There is an art in the Universe. It loves parallels. Two seemingly unrelated things can be shown side by side and suddenly we realize that they are reflections of the other. Like the picture of a mouse brain that looks amazingly close to the picture of a galaxy. We can see these everywhere, completely unaware that something so tiny can reflect the pattern of something so huge.
My senior year of art college I decided to take a course. Art Therapy. It is a course that gives you a glimpse into the world of Art as Therapy. Not everyone enjoyed it because it forced you to evaluate and confront yourself. Well during that course we talked about childhood development and maturation through art. And here comes the parallel. As a child grows their way of drawing grows too. We start with scribbles, then stick figures, then shapes, outline, colors, and so on. If you place this maturation, these phases of drawing up next to the phases of human expression (cave paintings, hieroglyphs, etc) you can see they reflect each other. There are similarities. A child over time compresses all of the human art movements into one life time. Until they reach a time where they choose to leave art behind or use their will to break art rules. In a similar way we as individuals can compress all of existence and creation into our one self.
This is pretty heady theories I will be touching on, hard to explain. So bear with me. I had very bad sleep so I may also go off a bit on imagery. I included diagrams for ease of explanation. For myself and others.
How humans take in information and connect with the Universe is pretty complex. We draw information down from the source of all Essences. Essences being the core or core nature of a creation. If a sculpt a statue of Sekhemt, the essence of the statue will not be the clay or stone. It will be Sekhmet as I understand her. Where we draw this Essence is from the Collective Unconscious. Most people have a recollection of this term. In very simple terms, it is the Universal Store of all Ideas and concepts. Archetypes come from this place. In a creative process after we have the abstract idea (Essence) it goes through a bunch of wonderful phases and steps. In simple terms, consider them filters. Personal, human filters.
Let’s try an example…
I want to paint a picture with the essence of Light. Working through my own filters I say, “To me Light means a goddess, with vibrant colors, lots of white, non-menacing.” And that is just the first scratch of the first few layers. I move into the Duality of Gender by saying Light to me is a goddess. The colors and attitude is pulled from the subconscious. From there my personal style of painting and the flairs I have are part of the identity. And the choice of image, her clothing, hair style, jewelry, setting are chosen by my conscious mind. The Shadow is a filter that we do not really interact with much, consciously. It holds all the inner fears and doubts. All the repressed emotions and thoughts. We can’t always pin point where this manifests in our creative processes. Now this process can be a parallel in a few ways.
At Retreat we discussed Regional Gods. The individual’s personal connection and perception of deity. My personal Sekhmet, with all her imagery and flair, is not the Sekhmet of anyone else. There will be some overlap maybe but the Sekhmet that I connect with is purely my own. If we take this and blow it up, overlaying it on top of the diagram form before we get the above.
The big, unfathomable force (the added ring I think is important when talking about gods) is the largest concept of the gods It is where the begin this process, just outside of the knowable. The first filter begins to narrow down who we are getting. The big Form. Then the next few layers filter out who we are not getting. Letting us get closer to a define personal deity. The final filters bring up the specific deity we are connecting with and then our personal flairs. The Regional God.
Since I love examples…
I want to connect with an Eye that I feel has been trying to get my attention. The Eye, in order to connect with me on my level, must go through all my layers and filters. At each one they get a bit smaller, unable to hold the enormity of the Eye. So the Eye chooses to shed some of itself, leaving only the most important messages to give me. Smaller and smaller my filters get until one a very specific piece of the Eye comes through. And only enough of the Eye comes through to give me a color, image, or word. Because I, as a conscious mind, can only take in so much.
However, humans have an amazing ability to go up and meet a god half way. Through meditation and practice we can raise our energy and mind up to meet the god in a place that is less constrained. BUT that is another matter.
So with this diagram helping us understand how individuals connect with the gods, and why they are always so unique to the person, we can move on. Let’s hold up this thought against the next diagram.
The manifestation of concepts into specific gods. In this diagram, the filters have changed. Instead of the human mind layers we are going through specific places. The names are unique to each culture and religion but the concept remains the same. From the unknowable place, where the big god-forms sit, they must travel through these phases/places to be able to manifest in the Seen World. This Reality. At each phase they must shed a bit more of themselves to be able to manifest the needed component. Since all the previous explanation has helped get us in the right mind we can move on to an example.
From the big, unknowable place one the Eye wants to manifest themselves in this reality. The Eye holds the most important message of this time closest to themselves and begins the journey. The Eye moves first into its name of Tefnut. The original Eye. But Tefnut is too big still for our little plane of existence, as part of the gods of pre-creation. So Tefnut shed some baggage to be Cosmic Hethert. This Hethert is still to big to be able to manifest the important message. This Hethert is comprehensible, part of creation, yet it is still too broad. So Cosmic Hethert sheds a bit more baggage to manifest the message or energy as Hethert. Only a small part of the Eye, who is Tefnut, can make it into the Seen World.
Now the filters in this diagram may be out of order. Nun and Duat might need switched. Or Time and Manifestation. Or there may be less layer or even more layer. But the concept remains the same. From the Unknowable we only get a fraction of the god that is really there. Once they have given the message or energy, the Specific god-consciousness can go back up the ladder, but their form and function (that message/energy) remains ingrained in us.
This is the theory of the Eyes. There is The Eye, who then touched the many layers of creation and split themselves into many. All to better connect with this world and us. And why my sleep starved brain is having trouble holding in the theory. Yay diagrams!
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes on the nature of Essence.
“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, ‘Oh no, not again.’ Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.” – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker;s Guide to the Gaxaly
*original theories of Netjer (Regional Gods and the Multi-Step Manifestation of gods) are credited to Tamara Siuda.