God’s Are Not Dead : [Myths Bitches] (Full)

Take it as read that any serious problem with believing in Myths lies in the sneaky suspicion or firm accusation that the incredible accounts within them are a) fables, allegories, parables  b) political machinations c) impossible due to our knowledge of physics, history, reality d) fabricated e) based on some true but now garbled re-telling  f) feature Gods.  But taking any three at random (and taking three is no accident, since ancient times, triplicates of action or event have been a staple of Myth and has filtered down into the common numerator of examples given) such as the Odyssey, Maui and the Sun, and the Trojan Horse we can find equivalents for all of them the personal spheres of daily activity; long journeys fraught with dangerous tricks and traps, extraordinary strength and ability required to overcome insurmountable obstacles, or being deceived and letting something in as a gift only to have it revealed as anything but. For any Myth there is a comparable personal equivalent. The nature and power of Myth is understood as something we choose to adopt, rather than something that adopts us. And that is a fundamental difference.

This article will examine several aspects of Myth and reassert that it has retained power and dominance over our lives despite a contemporary more to regard them as antiquated stories intended for a time long ago.

I speak not for the benefit of the LHP, as the magazine this article was originally written for (In2theFire) intended, but the NHP, the No-Hand Path, a denomination that THEM represent through magical socialism. The LHP may seem limitless, but it denotes boundaries in being Left; places it claims it will not go, like conformity, mundanity, the Herd,  – whatever they may be, the Left opposes itself to the Right and nothing is understood without engaging with all forms. For me, it is a necessity to look at everything as useful, to develop a 361 degree understanding, and whilst they may seem old and irrelevant in these apparently enlightened rational times for the reasons given in the opening passage above, No sorcerers of any path will walk their journey without being assailed by Myths.

Since Myths are immortal, and sovereign, they are synonymous with a form of Gods. What are Gods but characters used in stories to describe forces greater than us and the battle for their Sovereignty;  Gods we are expected to draw example from, to wage our own in their names?  Gods as we understand them are not only personifications or abstractions of humanoid or monster but can take the form of entire cycles of experience. (Qv. The Book of Absu)

The outward disagreement between Theism and Theistic, of Real Irrational Deities or Abstract Rational Demons has not impacted the existence of Gods – their appearance to degrees including somewhat and entirely, maybe, but not their existence. The typical battle between forces of good and evil, right or wrong waged across the planet by the minute through debates between humans over the triviality of truth is one of the key aspects enshrined in Myths throughout their revelations of human behaviour, comedy, tragedy, and folly of timeless interactions through Archetype. Such battles to prove or disprove anything, which we engage in daily, only cements the reality of the forces that Myth denotes; namely of forces that fill us with a pressing need to be right, or with Lust, with Hubris, with Love, with Arrogance, or Delusion, to champion something over something else and in due course to be exposed to Irony, Correction, and/or play a part in the micro-story in such a way that we cannot help but imitate the archetypes and character interactions of old.

Whilst an often harmless exercise for humans to need to have their say, this ‘need’ is at root the same force that has driven humanity to its bloodiest wars or to share in co-operative triumphs. Such a force has no perfect name, but thousands, for we all call Myth a different name, assign another’s reality as misinformed or insanity. In the end it makes no difference to its potency. These forces seize us and whip us around like raindrops in a greater storm fired by the need to be heard, or to champion our Gods above theirs. No less explosively, connivingly or strategically than the figures in Myth, and almost always in the same footsteps, repeating the same interplay of human emotions and actions, events and dreams – and our involvement is the seed of a cosmic Unfolding. It may be that we find out that we were wrong/right, or that our actions led to the mis/fortune of another, or that our actions/words had some impact further down the chain on how the story turned out and how it turned out for them and for us. Giving rise to such feelings as regret, satisfaction, tragedy or irony. In the daily course of our lives we are called to act as Gods, to watch from a Mount Olympus as a Zeus, all the goings on below in the mortal world – we know what is going to happen, we can see the outcome, but the poor mortals below are compelled to act out their roles, unwittingly or consciously, their fates determined by the paths they have chosen. And as Zeus all we can do is watch it unfold. It may be others whom are the poor mortals, or it may be actions and momentums of our own that we can only hopelessly watch play out their role. For all our power to act, there are forces bigger than us, forces of love, hate, revenge, learning that we dare not get in the way of, and often, cannot get in the way of.

Myth acts upon all of us nonetheless, in this way or in others, compelling us into roles with other Mythic characters, creatures, beasts and charmed or destined meetings – it seizes our person and forces us to dance in accord with some unknown song, to which others, uncontrollably respond, feeding the mad currents of the story and swept away down the formidable torrent of archetype unable to stop the repetition of human foible. It seizes us without our consent, involves us in its plays, and often without our appreciation that this forcing of our hand into adopting specific shapes for its own purposes, is one of many forces that all humanity are bound to experience. And like the same sun all of humanity have ever seen, it is immutably an inheritance that myth is immortalized as a commonality to all human beings – among many, many others.

In short: We cannot escape Myth and we cannot transcend them, we are Myths bitches. Even the very art of escape of figures who thought themselves smarter than the Gods that bound them is enshrined in Myth, as hubris, such as through the Greek Myths of Prometheus, Ariadne, Sisyphus, whose arrogance or natural talent that rivalled the gods was met with cruel retribution. And so it is for any man that thinks himself a God, easy to overreach and fall, to try and trick the gods, for death takes all and as the ego swells, often before time. There are Myths that tell stories of those who worshipped the gods, ignored the gods, fooled the gods, refused to believe in the gods, challenged the gods, turned their back on the gods, betrayed the gods, killed the gods, created the gods. And these stories are repeated by human beings aeon after aeon, acting in the way they do, as the characters in these ancient verses.

It is apparent to see that for all their age, the stories remain the same from culture to culture, some with more animals and miracles than others, but the blueprints are virtually identical. Heroes, Monsters, Villains, Magic, Trials, Overcomings, Deception, Learning, Explainations for Phenomena, Tragedy and so on. There was a time during the early days of Sumeria when its myths were veined with Gods and Humans on equal footing working together in Harmony.  This is the only civilization in which this footing is found. At an indeterminate time in History, the fundamental relationship between Gods and Humans in Myth was changed; they were divided and set at each other’s throats. This is most clearly evident and accessible in the Eden Mythos of Christianity and the Fall of Angels which is followed by the Fall of Man but occurs much earlier in History with its foundations in a virulent form of dualism. Hereon, Gods became external to us, exalted above us, and in many cases hostile or indifferent to us. Our creation became the impetus for war, and competition between the Gods and Humans began to rage throughout Myth. The introduction of a more potent division between Mankind and Gods via the development of morality, some say through influence by Zoroastrianism and its emphasis on Good and Ill assimilated by the Persians and Medes who were in a position to spread the change widely through pre-Judaism is one of many pressure points where the tide of equality between Men and Gods began to turn.

Yet no less in the stories of the Sumerian Enuma Elish which are among the oldest that have been recorded, were the same forces at play of Battles of Will, Force, Spirit, Vice and Virtue, Tragedy and Comedy, the Petty and the Divine, Injustice and the Ironic actions of others – part of a larger story, as in the Greek, Egyptian, Aztec, Australian etc. Though thousands of miles in space apart, sometimes thousands of years divided, the configurations of humanity’s stories span these vast gaps and dominate even today our daily lives because the forces they describe/preserve were not restricted to those ancient climes, they moved through time, with us, and continue to dominate us. The schism that has developed with the unconscious knowing and being privy to and part of the reality of these acting forces that Myth describes, and modern insistence that denies them, has caused neuroticism that has seen us forget why these things are called Living Stories and to ignore Powers that are right in front of our face. To ignore them at our peril – for it is stories and their archetypes that move all things human.

The stories told, whether a short fireside tale or an epic odyssey may be outlandish, may cause us to shake our heads in disbelief that such things could ever be taken as real, to suspend our notions and knowledge of physics, or give us cause to think that there was a time long ago when people were different, somehow less developed intellectually than we are, and that they believed and even saw Giants, Demons, Gods who appeared to them, haunted them, who were visible and real either through ignorance or suggestion by savvy leaders, witchdoctors and the like. Or invite us to speculate that they were in some sense taken for a ride by their own gullibility or lack of experience, lack of context or education. That in all cases, there is a rational explanation for the creation of these Myths. And there isn’t. There is certainly no evidence of a single reason for their creation or to know the extent of the belief invested in them, to the point imagination manifested demons, and even if so, to know if those imaginations were on equal par with that mythic figure, the real or venerated figuratively.

Myths are as power or as dangerous an entity as any violent or insane demon that might possess a host, or as vitriolic and explosive as the holiest of adorations for a monotheistic God. They tug at who we are, and bind us into place as knots in a rich tapestry that hypnotises us and takes over, we find ourselves steeped in all manner of stories and wonder how we got into them, what happened that led us to become something we became, or marvel at the memories we have of stories long past which we retell again and again like a mantra. ‘I deserve this’. ‘God loves me’.

But Myths, even as synonymous with Gods, are pointers. They are remnants of the terrifying spectral forces that own us, signposts littered throughout time that allow us to know we are being lead, and an entirely different manner of Them altogether. A taste. For if I had not experienced the utter terror of the Others without their human interpretation, and come face to face with those Others, I should not be so utterly obsessed with worshipping this Temple to THEM. They would be as abstractions, figments, ghosts and goblins in the shadows. But They are not. I digress.

It is not difficult to re-tell any Myth and substitute modern conveniences, names and places without so much as ripple in the pond; and it is because the wrapping, the messengers, like the other-worldly power of dreams to conspire new and endless ways to say the same thing, are just that, they are Forms, they are Wrapping, stepping stones or handholds that relate to us, translating the alien reality of the Phyrm (The World matrix) into a language that we can grasp as individuals and as groups, viz. stories which give rise to an understanding and relationship to the Land, its resources, it’s terrible powers, regeneration, rebirth, life, death and all of these other forces that, whether we believe in Gods/Myths of any kind persist and play out day after day in taking possession of us to enact Archetypes, or ask us to believe in Gods above, below, or within.

Love being a prime example of such a Force. Anyone who has fallen in or out of Love knows its insurmountable power, to cause us to Love someone or something forbidden or unattainable or culturally taboo makes no difference to that force; it operates without our consent and chains us to that Love, and like a drug it hurts when we don’t feed it, when we try to go against it. And That is the type of omnipotent power such creature as Myths was developed from; it is of the same pool of soul-stopping intensities that Myths relate; struggle, war, strife, tyranny, suffering, triumph, resilience, change, sorrow, absurdity, cycles, archetypes. Chess pieces moved to some mad scheme we think we understand, or control, only to be rudely awakened by the deftness of Myth to take us by surprise.

A high percentage of music is dedicated to this Force, of Love, which takes us from shallow to shining eyed mad men and women, seized with lust, passion, giggles, joy and a timeless bond – and also to the dark side of Love which tears us apart, creates confusion, hurt, pain, suffering, agony, heartbreak. There is no pain like a broken heart and the timeless mourning of lost love or sickly fawning of new love is a power that has endured aeons.

There are a great many forces greater than us, and early humanity recognized and enshrined these in the Myths. The struggle to rationalize the perception of Gods seems to be required to somehow legitimize them, as anything other than what they are. But I will not try very hard to legitimize them, because they are legitimate to me.

We may imagine the world of ancient times in which these myths arose as very different from the one we know littered with electric bulbs and street lighting, even set apart from older times when devices such as the torch or lantern were available – and a very dark time ruled by darkness the majority of the time. Where darkness was an enemy, the shroud that hid bandits, murderers, dangers, drops, death. Where walled cities and small townships fearful of prowling animals and men prevailed. What were benign landscapes by day would have transformed at night, shadows play tricks especially in the moonlight, but more so in the utter darkness where wo/man is at their weakest, his eyesight ill-developed for a world lacking light, and the daily construction by the sun of the edges, boundaries, dangers and risk cues that daylight brings. In darkness the senses would have had to rely on sound, fearful of every mad screech or creature thumping or crashing through the undergrowth with little fear of men, and who may in fact be a very cleverly disguised enemy. There is every reason to suspect that in such a climate, the imagination ran wild. On the other hand, the Sun, Moon, Stars, Sea, Rain, Clouds, Space, Mountains, Storms, Fire, Death, Life, – Natural Phenomena need no mysticism, they are as wildly in need of explanation today as they were then – thank God for science.

The Gods are not Dead. Where Gods are dead in the modern mentality as entities that watch us, favour us, or made us, other Gods have arisen, for this is an inescapable aspect of these supra-personal forces, they are older, larger and set in motion a thousand myths precisely because they were understood to be Sovereign over man.  There is no less danger in ignoring Gods above than ignoring Gods below – whether people are given reason to deny the existence of external Gods for lack of proof, for adoption of modern sensibilities, for the need to separate themselves from superstition, to assimilate into their culture, to hail intellect and critical thinking over a sense of primitive savagery; or to repress dreams, their desires, their secrets, to think they can slow or stop Time, or rise above hubris, or avoid misfortune; the Old World remains mired in this false escape we have told ourselves exists by telling ourselves over and over that the Gods of old were for others, for a time long ago, for tribes that dance around fires and have not yet attained the cultured understanding of the world that we the civilized world, have.  No matter who we are, or what we believe, we are mastered by forces that control, direct and use us without our consent.

Myths are elastic, with great capacity for superimposition. Choose a Myth. Substitute its characters for people you know that fit them. Change the places, the time, the location to those you recognize, as has been done many times with the classical drama Romeo and Juliet. Or consider one of your own stories, and that parts of you, or separate actions you did, repeated its own miniature scale myth. Maybe you let someone into your life who seemed for all the world a gift, and once in, they attacked you, made war against you, got in through your carefully guarded citadel through deception and guise.  It’s happened to most of us, as it did in the story of the Trojan Horse. Virtually any myth involves a set of universal characteristics or characters that we can fill on the intimate, personal or wider scale by people we know, or things we have done or found ourselves engaging in either after the fact or during, surprised, disappointed, angered at our betrayal of ourselves and somehow wandering far astray from who we thought we were, lulled by some story that took over.  The relics are interchangeable because long ago Myth identified the placeholders. In one modern re-telling via a zombie who retains his faculty to think (and eventually talk) like a human and falls in love with a young female survivor.  The ability to recognize in Myth something greater something more pagan than ancient foolishness or parable is to recognize the timeless power of archetype and the power that understanding them can bring to the Sorcerer.

Exploring, Adopting in part or Living Myths opens the door into the realization of forces that dominate human existence and our relationship with nature that these Myths have immortalized to be retold again and again – because they are as alive today as they were thousands of years ago. Recognizing and extracting the underlying reference to these powers, these “forces of and among THEM” is to open the gate to the Abyss, for they run through all of us, tyrannize the life and bearing of every human being who is at the helm or mercy of some story or another that has changed greatly in appearance but little in esoteric potency.

Sorcerer – We are Myth’s bitches. With that knowledge comes the power to move among them or bring them to actuality for magical gain by identifying and filling the placeholders. Embrace this undying inheritance. It did not develop by chance as a fashion.