archetype that will result in the creation of the full establishment of the man. Just as a little hint as to what is to come, Pandora later has a child, who is the first born mortal women. We are going to talk about that later. Pandora is the archetype of the first woman. Who is the archetype of the women? The goddess, the Divine Mother.
Aristophenes, a Greek poet, wrote a play called “The Birds” in which he discussed a cult to Pandora, the earth, because she bestows all things necessary for life. So, she was not seen as merely a woman.
What I am trying to emphasize is that we need to discard this foolish notion that Pandora was a mortal woman who unleashed all the evils on the world. This is a wrong interpretation. Pandora is our Divine Mother. What comes out of the vase is another matter.
Epimetheus and Pandora
Pandora was given as a gift to the brother of Prometheus. Prometheus's brother is named Epimetheus, whose name is exactly the same except for that little prefix at the beginning. Prometheus means, "he who sees before." Epimetheus means, "he who sees after." So, Pandora receives Da'ath (the urn) and is given to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus; this represents the unfolding of the Ray of Creation through entire Tree of Life.
“He who sees before” is above, in the heavens. “He who sees after,” is below, in hell.
Epimetheus represents Lucifer / Satan. Epimetheus also represents Adam, the fool.
Prometheus told Epimetheus to not accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus forgot, and accepted Pandora as his spouse, since Epimetheus only sees things after he has done it. Zeus came and said, “Epimetheus, I have a present for you: here is Pandora,” and Epimetheus said, “Wow, she is beautiful, thanks,” and then realized, “Oops, I should not have done that.” So that is the “comic book” story, but the meaning is very deep.
Epimetheus and Prometheus are two aspects of the same thing. Pandora is given to Epimetheus because he represent what what done. He only sees the past. He relates to our karma. Pandora, the Divine Mother, embodiment of all the virtues of the gods, is given as a means of paying that karma and clearing the debt. However, the vase she carries (knowledge) is doubled edged: knowledge is power that can create or destroy.
We have all heard the famous story, that Pandora is told not to look in the sealed vase. And you know, people say, “Woman are just too curious, they have to know what is in there, they cannot leave it alone!” So people have said that she could not restrain her curiosity, and peeks inside, thereby releasing all of the evil spirits that were trapped inside it. That is the story we have all heard. Unfortunately for us, that story is not accurate. That is only one representation of the story among many. And, it is actually not congruent with the full mystery. How could Pandora, your Divine Mother, do that? She would not. That is why when we study other Greek writers, we find hints that reveal the true nature of this story, and how to understand the story in it is true meaning.
“Zeus gathered all the useful things together in a jar and put a lid on it. He then left the jar in human hands. But man had no self-control and he wanted to know what was in that jar, so he pushed the lid aside, letting those things go back to the abode of the gods. So all the good things flew away, soaring high above the earth, and Elpis (Hope) was the only thing left. When the lid was put back on the jar, Elpis (Hope) was kept inside. That is why Elpis (Hope) alone is still found among the people, promising that she will bestow on each of us the good things that have gone away.” - Aesop, Fables (Greek fable 6th century B.C.)
So in this version, all of those virtues fled back to heaven, because they do not belong on earth, and that is why mankind is without virtue. So people can find different meanings that we can interpret here, but none of them address what is really being conveyed in this teaching. To understand the real meaning, we have to understand the vase. And we have to understand that Pandora has levels of meaning.
The vase that Pandora receives is two-fold. It is a duality, like everything. The Tree of Life itself is a duality, and all the forces in nature are dual, having a polarized potential, positive or negative. On that scale, there is a great deal of range or relative levels, either above or below. The urn represents that potential. The urn is a gift from Zeus; it contains all of the archetypes of all of the Gods put into our Divine Mother, given to her, and brought to us, in our soul. We abuse and break the seal on that urn when we do not respect the Law. Remember, Zeus said, "Do not look inside of the urn.” It is the same command as given in the Garden of Eden,
“And the Jehovah Elohim [Prometheus / Zeus] commanded Adam, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
“But of the tree of the knowledge [Daath] of good and evil [the urn], thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” - Genesis 2
It is the same symbol. What is that Tree of Knowledge? It is not merely otz va Daath גן ועץ הדעת, it is עץ הדעת טוב ורע, the Tree of Knowledge of goodness and pollution. Just the same as Homer said, there are two urns in the doorway of Zeus. Two urns, one with goodness, one with pollution or evil. Those urns are really one. That urn is within us, adn can give forth purity or impurity. Where?
That urn has levels of meaning that are very subtle. I know we like to fix one definition on everything, and say it is “that,” but life—especially spiritual life—is not that simple.
The urn is an archetype, primarily representing the sephirah Da'ath, the Tree of Knowledge, but that power, that knowledge, is in many levels and has many implications. As an example, Pandora represents our Divine Mother, who holds the urn, but Pandora also represents our mind. Our mind is the reflection of the divine. Our mind is a gift from the Divine Mother. Our mind is feminine. Unfortuantely, we have corrputed it.
Pandora is also related with our sexual organs. Adam, the primordial man, is related with our brain and nervous system, our spinal column, with the fennel stalk. Remember the fennel stalk comes first with the fire inside, and then Pandora. Adam is the brain, the nervous system. Pandora is sex. So there are many levels here.
But what is most beautiful is if you compare this urn, the vase, with Eve. If you observe the shape of the urn, you will see the shape of a uterus.
If you imagine the shape of the urn and place it over the sexual organs of the woman, you will see that the urn is the uterus, the sexual organs.
That urn, the sexual organs, are where the hidden mystery of Da'ath, the Tree of Knowledge, is. There, in sex. That is the ancient mystery. But because of stupidity, in other words, curiosity and ignorance, we always want to know what is inside that urn. We are always longing to taste or to experience something hidden in sex that our conscience tells us that we know we should not approach. Our conscience (Zeus) tells us "Do not go there," but we never listen, because of desire. So we go into sex seeking to know what is inside of the urn. And because of that stupidity, that foolishness, we break the seal. What is that seal on the urn? It is the hymen! It is virginity. It is chastity.
You see, when you place a seal on the urn, when that urn is first delivered, it is chaste and pure, unbroken. It is knowledge (Da'ath), pure, untouched. But when, in our ignorance and curiosity and foolishness, we enter into that, we look inside of that urn, we defile it because we are foolish. That is how the forces of Prometheus invert and become Epimetheus / Satan, who is chained to the rock: sex.
This is the mystery that is hidden here, in Pandora's vase. It relates to events in the past and it relates to events now. What we need to learn is how to restore the purity to that vessel. We have to learn how to free Prometheus from the rock.
When we study the mythology we see that Prometheus is chained to the rock and this bird eats his liver as a punishment, and Prometheus suffers the unbearable, but why? Because he was seeking to better his creation, and bears upon himself the karma of his creation. This is a sacrifice, exactly the same as Jesus made on the cross. It is the force of Christ sacrificing itself for the betterment of man.
Our inner Prometheus is at this moment crucified on that rock, suffering. That inner Prometheus is our very intelligence, our ability to create, which is chained to the rock of bitterness, karma, suffering, this world. And it is been there suffering for ages on our behalf, because of his efforts to give us the fire that creates life.
The way to free Prometheus is to create Herakles. That is a huge story, the arrival of Herakles who is eventually able to come to the top of the mountain and free Prometheus.
“And Zeus, when Prometheus had taken fire and given it to men, put him in chains and set an eagle at his side which devoured his liver. But when Herakles saw him suffering such punishment because of the benefit which he had conferred upon men, he killed the eagle with an arrow, and then persuading Zeus to cease from his anger he rescued him who had been the benefactor of all.” - Diodorus Siculus, Library of History (Greek historian 1st century B.C.)
Herakles is the son of Hera, the Divine Mother. Herakles is the solar hero of every great religion and mythology.
“The twelve labors of Heracles (a prototype of the authentic Man) indicate and signify the secret path that must conduct us from the first to the last of the degrees of the perfect Master and great elected one.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
Herakles is Christ incarnated in a human being. Herakles is our human soul (Tiphereth), but filled with the fire of Christ. Herakles is a Bodhisattva, a true initiate. This is how we free our inner Prometheus.
“It is unquestionable that the arrow of Heracles is nothing but the Magnes Stone, the phallus or spear of Longinus, the Roman centurion. This is the spear with which the side of the Lord was hurt, the same holy spear which with its secret power Parsifal healed the wound in Amfortas’ side...” - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
It is not an easy task. It is not accomplished through beliefs, dogma, or debate. In order to restore Pandora's vase, we have to restore its seal. That seal is chastity. Not just chastity physically, but chastity psychologically. This is the key factor.
While we do relate the vase with the sexual organs, we are not discussing just the physical organs. We are talking about sexuality in all the levels of the mind. You see, the gift of Da'ath, the mysteries of sex, is a gift that the Divine Mother has, it is her very nature, it is her very essence. Sexuality is how creation is performed on every level of nature, without exception. When we observe a nebula in the sky, a nebula is a birthplace of suns. A nebula is the very energy of Lucifer / Prometheus who is working to create a sun, and that creation is sexual, but at that level. Not with human organisms, but with different organisms, on a much different scale. Nevertheless, that activity is sexual, it is the combination of polarities (male/female) in chastity, in purity, that allows Lucifer to create suns, to create universes. That same creation is what needs to occur within us, in order for the real man to be fully formed. The story of that creation comes in the later myths, with the stories of Deukalion, of Herakles, with Theseus, and Perseus and many other stories. Prometheus and Pandora set the stage, in the same way that the creation of Adam and Eve set the stage. But let us make no mistake, the beginning of the creation of the real man is sexual. Not just physically, but psychologically.
Pyrrha, The Fire, the Daughter of Pandora
This means, while we may establish chastity physically, learning how to restrain and harness the fire that Prometheus gives us, physically is only one aspect. That fire of Prometheus / Lucifer / Christ descends from above into us, through the fennel stalk (our spine) and descends into Pandora, the vase, our sexual organs within us, which is where the archetype of the Divine Mother is waiting, and that archetype in Hinduism is called Kundalini, Shakti, the Divine Mother. That is Kundalini / Pandora, who is waiting for that archetype to be elaborated; she is waiting to have “her daughter.”
"Prometheus, son of Iapetus, first fashioned men from clay. Later Vulcanus [Hephaistos], at Jove's [Zeus'] command, made a woman's form from clay. Minerva [Athene] gave it life, and the rest of the gods each gave come other gift. Because of this they named her Pandora. She was given in marriage to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus. Pyrrha was her daughter, and was said to be the first mortal born." - Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 142 (Roman mythographer 2nd century A.D.)
Pandora has a daughter, her name is Pyrrha. The word Pyrrha is Greek for fire [i.e. pyre]. You see, this is not a comic book story, it is initiatic.
Pandora is made from earth and water. Her daughter is fire. Her daughter is the Divine Mother Kundalini, the Fire of the Pentecost, that emerges from the urn, the chakra Muladhara, which is the vase of Pandora.
In us, that vase is blackened. It is impure. But when the fire, through chastity, awakens there, it begins to purify all of those negative elements. That purification is represented in many of the stories that we have been discussing. How we conquer the minotaur, how we conquer Medusa. And all of those stories represent the same thing. Through chastity, the retention of that fire, we keep the fire in the fennel stalk.
Prometheus uses the fennel stalk to light the fire in the heart of the man. That fire has to rise from the sexual organs up through the heart. This is the great secret. It is not just a physical thing, is emotional, it is intelligent, it is psychological. The raising of that fire is what begins to restore the purity of our inner Pandora. It begins to set the stage so that Herakles can rise up the mountain of initiation and free Prometheus from his chains. That is a long process. If you want to know more about Herakles and the many labors that he has to perform, you can read the book "The Three Mountains" which explains in detail as much as can be explained about that process. It is a long story, but in the end Prometheus / Lucifer is redeemed.
All of this is the same story as Dante descending into the inferno. If you recall, Dante goes deep down into all the levels of the inferno, and what does he find in the very center of the ninth sphere? Prometheus, Lucifer, frozen. He is frozen because there is no fire there. He is crystallized in karma, shedding tears of ice, and those same tears are the tears of him being crucified at the stone, chained to the rock, with the eagle eating his liver. The tears of Lucifer, crying for pain because of his beloved child, which is us. This is not just as pretty story or an interesting concept, this is a palpitating reality, in your heart, in your soul.
Lucifer is not a theory. Prometheus is not just a myth. Prometheus is inside of you, in the same way your Divine Mother is inside of you.
This path is all about rectifying this mistake, learning to purify the mind in order to free Prometheus and fulfill his purpose, which is to create the man. That process needs him. That process cannot be accomplished without Lucifer. It is impossible.
Lucifer is the one that creates the man, Prometheus. In other words, when we start to work with these mysteries of Da'ath, we are working with the mysteries of Lucifer / Prometheus, and we are working with the mysteries of the Divine Mother (Pandora), and this precisely why it is such a challenge. In the first place, we have to understand what these mysteries are, which is challenging enough. And the second place, we need to start seeing the reality of it within our mind. We have to start seeing our true problems, our psychological problems, which are rooted in sexual problems. That is hard too. But even harder is to change them.
What is beautiful though, is that through that path, both Prometheus and Pandora help us. You see, Pandora is the one who from all life emerges. She is the Divine Mother, she is “the mother of the living.”
“And the Jehovah Elohim formed Adam [of] the aphar [dust] of the adamah [ground], and breathed into his nostrils the neshamah [breath] of life; and Adam became a nephesh chaiah [living soul].” - Genesis 2:7
She is life [chai], the neshamah, the breath of life, that makes Adam in the a living soul: a self-realized god.
We want to become one of the living, not physically living, but spiritually living, and the one who is allows that to happen is our Divine Mother, who is inside of us, who unfortunately needs fire to do it, and she has no fire now. When we institute this work practically in ourselves, entering into chastity and restraining and working with that fire, we begin to give that energy to Pandora/Prometheus within us. It institutes a great, dramatic change. When we do that, our whole ego reacts, in different ways, depending on our idiosyncrasy. We face enormous resistance, our mind starts to fight against it. “This teaching is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, because of this reason and that reason.” Our mind works through our three brains, in order to convince us to leave. And in fact, the thing that is hard to grasp here, is that the one who is tempting us in this way is Lucifer, Prometheus. You see, Prometheus, while he is chained to the rock and suffering on our behalf, is also the one who trains us to free him. He is the tempter, and the trickster, and in the same way that Prometheus tricks the gods to steal the fire, he is Loki. He is the one who very clever and no one can figure him out. He is our psychological trainer, and he is inside of us. When we start to take this work seriously, he starts to organize what in us needs to be worked on. He takes that fire and uses it to begin to free us.
The only way he can do that is to show us the cage. We do not like to see the cage. We want to stay in the cage. What this means in practical terms is that when we begin to harness that fire physically and psychologically, through chastity and transmutation, he begins to use that fire in order to show us ourselves. We start to face tests, ordeals, difficulties, resistance, problems. All of them, in the mind. We always begin to think about this storybook thing, thinking that initiation is a great beautiful story that happens in our life, and that everyone will admire us for it. That is not the case. Initiation is inside, it is in your heart, it is in your mind. And outside? Nobody can tell. In fact, you might find that people like you less. You may have problems, difficulties, people may reject you. Not even for this work, but for other reasons. You will find your life becomes hard, painful, difficult, and so your mind naturally begins to say “This work is no good. This work is only making my life worse.” It is the same comment we hear when people begin to meditate. They start to practice and observe their mind, and they begin to feel like their mind is getting worse, more out of control. That is not true, it just happens that they are beginning to see the actual state of the mind. Likewise, when we begin to take this work seriously, we begin to see the actual state of our life, the actual state of our mind. It is very weak, and very easy to manipulate. We do not have much will.
You see, this is another mystery hidden within Prometheus. Prometheus is “the one who sees before.” Really you can say Prometheus is willpower. Prometheus even has the will to go against the gods, because he steals the fire. We need to steal the fire. We need that will, but to steal the fire from the devil. That devil is our own mind. To do that, we need will, we need the will of Prometheus, so it sounds contradictory, it sounds like we are pitting Prometheus against himself, but we are, inside of ourselves, psychologically. This is the great challenge, and this is what is represented in Jacob wrestling with the angel. It is very difficult, it takes a lot of willpower, and you feel like you are going to die, and the fact is, you will. And you need to. Anything that is within you that is impure, that escaped out of that vase due to it is abuse, has to die. Only when all those impurities die can the true beauty emerge. All of those impurities within us have to be destroyed and killed, and that is the Divine Mother's job. She gives the weapons to the heroes. The weapons are forged by Hephaistos / Vulcan, using the fire (Pyrrha) of sex.
Prometheus organizes this work. He brings the fire and says “Look at yourself,” he brings you the tests, he brings you the ordeals, he brings you the problems, he brings you to face yourself. All he really does is show you a mirror. “This is you. I know you do not like it, but this is you.” That is what he says. But then, if we face that, if we look squarely at ourselves and we work to change those impure elements within ourselves, then Pandora can step in (the Divine Mother) and take that fire, and destroy that impurity. This is why she is “the mother of the living,” the one who gives everything, the giver of gifts. Properly translated the name Pandora means: "All Giving." She is not the origin of evil, she is the origin of good. But, if we misuse the reflection of Pandora in ourselves, if we abuse of that vase within ourselves, she inverts, just like Lucifer does, just like Prometheus does. She also polarizes negatively, and becomes trapped.
All of this in synthesized in another Greek myth:
"When it came time for the birth, Prometheus, or Hephaistos, according to some, by the river Triton struck the head of Zeus with and ax, and from his crown Athene sprang up, clad in her armor." - Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca (Greek mythographer, 2nd century A.D.
In other words, Prometheus is the one who causes the goddess to be born in us. Zeus is our inner Logos, and Athena is the goddess who enacts his will: she is the Kundalini (her symbol is a serpent). Her anthesis is Medusa, a symbol of how the force of Athena can be inverted into the Kundabuffer, the tail of the devils, represented by Medusa's serpents, and her power to turn beings into stone: to crystallize them into the earth (the abyss).
Questions and Answers
Instructor: The question is: is Mephistopheles from the story of Faust the same as Lucifer? Yes. Mephistopheles is the same figure, and when he warns Faust about the woman, it is the same warning. It is the same warning as: “Do not eat from the tree of knowledge.” It is the same warning as: “Do not accept a gift from Zeus.” It is the same warning as: “Do not look into the vase.” But we are always too curious.
I am going to make a comment about the story of Hesiod, because this has also been really misinterpreted for a long time. Hesiod in his book Works and Days and his Theogeny presented Gnosis very clearly. Hesiod was a Gnostic, even if people do not call him by that term. By our definition, a Gnostic is someone who works consciously in initiation, and who knows this knowledge from the hidden tradition, and Hesiod belonged to that hidden tradition. Like all the other initiates in the Piscean Era, he wrote and represented that teaching symbolically - he did not write it literally, just as Moses did not write it literally, and Apostles of Jesus did not teach it publicly, literally; therefore, neither did Hesiod. In the story that he relates about Pandora, he describes Pandora as being the greatest guile or subterfuge that the gods performed against mankind. So he says Pandora was created as the most beautiful resplendent woman, but with a devilish, cunning mind. He goes on to write that woman is the curse of humanity. So people for centuries now, for 2500 years, have read this and read it as an attack against women physically, and a condemnation against women as a sex physically, but this is wrong. This is not the right interpretation. That book is a scripture, it is not literal. What Hesiod was writing about was the mind, the sexual organs, our own inner Pandora.
When our inner Pandora is inverted, seduced by its desires, then our inner Pandora is a curse on us, and that is our case. Our mind is trapped in desire. We love our animal mind, we are infatuated with our animal mind, and we think our animal mind is the best thing in creation - so clever, so smart, so beautiful, but really, it is a devil, because it is merely desire. That is what Hesiod was addressing. Hesiod was presenting an initiatic mystery in the clothing of a story, written for initiates, but ignorant scholars got a hold of it and have been using it for thousands of years to make all kinds of claims about Greek traditions. Their claims not founded on anything but supposition and theory. The scholars and intellectuals do not know the teachings, they do not know the Kaballah, they do not know the hidden mysteries inside the story.
We see the same thing in the Judeo-Christian traditions, where intellectuals and believers condemn women because of Eve. That is a wrong interpretation. Pandora is not a woman, physically. Pandora is an archetype.
Instructor: There has been a lot of talk for the last 10 or 15 years maybe, about so-called Gnostic themes in media, movies and books and TV and things like that. Of course, all of the fundamentalists are complaining this is the influence of Satan, and all of the pseudo-esotericists are claiming this is the secret doctrine that is spreading through our media, you know, which is supposed to be a good thing. The reality is, the TV shows, movies, and books are being created by people who just get these ideas, but they do not know where they get the ideas from, they might read some books, but they get an inspiration and they make these stories. Where do they get them? These stories are eternal, these stories are in our blood. They are us. The Greeks did not invent Prometheus, and the Jews did not invent Lucifer or Satan. All of these things are archetypes that are inside of us, and when an artist or a creator sits to make something, whether they like it or not or are conscious of it or not, what they make reflects what is inside of them. That is why, when you look at any art form, you are seeing the mind of the one who made it. You are seeing a reflection of that person’s consciousness; you are seeing their level of being. That is why, when we look at what humanity is creating, we see a lot of very disturbing things. We see enormous violence and all kinds of crude and animalistic behaviors. We see very little virtue. That is the level of being that humanity is at now, and the people making these creations.
Furthermore, in the last 50 years there has been a great upswing in interest in the secret teachings, since the 1950's. In the 60's it really accelerated, where everyone wanted to know about all of the mysticism from the East, or wanted to know about Kabbalah and go into the mysticism of the West, or learn about the mysticism about the Aztecs or Egyptians. A huge ground swell emerged, which is still advancing. We see that in all of our media, especially TV and movies and things like that - there is a great interest in what we would call pseudo-esoteric subjects: mysticism, magic, spells, ancient history, Atlantis, other planets and other worlds, fantasies dimensions, all of these science-fiction things, relate to something that is happening in Nature. We are being influenced by the Dionysian Wave, and the new age of Aquarius.
When the age of Aquarius began, we moved out of the Piscean Era into this new era. The Age of Aquarius is the bringer of secret knowledge, the occult knowledge, and that is why Aquarius is represented pouring out of a vessel; it is the same vessel of Pandora. That vessel contains all of the secret knowledge, the waters from which the woman, the Divine Mother is created. That vessel is Da'ath. So subconsciously, unconsciously, all of humanity is being affected by this stellar influence, and that is why this interest is rising. Even in Christian churches they are talking about meditation and Kabbalah, which 15-20 years ago they would have said "is from the devil." Now in Christian churches they are practicing yoga, where 15-20 years ago they would have said it is “from the devil.” They are not conscious of that change; it is because of a stellar influence that is affecting the mind. People are asleep they do not realize, but that is the coming of Aquarius. It is the coming of the knowledge; it is the age that Samael initiated. It is that knowledge that is being poured out in all of the levels, and so people who are creative get inspired from that, without realizing.
Unfortunately, they take that influence and it is filtered through their mind. So this is why we see a lot of movies and TV shows that appear on the surface to be Gnostic, but are actually Black Magic. There are a lot of shows, movies, books, many many many, thousands upon thousands, but they are all black magic, because they are not being created by pure consciousness, but by the ego: pride, greed, lust, envy, etc.
So this idea of Gnostic themes is a little bit of a misnomer, it is a little bit misnamed. The themes emerge in the subconsciousness, and they are being filtered and propagated through the inverted aspect of the mind of the artist. It is kind of scary! [Laughter]
It is good to understand this though, because it shows that we have a predisposition now, naturally, because this help we are getting from above to learn this knowledge, that is why it is being revealed openly. Partly because the age of Aquarius is beginning, it is also because the karma is such that we need to get it now, to take advantage of it, because time is running out.
So the TV shows and movies and all of that stuff, truthfully, are completely irrelevant. Some people say that these movies inspire people to look deeper and find the teaching, but I disagree. Movies and TV shows hypnotize you. They feed you the concepts of the mind of the person who made them. What is in that person's mind? To make money. To become famous. To become recognized, and to be admired. To gain power. To attract the lust of others.
Where do you find true food for your Spirit? In movies or TV? I do not think so. You will find the true nourishment for your Spirit, inside. Through meditation, inside, through practice. In relation with others, when you are conscious with others, cognizant. Through upright sexuality. Through service to others. Through comprehending scripture and ancient knowledge. Through learning how to truly love. That is how you nourish your Spirit.
You can take in entertainment, but be wary and transform those impressions. Do not take them at face value; comprehend it. Take it in, and compare it, make it cognizant in you. Do not just take it in and say, "Oh, beautiful." Things that appear beautiful, often are not. You can only judge it with your consciousness awake. Then you will know.
Audience: What is the equivalent of Pandora in the Egyptian tradition?
Instructor: Pandora is closely related with Isis in the Egyptian tradition. Isis has a very deep and rich mythology also. Isis is also the one who holds the mysteries. She is the one who contains the archetypes of the Gods, and she is the one who gives of herself. She is also the one who through the mystery of Osiris and Horus goes through the process of recovering the coffin. That coffin is the same vase. So if you study those two myths together you will see a huge range of similarities because they come from the same root.
Instructor: I believe they overlap in some cases, because the Isiac tradition did go into Greece - and the Grecian tradition did go into Egypt also, so they intermingled. The other thing to keep in mind is that there is not one Greek tradition. Greece was a collection of city-states, and there were many schools at many different levels. They all interpreted the teachings according to the psychology of their group. So that is why we find a lot of diversity in the myths, and the same with Isis. There is a lot of diversity because of the rise and fall of different groups at different levels. They do overlap however. Ultimately, they come from the same root: Hermes. Hermes Trismegistus was an Egyptian initiate, and from him flowered all of these mystery schools. Hermes Trismegistus, who in Egypt was called Thoth. So they all ultimately can be traced back to him, and he was Atlantean.
Audience: If our minds are so bad, why is it that if we focus on the thought for a long time, good or bad, it helps us to fulfill that desire?
Instructor: The focus, that concentration, is conscious will. Whether it is evil will, or pure will, depends on the conditioning of it. To say it is bad or good is also relative. We need to know in relation with what. When we talk about our mind being impure, we are not saying that we are evil or bad in the ultimate sense. We are saying that we are impure. Good and bad are relative - Good and evil are terms that have made a mess of religion. They really have. What we see rather, to be more specific is, that our mind has fallen into impurity. When we use our will to fulfill desire, we build desire. It is very evident. The more you chase a desire, the stronger it gets. The more you feed a desire, the stronger it gets. The more you indulge in impurity, the more it spreads. That is all. Conversely, the more you follow your conscience, to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and you actually do what is right and listen to do what is right - you will propagate more rightness. More purity. Again, these are relative to the amount of will we invest into it. You see, the force of will is the force of Prometheus. It is that: willpower. How much will do we have, and where is our will? Right now we are a very divided house. We have a lot of will trapped in desires. We have very little will that is free to go against desire. It is a very challenging position to be in. We really have no choice, if we want to come out of impurity and come out of suffering, we have to grow our will that is free of desire. That is a moment to moment effort, it isn't once a day or once a week - it is continual effort.
Audience: Is it possible to equate the age of Aquarius with an [?]
Instructor: Is the age of Aquarius equated to an archaic revival of coming full circle? Every humanity passes through many phases of development. What we see with the age of Aquarius is of course a revival, or recapitulation with the previous age of Aquarius, which was a long long long time ago. Also, anytime any age begins, there is always a recapitulation of past offense and karmas, in the same way that when our body is created we see in the creation of that body, a recapitulation of all it is previous states. The same is happening in this age, as Aquarius begins. That beginning happens over many centuries. It does not happen from one minute to the next. So we talk about the beginning of the age of Aquarius, happening on a certain day and time - but that does not mean that it was from one minute to the next that everything changed. Planets rotate according to progression, stars move according to progression. The planets, the solar system, the universes, everything changes according to gradual progressions. For example we talk about 2012. Everybody is worried about 2012, that something big is going to happen. Yes, something is going to happen, but not in one day. 2012 marks the beginning of a change, but it is not going to happen in one day or one year. It is going to happen over a long period of time. Will we see it? Probably. Will we like it? Probably not. [Laughter]
Nonetheless, it is irrelevant. Truthfully, it is irrelevant. Whether there is a new cosmic era beginning now, a new Golden Age, or whether the destruction of humanity is approaching - it is irrelevant. No matter which one comes, we will still die. We will still have our karma. One way or the other, it does not matter about the age, about recapitulations, etc. What matters is what you do with your life, right now, today, tomorrow, the next day. That is what matters. If you harness the fire of Prometheus in your heart, in your mind, in your sex - and use that fire with conscious will, to change yourself - not to change other people, not to escape some coming event, or to prove yourself to the Gods that you are worthy to go to some cosmic ship or some sacred island somewhere - no. Change yourself, because you have to do it. Then you can change, if you focus that way, inside, in yourself - changing, everyday, changing. Directing all of your energies and forces into changing, to become a better person. To stop being vain, proud, lustful, envious, gluttonous, and lazy.
We all love to study the teachings, and hear the ideas, but when it comes to practice, we are very lazy. We think, once we have heard the concept or had the lectures or gotten a T-shirt, or a book, that we are on the path. Did you know that most people who study this knowledge are not even on the path? They think they are, but they are not. Even if you are restraining the energy, that alone does not put you on the path. What puts you on the path is psychological change, transformation. That is what does it, and that comes through a powerful, incredible diligence. Not laziness. That diligence does not just mean, “Today I am going to meditate for an hour. Tomorrow I am going to meditate for 2 hours. The next day 3 hours!” No. It is a diligence from moment-to-moment to be constantly observing and changing the flow of your mind. Everything that comes in, everything that goes out. Change occurs from conscious will that listens to conscience. A conscious will that says, "No! This element is not appropriate, this element is harmful, I cannot allow it to express itself." Or, "This element is good! I need that." Moment-to-moment, constantly watching this.
This is a very difficult task, and one of the most overwhelming forces that we have to deal with in this battle is our own emotions. People like to talk about fighting against other schools and other groups and other religions, and our family and our friends and our work. Those are not the biggest obstacles. The biggest obstacles are in your mind and in your heart. It is your own negative emotions, it is your own self-cherishing, that says "Oh, I'm suffering too much, God, I do not have the strength to do it. Please God give me inspiration, I can't do it.” We're trying to manipulate God into giving us something that we want. “Please God if you give me a new apartment, then I'll meditate more! Please God if you get rid of my neighbor who is so noisy, then I'll meditate more because then it'll be quieter.” We all do these games in the mind. Or “please God if you give me a spouse, then I can really advance!” No. God gives us exactly what we need. Whatever you have right now is exactly what you need in order to do your work. Do not look for anything else. It is pride that wants something else; it is laziness that wants something else; it is envy that wants something else. When you kill pride, and you say "I am going to humble myself, at the feet of my inner God, and accept what he gives me, and use it to the best of my ability." That is true humility. That is true diligence. The one who says, "Okay God, I didn't want this, but it is what I have, let me use it." This is the meaning really of the true Tantric. They always say that Tantra takes advantage of the worst adversities and transforms them into benefits - that is a true initiate of Tantra, that is able to do that. Can any of us do that? I do not know, because I hear from myself complaining all the time, about my circumstances. Then I hear from students all the time complaining about their circumstances, "I do not have this, I do not have that; I need this, I need that." I believe we can do it with what we have. I believe any one of us can do it, if we just accept what we have, work with that, and move ahead.
Audience: To observe the vase of Pandora, the mind, the evil inside [?]
Instructor: If you look at the version that Hesiod gives of the myth, that inside the vase are all the evils - and that when Pandora opens it, all of the evils are released. We can equate that with the mind, that Pandora relates to our mind. To get more specific with it, we can say as Samael Aun Weor said, that Pandora's box is really the Ark of the Covenant. Pandora's vase is the Ark. When we enter into this work, we open the Ark. That is what I was trying to express when I was saying that, when you enter into the work and you begin to work with chastity, with Da'ath, you open your Ark and all of the evil comes out, and that evil is your Karma, it is your ego, it is your mind, it is all of your defects, it comes out and it afflicts you, no question. So if you think, "I'm trying to do this sexual alchemy and transmutation and pranayama, and my life is worse." Good. It should be. That is where all of your evilness is being revealed to you, that is what you have to work on.
Audience: Well you can also say the other aspect of Pandora's Box, is the Holy Grail.
Instructor: It is the same symbol. It is the grail. It is the grail that is in Parsifal.
Instructor: The same symbol in Revelation when the Angel takes the key to open the bottomless pit. That is the vase of Pandora that contains all of our evilness, that has to be purged. The opening of the Ark, or the opening of the vase, releases all of these spirits into the world - and the most famous version of the myth is that all of the evilness comes out. As someone here related, it is related to the angel with the key who opened the bottomless pit and the evil came out. That is what happened when the age of Aquarius was initiated, the same thing. When Samael Aun Weor opened the key of Da'ath, and opened the meanings of the true teaching, the karma of the world was opened; that was a seal from the seals in Revelation, the seven seals. One of those seals is the opening of the pit. That is what Samael Aun Weor did when he opened the keys of Da'ath. So that marked a progression towards the end of this race. When the locusts are freed, the locusts are the teachings, the Kaballah. It is when all of that information, all of that knowledge becomes freed, and it afflicts us. This is one of the things that all of the interpreters of Pandora's vase could never grasp. How it is that Zeus would give this gift, but put evil into it. It is because it has many levels of meaning, it is not so simple. Many levels, all of which are true. What is important for us is to focus on what is practical and applicable to ourselves now. All of these things are true. They all have relevance - but what is most important is that we use the teachings for what they were meant for, which is to change.
The instructors who teach the lectures and courses are volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Each has years of experience teaching and working with the practices and exercises that awaken the consciousness. Since the goal of dharma, yoga, or gnosis is to follow our inner Being, and to focus on divinity not terrestrial personalities, the lecturers remain anonymous, and do not broadcast their names, faces, or personal information. They do not have spiritual titles or names, do not accept followers, and live their lives anonymously like any other person in society.