Posts Tagged Elements

The Taoist Triad and the Three Logoi

“The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three.
From these three, all mankind descended.”
~Lao Tzu in Tao te King, 600BC.

All religious and esoteric traditions, philosophies and sciences try to describe the same world, and my goal was to find the shared pattern below all these. But, it’s not necessarily easy to find these patterns, the vocabularies are usually very different. The logic in Taoism seemed to be very different from the European tradition, where we had seven as key value they had eight, why? There were many questions like that. My first article on Taoism: Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang.

Especially I Ching was fascinating with their trigrams and hexagrams. It was a very stringent logical system, although the reasons was elusive. It was very different from anything else in the rest of the world. The big question was how it had been created and what the logic behind them was. Was it possible to connect it with European or Indian esotericism, with Kabbalah or astrology?

Some years ago i found out why we used seven and they used eight, it was quite easy when I first found out: Outside China we count the seven inner planetary bodies except Earth, the Chinese includes the Earth. Here we have the eight bodies to the left and the seven bodied projection to the right, where the Sun and Earth are projected into the same point.

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I was fascinated by the The Book of Change, called the I Ching, that is one of the world’s oldest works of literature. In my Dark Night of the Soul I used it to solve some difficult questions and I was surprised how precise its advices was, even though it was an old old system. I was then ‘told’ that it was nearly as good as when it was created.

I studied the text and found out that it was kind of teaching or rule book for a civilization, and it was the guiding book for the development of the Chinese civilization.  I Ching was both appreciated by the Confucians and Taoists alike.

All civilizations are in danger of decadence, of the powers of Yin or Ahriman in Anthroposophic vocabulary, but I Ching is a guide for a society to keep the society in balance. This is the reason behind the longevity of the Chinese civilisation, but at the price of stasis, nothing new happened, but it was a perfect first class for new souls. As there isn’t coming many new souls into humanity any longer, they had to break the stasis, and that was what the culture revolution of Mao did. One kind of materialism is replaced by a new materialism, a cultureless materialism, where people can begin to find their own path.

The creation of the eight Pa Kua or trigrams at the root of the sixty-four principles, hexagrams, are ascribed to the legendary Fu-Xi, who ruled during the third millennium BC.

The creation:

Tao gives birth to One,
One gives birth to Two,
The Two gives birth to Three,
The Three gives birth to all universal things.
All universal things shoulder the Yin and embrace the Yang.
The Yin and Yang mingle and mix with each other to beget the harmony.

This reminds very much on the creation story around the Three Logoi. Here a drawing of the creation:

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Steiner uses the following symbols for the Three Logoi (The Logos Walks the Earth):

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First Logos gives the idea, Second Logos gives life and Third Logos gives the resulting form.

The trigrams are build from below, where the lowest line represents the First Logos, the middle line the Second Logos and the top line the Third Logos. Here another representation of the development of the trigrams, and related to western symbolism.

From Xìcí 繫辭 “Appended Judgments” commentary to the I Ching (tr. Wilhelm and Baynes 1967:318-9):

Therefore there is in the Changes the Great Primal Beginning.

▪️ This generates the two primary forces.
▪️ The two primary forces generate the four images.
▪️ The four images generate the eight trigrams.
▪️ The eight trigrams determine good fortune and misfortune.
▪️ Good fortune and misfortune create the great field of action.

See also Wikipedia: Taiji.

Taiji

Here’s  how the children was created (from the Book of Change):

The Creative (☰ Qian) is heaven, therefore, it is called the father.
The Receptive (☷ Kun) is the earth, therefore, it is called the mother.
In the Trigram of the Arousing (☳ Zhen,) she seeks for the first time the power of the male and receives a son. Therefore, the Arousing is called the Eldest Son. [The highest spiritual principle in man, Atma.]
In the Trigram of the Gentle (☴ Xun) the male seeks for the first time the power of the female and receives a daughter. Therefore, the Gentle is called the Eldest Daughter. [The lowest principle in man, the physical.]
In the Trigram of the Abysmal (☵ Kan) she seeks for a second time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Middle Son. [The second lowest principle, the etheric.]
In the Trigram of the Clinging (☲ Li) he seeks for a second time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Middle Daughter. [The second highest principle, Buddhi.]
In the Trigram of Keeping (☶ Gen) Still she seeks for a third time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Son. [The third highest principle, Manas.]
In the Trigram of the Joyous (☱ Dui) he seeks for a third time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Daughter. [The third lowest principle, the Astral.]

The trigrams have names from their position in the family, and the oldest son and daughter corresponds to the First Logos, the middle son and daughter corresponds to the two personalities of the Second Logos and the youngest son and daughter corresponds to the Third Logos.

Buddhi is the Middle Daughter, and that is right, Buddhi is the feminine power of the trinity, Sophia or Isis.

The Father is heaven and the Mother is Earth, and the hexagrams describes the path humanity follows from Earth to Heaven, all inclusive.

In the Taijitu Shuo version of Taoist cosmology, the Two give birth to the Five Agents or Elements, whose various combinations generate the ten-thousand things.

 

The five Agents or Elements in their primary sequence: Wood (木) → Fire (火) → Earth (土) → Metal (金) → Water (水)

Elements and family members inserted into the figure of the Alchemist Mountain:

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The paths from darkness to light.

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From Yi-Globe.

The trigrams can also be put into a Fano Plane (for the math inclined Wikipedia). Those who know the octal number system will see that all opposing trigrams add to Qian (☰). Like ☰= ☶ + ☱.

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It’s like the second and third triangle in the Kabbalah Tree of Life.

Interestingly enough the Fano Plane reminds about the Deathly Hallows 72dbbc99-632c-4d1a-b95e-9233d03048f2 from the Harry Potter books.

The Three Pure Ones

From Wikipedia:

The Three Pure Ones … are the Taoist Trinity, the three highest Gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestation of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings.

Taoist_Triad

First Logos:

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“Heavenly King of the Chaotic Never-ending Primordial Beginning”) at a time of pre-Creation when the Universe was still null and the cosmos was in disorder; manifesting into the first of the Taoist Trinity, Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn. Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn oversees the earliest phase of Creation of the Universe, and is henceforth known as Dàobǎo (道寶) “Treasure of the Tao”.

Second Logos:

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In One produces Two—Taiji produces Yin Yang, Yuanshi Tianzun manifests into Lingbao Tianzun who separated the Yang from the Yin, the clear from the murky, and classified the elements into their rightful groups. Therefore, he is also known as Jīngbǎo (經寶) “Treasure of the Law/Scripture”.

While Jīng in popular understanding means “scriptures”, in this context it also mean “passing through” [the phase of Creation] and the Laws of Nature of how things are meant to be.

Third Logos:

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In the final phase of Creation, Daode Tianzun is manifested from Língbăo Tiānzūn to bring civilization and preach the Law to all living beings. Therefore, He is also known as Shībǎo (師寶) “Treasure of the Master”.

Transformation of Yin to Yang – TAO

The dark side is the universe not yet conscious in God, in Tao, where  the white is transformed darkness.

The body lies in darkness, the spirit in light, but the spirit is weak, and the body is strong. The soul permeates both body and spirit and is the driving power in the development, is TAO, the Logos.

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See also Creation in Taoist tradition and European tradition

Various Sources on I Ching

The Gnostic Book of Changes is a well researched book on I Ching, usable as introduction and as reference book. It can both be read on the site or downloaded as pdf-file.

In Chapter 3 he describes the structure of the I Ching Oracle with tender care, making much of the above easier understandable.

From his book:

trigram-star-of-davidIn the Hexagram as in the Star of David are Heaven and Earth meeting.

Café au Soul have a well made site for using the I Ching Oracle.

rosecroix

 

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Chakana – The Incan Cross

Chakana, the Incan Cross, are equivalent to the Yin-Yang symbol and the Zodiac. Through a central axis a shaman journeyed in trance to the lower plane or Underworld and the higher levels inhabited by the superior gods. The snake, puma, and condor are totemic representatives of the three levels. (Axis Mundi)

From Wikipedia:

The stepped cross is made up of an equal-armed cross indicating the cardinal points of the compass and a superimposed square.

The square represents the other two levels of existence. The three levels of existence are Hana Pacha (the upper world inhabited by the superior gods), Kay Pacha, (the world of our everyday existence) and Ucu or Urin Pacha (the underworld inhabited by spirits of the dead, the ancestors, their overlords and various deities having close contact to the Earth plane). The hole through the center of the cross is the Axis by means of which the shaman transits the cosmic vault to the other levels.

The cross has 12 points and legend has it that these points represent the following sayings, affirmations and life points: I live, I work, I love, The underworld, The current world, The upper world, The cougar, The Eagle, The snake, Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat, Don’t Steal.

The four flat sides represent the elements Water Air Earth Fire

North is air, south is water, east is fire and west is earth. The top arm is held in the East with the fire. The centre is the 5th element, the force of love emanating from the void.

The three rectangles could represent the physical world, the ether world, and the astral world, with each side representing one of the four elements in each world.

The three worlds are known all over the world:

  • with Uku Pacha as the lower Chthonic underworld, with the snake as symbol, the Fixed modality of astrology, Tamas of the Gunas,
  • the middle world, Kay Pacha, in which we live, have the puma as symbol, the Mutable modality of astrology, Sattva of the Gunas,
  • and the higher world Hanan Pacha with the condor as symbol, the Cardinal modality of astrology, Rajas of the Gunas.

These three animals Snake, Puma and Condor are equivalent to Ox, Lion and Eagle as we know from the European and Asian continent.

Chakana-Medium

I have written more about these relations in Serpents of the Kundalini Fire, especially in connection to the Gunas, the Chakras, and the Kaballah Tree of Life.

From Oder of Incari:

The top section is the Hanag Pacha which is the upper world (super conscious) and the animal symbol for the upper world is the condor. It holds, within the steps, the principles of the tradition. They are Yachay, Llankay and Munay.

Yachay means knowledge in its basic expression, but its higher expression is wisdom. It is knowledge, which has been integrated through experience and is externalized as wisdom. We must live what we know and master it in our daily lives. Llankay (pronounced ylang kai) Llankay relates to work, labour and productivity. It is to work in an honest way and to be honest in your work. It is to work for the betterment and greater good of yourself and your family, your community and humanity (your greater family). Munay is a word that simply means love and is the principle present in all others. It is not simply the love between a man and a woman, a mother and a child, although these interactions can contain the infinite expressions of Munay. It is the expression of unconditional love. It contains a deep- seated compassion for all livings things and their suffering.

From A Dictionary of Symbols By Juan Eduardo Cirlot

Chthonian Demons
Various beings mentioned in mythologies come under this heading, such as the Greek harpies and Erinyes, the Hindu Rakshasas, the Arabic djinns, the Germanic elves and Valkyries, etc.

Chthonian Snake Goddess

In Aztec mythology, Cihuacoatl  (”snake woman”; also Cihuacóatl, Chihucoatl, Ciucoatl) was a motherhood and fertility goddess, haunting crossroads at night to take children. She also helped Quetzalcoatl create humanity by grinding the bones of our ancestors and mixing the result with Quetzalcoatl’s blood to form the clay from which humanity were molded. Here the soul (Quetzalcoatl’s blood) is born into the physical (the bones), giving the body of man (the clay) with the Ego.

Cihuacoatl – Snake Woman

The Naga Kanya (Cobra Women) are a race of fairy-like demigods born of the Nāga, which are water deities. They have the form of beautiful maidens, but usually maidens only from the waist up, while from the waist down they are serpents.

Nāga kanya – Hindu Snake Woman

The Japanese have Nure-onna (“wet woman”), here in an illustration from the Edo Period, by Sawaki Suushi.

Nure-onna – Snake Woman

The snake loa (spirit) are known in Benin and Haiti, she is the companion of the most popular god, Damballah-Wedo, also a serpent:

Aida Wedo – Haiti

From Pink Tentacle:

“Nure-onna is typically seen at the water’s edge, washing her long, flowing hair. In some stories, she carries a small child, which she uses to attract potential victims. When a well-intentioned person offers to hold the baby for Nure-onna, the child attached itself to the victim’s hands and grows heavy, making it nearly impossible to flee. In some stories, Nure-onna uses her long, powerful tongue to suck all the blood from her victim’s body.”

In Ancient Myth Steiner writes about the Greek Mysteries:

The Greeks revered in the Mysteries other Gods as well as the celestial Gods, namely, the Chthonic Gods. And of one who was initiated in the Mysteries one could say with truth: he learns to know the upper and the lower Gods, the Upper and the Lower Gods. The upper Gods were those of the Zeus-circle; but they only have rulership over what is spread out before the senses, and what the intellect can understand. The human being is more than this. Man is rooted with his being in the kingdom of the lower Gods, in the kingdom of the Chthonic Gods.

This Chthonic world consists of twelve elemental groups of beings, which are the real foundation of the visible physical world, and all kinds of magical systems around the Earth try to influence the physical world through these beings. Don Juan talk about the flyers, inorganic beings, in Castanedas books, the Gnostics talk about the Archons, alien predators, the wise Greek healer Daskalos talks bout the Elementals, and Jung talks about the Shadow.

See “Gnostic Parallels in the Writings of Carlos Castaneda” which are good and the best contribution on that web-address. I have collected some texts on Elementals building on the Christian view of Daskalos here.

Steiner writes in “The East in the Light of the West” about the cosmogony of Pherecydes:

In most remarkable words, Pherecydes spoke of the holy primordial triad, of Zeus, Kronos and Chthon, principles fundamental to the earth, having come over from pre-terrestrial ages; he also speaks of a further evolution. But in ancient times men did not clothe matters of this kind in such dry, crude concepts as they do today, they drew vivid pictures of what they saw and recognised in spiritual realms. Pherecydes said: ‘Chthon becomes Gea (today called earth), because of the gift of Zeus whereby she came to be covered as with a garment.’ This is a wonderful description of that evolution which I have just outlined in a few short words. The earth was alone; outside it were the sun and the moon, the spiritual kingdoms of Zeus and of Kronos. The sun from without began to work upon the earth and to fructify it in its then chaotic state; or, in the language of the old Greek sage, Zeus fructified Chthon. The beneficent influences of the kingdom of Zeus were sent down to the physical earth in the warmth and light of the sun. This was the gift made by Zeus to the earth. The earth covered herself with the garment of plant and animal forms, and with the forms of physical men. Chthon becomes Gea; therefore, because of the gift of Zeus the earth covers herself with a garment.

In Relation to Astrology

In  “Astrology, Psychology, and The Four Elements” writes Stephen Arroyo  about Zodiacal Signs as Energy Patterns:

The four elements of astrology (fire, earth, air, and water) are the basic building blocks of all material structures and organic wholes. Each element represents a basic kind of energy and consciousness that operates within each of us. Just as modern physics has shown that energy is matter, these four elements interweave and combine to form all matter. When the spark of life leaves a human body at death, the four elements all dissociate and return to their primal state. It is only life itself, manifesting in an organized, living whole, that holds together the four elements. All four are in every person, although each person is consciously more attuned to some types of energy than others. Each of the four elements manifests in three vibrational modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Hence, when we combine the four elements with the three modalities, we have twelve primary patterns of energy which are called the zodiacal signs.

Rahu and Ketu

From Rahu and Ketu in Hindu Mythology:

“According to mythological tales Rahu is the head of the dragon. Head as we know contain the brain and controls the functioning of the entire body. This suggests that Rahu is the controlling and active node. Ketu rules of the body, sends feelings and sensations to the brain. To analyse those sensations and take action if necessary is within the jurisdiction of Rahu. More precisely Ketu has the power of transforming the events into experience which turn into wisdom.”

Rahu and KetuRahu and Ketu

The head is the Luciferic and the tail is the Ahrimanic, where Rahu relates to Dharma, and Ketu to Karma.

Literature

Wikipedia have a good reference article on the symbolism of serpents:

Wikipedia – Serpent(symbolism)

I look at the snake in European mythology in The Snake and the Heel in Mythos which build on Steiner’s lectures.

More on Incan religion in

Andean Mysticism and Healing the Plane(pdf) by Oakley E. Gordon, Ph.D.

North and South Node in AstrologyRahu and Ketu

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Changing Hierarchies through Time

Why does the Kabbalah Tree of Life look as it does,
and has it always looked that way?

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In the Rosicrusian Cross I had a picture of the Kabbalah Sephirots as they are placed today:

Christian RosenkreuzKabbalah Sephirots as they are placed today.

It’s usually thought that it has looked like this since the day man was created many planetary cycles (aeons) ago. But, as God emanates down through his creations, his emanations three aspects (Son, Mother, and Father), ascends up through the Sephirots leading their creations up, and the placements of the Sephirots changes therefore on the pillars, after which aspect occupies a given Sephira. That is, Sephirots with the Mother aspect are placed on the Left Pillar, Sephirots with the Son aspect are placed on the Middle Pillar, and Sephirots with the Father aspect are placed on the Right Pillar.

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A complicated example, which also explains the background for Daat:

Binah, Chokmah, and Kether are placed the way they are because Binah contains The Mother, the Creator of Man (Thrones.) The Creator has to be just above the Abyss, as she is above any of our spiritual bodies. The Mother should have been in Chokmah which is a feminine Sephira, and  Binah should have contained the Son, and Kether should have contained The Father aspect.

While The Mother is in Binah, The Son is hidden in one of the other Sephirots, so there is missing a Son-Sephira below Kether, where Binah in reality should have been placed, and where the knowledgeable have placed an imaginary Sephira called Daat instead, symbolizing the hidden Son.

Short after the time of Christ (The Second Adam) with Elohim, The Father or Osiris, The Mother or Shekinah/Sophia/Isis, and The Son or Horus/Anthropos:

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We come from here to the Kabbalah of today by shifting the Æon’s one up, the Mother/Elohim moved from Tiphareth to Geburah, thereby Geburah was placed in the Left Pillar and Tiphareth moved from the Left Pillar to the Center Pillar, as the Son moved into Tiphareth, and so forth.

It is interesting to see the Heavenly, and Earthly triangles with the emanation of the Son as Man. These two triangles overlaid makes the Hexagram:

The Elements

YHVE are the letters for the Sephirots in the Third Hierarchy, Microcosm. Yod is Air, Heh is Fire, Vav is Water, and the last Heh is Earth. After the emanation of the Son, that is, today, the Elements has moved according to the Pillars. If we use the YHVE letters, Yod is fire, Heh is Water, Vav is Air, and the second Heh is still Earth. The reason are that the Right Pillar is Fire, the Left Pillar is Water, and the Center Pillar is Air, and Malkuth is always Earth.

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Emanation of the new Æon

Franz Hartmann about the emanation from WHAT IS TRUE CHRISTIANITY?

It is claimed that at the beginning of certain historical periods — when old religious truths are about to be forgotten, and the idolatry of form assumes the place of true religion — some great spirit (planetary) appears upon the earth, incarnated into a human form, and by his word and example impresses the old truths forcibly upon a number of receptive minds, to communicate to others, and thus lay the foundation of a new religious system, embodying old truths in a new form.

It is believed that the man Jesus of Nazareth was the mortal form in which such a spirit was embodied; the latter being no less than what I believe every planetary spirit to be — an emanation from the Universal Logos or Word.

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Literature

The Demiurge or Demiurgos and the AEon‘s or Eon‘s are described in

Gnostic Doctrines and Supersensible Influences in Europe

A Depth of Beginning, Notes on Kabbalah by Colin Low.

Emanation and Ascent in Hermetic Kabbalah

This document consists of slides and notes for a public talk presented at the Spirit of Peace. Colin Low.

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