The Chiron Text; Being Meditations of “What would have been the essence of Chiron’s Teaching to Hercules and Jason for modern humans?”
Each chapter of this book is a meditation. The chapter headings correspond to the nine sacred worlds found in Siberian Shamanism. I picked the Siberian variety of Shamanism as it is among the oldest known forms of Shamanism and therefore is – at least as regards Asian belief systems-a principle Asian “Ladder” to hang beliefs or organize beliefs on. Siberian Shamanism can be seen as one of the ancient roots for all religions world wide.
This interests me because Shamanism-in any form-including primitive Christianity – is Operative Religion or “What Works”. In brief these roots-especially the Asian ones – are “where we all come from” at least as far as what we can call “belief systems”, religions or philosophic paths.
I thought it best to reach back to the most ancient influences we have as humans on this planet because they will likely pull at our deepest instincts and therefore are easiest to remember and align with out emotional values. These nine planets then – are them. In other words, each of the first nine chapter corresponds to a planetary archetype and its corresponding visible planet. Chapters 10 and on are simply extensions of the basic ideas which I thought would be helpful to students of the human body and physical education, training and culture.
But I must go further here. Archetypes can be seen as Psychological Influences or on a scientific level-vibrations – which have been attributed to the planets. Jung called them part of the “Collective Unconscious”. The Early Church Fathers called them simply “Types” meaning patterns or templates of things we encounter in life.
In modern times we would call them “Metaphors”. But in all traditions, they are actually traceable to the original creation of the universe or the initial human motive. We could say they are an after effect of the “Big Bang” of our universe’s creation.
In regard to this the planets themselves do not radiate these powers or vibrations—but they seem to mark the times when these powers are experienced. This is in the same way the clock marks time but does not produce time! Most reading this blog realize the planets combine to form what astrologers call an individual astrological chart. In other words we are born, live, and breathe inside a series of twelve moving fields which constantly shift in relation to one another according to planetary movement.
The earlier versions of our present twelve planet astrology stipulate eight or nine visible planets depending on the tradition. The Siberians use nine thus we use nine here. These include the sun and moon.
In this text the overriding entities or archetypes which stand behind each chapter are indeed planetary entities most readers will be familiar with-like “Mars” and “Venus”—beings or intelligences mythical or psychological, which have traditionally been assigned to the “visible planets” or planets visible to the human eye. Unless considered with clear concentration these planetary powers function largely unconsciously on the reader. Sometimes we feel irritated or have an inner discontent and we cannot find out what in us is eating us. The ancient view is that it is the planets that are “eating you”.
By using them here I hope to bring an ancient kinship back to the reader and help them to form clearer associations and even relations with the past. Wether you believe in astrology or the nine planets or simply nine basic psychologies or masks in a person – or none of the above- the purpose of this text is to give you a sense of how the ancient mind worked and how it still has some relevance to how the human body and mind behave.
The order of the chapters/planets in this book does not follow the ancient Siberian System. It follows the Platonic ladder of development for the “Guardians of the State” as found in The Republic. I have no wish to lead the reader into Plato’s fascism- however I do appreciate his sense of physical idealism. One can see this principally in Greek Sculpture of the human body. “Guardians of the State” are needed to recall the old courtesies and prevent unnecessary strife and blood shed.
This need for “Guardians of State/Culture” was and is the basis of Chivalry and this too goes way back to ancient Persia and its Chevaliers. What I do wish to do here is to take the Western propensities and inherent physical idealisms-which still lie latent in many of us here in the West, as this is where so many of our inherent concepts come from; Justice, Beauty, Proportion, Law, Virtue etc – and reconnect them back to their living sources, their Shamanistic sources.
In other words I wish to have Plato again shake hands with Heraclitus or more properly go back to perhaps his own – Orphic/Pythagorean teachers.
Rather than having disembodied ideals which invariably cannot make clear and direct contact with modern reality with their gods transcendant- I want to recreate in the reader of these chapters- the sense of “gods immanent”. That is, the god who stands IN the physical realities rather than the god which inspires them from afar. Before Christ was institutionalized and turned into a “Sin Mill” by the church that was indeed his position. But that is for another book. Back to the “gods in the realities”.
The realities behind the Ideals are what interest me. And that is where one has to look through the Ideals as though they are glass -or even stained glass windows, and try to see the living beings that inspired them. I want to have the vision of Heraclites-I look into the fire of life, what is happening in the moment and in me and in you and even more directly in our bodies. Plato warned of the “dangers” of looking into the sun directly — well indeed The Truth can be too much for some…sometime though we can dare to look directly- though perhaps- it is immodest on our part… both light and dark, sun and the moon and the “shadows” which Plato speaks of…it is — where we live.
Plato never met Chief Sitting Bull, who placing his thumb over the sun and watching it a full day, fell into a dream and saw the tragic future of his people. I think Plato and Sitting Bull would have agreed about some basic ideas!
Sunlight has a power over the human being and body. Sitting Bull knew it, the Siberian Shamen knew and now even scientists who study the pineal gland know it.
And now you- the reader know it. So this book in many ways is about knowing things that have been known and are now largely forgotten or ignored.
So this book is about remembering ancient powers and loves and wisdoms, but bringing those memories into the conscious present. Readers wanting to research this idea further can go to the work of Owen Barfield and his concept of “Final Participation” or “the raising into consciousness of the instincts”.
My hope for the future is directed toward the reader of this text who, after reading it, then has the power to act upon it and get into their physical body. To that reader I say, “Bon Voyage”.
Chapter 1; Mars-Gutarsta-Physical Exercise-Askesis
Chapter 2; Jupiter-The Shape – Shifter-Identity, Aspiration and Gnosis
Chapter 3; Mercury-Training of Vital Skills-Agathon
Chapter 4; Sun-Elements and Essentials-Practical Sense-Dikaiosune
Chapter 5; Moon-Emotions and Psychology-Construction of Logic
Chapter 6; Sun again-Imaginations of Scythianos-nature source to history source
Chapter 7; Venus-Comfort, Fire, Hestia and Yoga-Anamnesis-remembering self
Chapter 8; Neptune-Physical Education destroying illusions of identity-sophrosyne
Chapter 9: Saturn-The Body in Time-The Discipline of Humility-Arete
The Journey Out of Shamanism into Consciousness-Barfield’s “Final Participation”
Chapter 10; Pluto-The Core of Martial Arts-into the dark planet-the light which comes out of the black hole, life out of death. The Way of the Amazon and Path of the Hero.
Chapter 11-Rest and Warmth