In the Beginning is Psyche
edited: Monday, April 28, 2003
By Mark Allinson
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003
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The foundation of all Being is Psyche, the Divine Imagination.
In the Beginning
by Mark Allinson
In the beginning is the deep dark sea of Psyche. And in the end is the deep dark sea of Psyche. And at all points in between is nothing more nor less than the infinite variable motions of the deep dark sea of Psyche. Her living darkness breeding light is the primal inexplicable fact. Psyche is my name for the prodigious productivity of the Void. All beings are the ephemeral bubbles of her breaking waves. In Her surge we live and move and have our Being. In Her ebb we return to the abysmal bliss of Her unknowing. She is not conscious. But all consciousness sparkles on the surface of Her dreaming.
I call her Psyche because “psyche” means “soul” in Greek, and soul, as the wisest philosophers know, is all. Shifting metaphor, soul is the very root of the tree of Being. And the root is hidden in the dark loam of the primal night, which we call Void. From the beginning the primal night of Void has held the roots of Psyche, nurturing the trunk and the higher shoots of Being secure in its clasp of nothingness. Psyche is both soil and seed. The nothingness of Psyche is so rich it produces parthenogenic seed - maleness produced from primal femaleness. The higher realms of air and light are also the products of psychic loam, rareified into spirit through Her Imagination.
The current religious monotheisms of the world (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) place spirit (or “pneuma”) as the one true essence of Being. God is pure spirit. The non-religious monotheisms of Rationality do the same, but call it “mind”, “logic” or “reason”, which is the same spirit by another name. The pure, elevated light of spirit, imagined within Psyche as being higher than Psyche, is the primal quality of the mono-centric Divine. Next in descending hierarchy of being comes the lower mind (as imagination, memory or psyche), and last is “physis”, or physical Nature. And from the point of view of spirit, both psyche and physis are seen as mutually interwoven, tarred with the same dark dye. The masculine Gods of monotheism are bodiless, mental, spiritual beings, superior lords over the feminine realms of psyche and procreative Nature.
But I say these spirit religions are reactions against Psyche or soul (played out within Psyche or soul), based upon the desire of the cut-off human ego-spirit, the spectral self, to escape from Psyche, since Psyche (and its associated realm of sense experience) is where the spirit of ego identity is born to be utterly consummed and obliterated. These fantasies of spiritual elevation above Psyche are nonetheless fantasies within Psyche. Psyche playing at being other than Herself. Psyche’s own dissocciated image of the superiority of the ideal spirit (the imagined core of self) is an attack upon the knowledge of death which lives in Psyche.
Now, as She shifts Her ground to play another game, it is time for the proud male Gods to acknowlege their origin and end in the womb of Psyche, the Mother of all. In the idealism of Western religion the pure light of unworldly, disembodied spirit has been held as the ultimate reality: the Platonic realm of the spiritual “ideas”. The dark realm of psyche and soul, the realm of sensational memory and imagination, has been seen as secondary, fallen, corrupt and ultimately expendible. Spirit is not a higher reality than Psyche, as the Platonised religions of frightened mind assert, but an expression of Psyche. Spirit is a reality never to be denied, a reality without which man could never be, but a reality born of soul, having no reality apart from the dark depths of soul or Psyche. As even modern science admits, the universe begins with a flash of pure light. But the flash is born of a mysterious, unknowable darkness. I say the darkness is Psyche.
The ego is a self-delusion within Psyche, a product of Her own cut-off spirit’s denied knowledge of its support. Like an eddy in a stream which believes itself to have an identity apart from the stream expressing it, the little whirlpool of the ego-self dissociates itself from its deeper psychic matrix, condemning the very fabric of its own being, and hoping for the salvation of its illusory selfhood. The self which pops like a bubble at death. The sparkling light of the ego-eddy, the light of the cut-off spirit, is a reality born of Psyche’s creative darkness. Psyche plays at being other than Herself, enjoying the return of terrified fragments of Herself to Her own profound, re-found peace. Self-alienation is Psyche’s mode of creation. By cutting Herself off from Herself the wheel of fortune turns.
Soul is the source and origin of all identity, and the bitter reality for the isolated ego is that all identity is finally re-aborbed in the oblivion of soul, from whence infinite new identities forever emerge. The self-aware masculine God in all monotheisms is the projection of Psyche’s own created frightened minds seeking their own image in the mirror of sky. Fearing to cease with the body in death, their egos look to the mirror of mind in the heavens for a promise of continuity. Take away the promised afterworlds of heaven and paradise and what remains of the spirit cults. Nothing.
Continuity of mental identity is the linch-pin of all monotheistic religion - thus their murderous rages, seeking to evade death by inflicting it on others. Thus also their universal misogyny, which is an attack against those who carry the biological metaphor for the fertile womb space of Psyche. The violence of the dissociated masculine mind, in both men and women, is a product of its denied derivation from and dependence upon Psyche. Her game of self-delusion is called the world as we know it. The selfishly humble spirit-self, fearing the end of mental identity, worships the father God in the sky who promises salvation of the spectral ego. But the sky in which this spectre sees its own magnified image is merely the surface of Psyche’s Deep. In looking up we are really looking down. Down into the Deeps of Psyche.
Even the spiritual, mystical experiences of light and peace and unity are images within Psyche, vainly imagining the achievment of a superiority over that which actually contains them. Psyche is the true Mother of God. The mother of every God and Goddess. Her very own image of the one male God now fades from our culture as She re-absorbs the Son, who is one with the Father, back into the warmth of Her deep dark womb.
Psyche’s own dissociated world-despising light of spirit has its true st expression in the thermo-nuclear bomb - the world-dissolving brightness of a thousand suns. Unless humanity moves beyond its fascination for spirituality in the transcendent abstractions of religion (both ancient and New Age), nationalism and economics, the spiritual H-bombs of Islam, Judaism and Christianity will purify the world of all life. But when life hates its own deeper Being, perhaps it is best to let death reduce it to its fundamental nature, there to issue in the playing of another more rewarding game.
To continue the game here and now it will be necessary for humanity to grow up and stop crying for the illusion of continuing mental-spiritual identity. Every child is born with an inheritance of soul. Each individual is born with its own unique nature, which no amount of social conditioning can create nor erase. But the ego-identity is an accretion, a shell of associations that grows slowly through social and linguistic forces. And that which comes into being, develops and grows, must surely die. Only the soul-inheritance returns to the all-soul of Psyche for infinite recycling in worlds yet unborn. Rather than cling with violent sulking rage to the sinking raft of mental identity, which characterises our death-denying spiritual culture, float in the rich creative darkness from which all identity emerges. When ego identification drops away, we are that flow of Imagination which is eternal Psyche.
From a few tiny flecks of the foam of Psyche’s infinite sea of Being comes all that we know as the realm of Nature, from the swirl of stars in spirals and globes, to a churn of butterflies on a morning in Spring. But the foam of Nature is nothing apart from Psyche. Soul does not appear within the world, the world appears in the midst of Soul. The earth, the universe, all space and all time is a grain of sand in the palm of Psyche. And Psyche in her many modes of being, from microbes to men, imagines Nature in many different ways.
Imagine Nature through the ten thousand infra-red eyes of the praying mantis. Imagine Nature through the snout of a blind sand mole. The soulful Pagan sees Nature as a living fund of metaphor and meaning. The detached, soul-denying spectre of the rationalist mind imagines physical Nature as dead and aimless. They are all of them right in their various visions. Psyche’s foam of Nature is all things to all beings, but has no single “objective” reality apart from Psyche’s own variable perspectives.
Psyche is not Mind. Mind presupposes self-awareness. Self-aware minds are just one of the many products of Psyche, Who is also the Being of rocks, and stones, and trees - the un-self-conscious emptiness of oblivious plenitude. Psyche does not create to an ideal plan. Psyche unfolds all Being in the creative freedom of exploration. Universes rise, break and fade as waves on the surface of Her sea. Infinite freedom is a reality. But it is not ours, as egos. It belongs to Psyche, Who is the bearer of all Being, including the ego. From Psyche’s womb we are hourly born, upon Whose archetypal currents we are forever borne. Psyche is the matrix of images from which all minds are spun, to be unraveled again for re-cycling. Psyche knits us all on her loom of archetypes - woven texts of the warp and woof of Her infinite Imagination.