Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The "cultural heritage" group neurosis 8: to boldy go where no archaeologist has gone before

Leningrad Codex cover page
with the Seal of Solomon
"In a letter to his Jewish discussion partner, Aniela Jaffé, Pauli wrote:

"'It is my impression that the ‘lower triad’ [of the Seal of Solomon]… belongs to this ‘karma,’ [The collective archetypal contents that can also cause the feeling of being reincarnated; RFR] and that it must emerge in all [humans] who in our time set foot on the path of individuation, since this archetype points to a development which was interrupted by Christianity.' [Translation mine]"
Remo F. Roth,  Return of the World Soul: Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung and the Challenge of Psychophysical Reality - Part I: The Battle of the Giants (Kindle Locations 713-716). Pari Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Wolfgang Pauli saw the symbol of the Unus Mundus as being the Seal of Solomon. In its basic design: a six pointed star created from two opposed equilateral triangles, all within a circle, he saw the opposite forces of matter (lower triangle moving upward) and psyche (upper triangle moving downward). The circle represents the unknowable which contains both psyche and the physical universe as different expressions of itself. The hexagon in the middle was the area of balance between the universe and psyche (and the end result of  both Jungian individuation and the seventeenth century alchemist's work). So-called "Newtonian physics" (Newton was also an alchemist) parted with scientific development in the seventeenth century by starting to deal only with matter and dropping psyche. Quantum physics, however, had discovered things (such as the wave/particle duality) that Pauli realized brought psyche back into the picture again.

Pauli wrote to the Swiss physicist Markus Fierz (spin statistics theorum) on Christmas day 1950 saying: ""That I carry ‘Kepler’ as well as ‘Fludd’ in myself and that it is for me a necessity to arrive at a synthesis of this pair of opposites, as best I can." (Roth, ibid. (Kindle Locations 468-470)).

It is important to know that the Seal of Solomon is not an exclusively Jewish symbol, it is an archetype that exists also in other religions. Jung discovered that deep in the unconscious mental pictures that we see in imagination and dreams do not exist and instead there is geometry and number. It is only when these interact with our consciousness that pictures and language can form.

For the most part, in western mythology and religion, the comprising triangles in the diagram are static. We do not see them, as I illustrate on the left, as moving up and down to form the six-pointed star when they find equilibrium at the centre.

Bát quái đồ
graphic: Connormah

The idea of such movement was just starting in alchemy when western science, temporarily, lost one of its triangles. The graphic on the right combines the Chinese Yin Yang with the eight trigrams of the Yi Jing (in their original order). The top trigram is Qian=heaven and the bottom is Kun=earth, but each of the trigrams has many meanings: the top is male and the bottom is female and also, respectively, creative, receptive and so on. each is an opposing pair, but sometimes the oppositions are not obvious to a western mind: to the left of Qian is Dui =lake, and opposing it is Gang=Mountain. But Dui can also be a young girl and when a hexagram is made with Dui at the top and Gang below, then Gang becomes a young man and the meaning of the two is "affection". The hexagrams also incorporate time with the now at the bottom and the ultimate future at the top, so we also have movement. It was the world's first binary system. Opposition, movement and incorporation is also embodied in the Yin Yang symbol.

"In the context of his visual-auditory experience of the dancing Chinese woman, the Seal of Solomon, the quintessence and the square on November 11, 1953, Pauli writes to Marie-Louise von Franz (letter [1672]):
"'What fascinates me about China is clear to me: it is precisely the symmetrical attitude towards the pair of opposites Yin (feminine, chthonic, dark = moon) and Yang (masculine, spiritual, bright = sun). A thousands-of years-old culture and civilization was built on this attitude—homogenous and continuous. It is the ‘realm of the middle’—and its age is awe-inspiring…' [Translation mine]
"Then he continues: 'I am also fascinated when I meet the same symmetrical attitude and engagement in the Occident. Indeed, it is quite rare. It seems that a relatively short period in the old Hellenic culture was ‘symmetrical’ in relation to Apollo and Dionysus, especially the Pythagoreans; further, I have also found an ‘archaic’ symmetry with Fludd (as well as in the Kabbalah) and—last but not least—there is the anticipatory one of Bohr and Professor Jung.' [Translation mine]"
 Roth, ibid. (Kindle Locations 1705-1714).
A coin can be an archaeological site. This simple fact is sometimes completely unknowable by the archaeologist who sees them only as objects that can be within an archaeological site. This perception, or lack thereof, is due to the unawareness that an object is anything that can be named. They do not see a site as an object with parts, but a whole with objects. The site has been sanctified and promoted to something beyond objects and they then condemn anyone whose interest is primarily the objects that might be found at an archaeological site. The object, to them, loses most of its meaning when it is not a part of a site. Particle physics is not on their thought horizon at all and archaeology takes on a religious tone. Yet, it is a "shadow" religion comprising only of time and matter; an opposite of religion. You can see this where such people seem only to refer to "ritual" and never attempt to analyze anything deeper. Ritual is an action that uses material objects. It is very different, indeed, from religious philosophy. One can shave every morning as a ritual.

One of the best things about Celtic coins is that the die cutters were, at least sometimes, Druidic-trained and used a visual language that did not violate the Druidic taboo against writing anything down (something they shared with the Greek mystery religions and the Pythagorean school). Pauli knew nothing about Celtic coins, and Jung left anything Celtic to his wife who was more interested in Medieval Celtic imagery and legend. Years ago, I discovered a sub-group within a series of Coriosolite coins that showed exactly the sort of thing that had fascinated Pauli with his interest in the Unus Mundus iconography:

Coriosolite Series Y, Group H1, Coin 37
This is either the first or second reverse die in this sub-group (most likely the first). Issuing from the chariot pony's left leg and curving round its chest is a beaded line that Rybot designated as a martingale. Perhaps it is as martingales are sometimes used to make a parade horse's neck arch and its head face down. More importantly, though, it is a determinative in their visual language: all of Group H1 has this martingale and it appears nowhere else.

Detail of inscribed stone in Dowth passage tomb,
Ireland, ca. 3000 BC
The quadrilateral device in front of the pony with its eight radiate lines is sometimes called a vexillum. Apart from not being Roman, it is not any sort of military standard at all. It is a religious symbol with a very long ancestry. The earliest occurrence of it is on a stone in the subsidiary chamber of the passage tomb at Dowth Ireland, and it is about five thousand years old. Coriosolite and other Armorican coins share quite a bit of imagery with Megalithic Ireland and we know that there was communication between the two places. At the time of these coins, the population of Brittany, according to Giot, was about 50/50 Celtic, and the descendants of the earlier Megalithic peoples. It was also an area that was slow to change.

Group H1 dies all show a variety of this symbol, but the one above is the common form. each variety reveals the meaning of the symbol: a division of what is above and what is below. One of them (the chevrons) reveals that the design elements are not just repeated but also opposed. It is exactly the same symbolism as in the Seal of Solomon and in the opposed yi jing trigrams.

Evidently, there was little difference in the eastern and western psyche in the third millennium BC and the people in the west could be as inward-looking in their beliefs as is the case in the more recent east. Without such a psychology, these archetypes could not have possibly been stimulated and brought up into consciousness.

The rest of the iconography of Coriosolite coins confirms the meaning: the boar symbol and the lyre symbol are
both very ancient (the "lyre" being a variation of another Irish megalithic symbol associated with the roof-box at Newgrange where the sun enters the inner chamber at dawn at the winter solstice. The boar is of indeterminate age but is associated with winter at least as far back as Homeric Greece and also appears, in the same role, in the later Irish epics. On the Coriosolite coins a sun (winter solstice, but later Samhain) rises over the base line. This is also believed by some to be a military standard even though boar symbolism is universally to do with the Otherworld, even as far away as Micronesia (Campbell, Primitive Mythology).

You can see from all of the above, that the materialistic psychology of archaeology is not only ill-prepared for these concepts, but actively opposes this line of thinking.

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  1. What a beautiful website and blog! Fascinating.

    1. Thank you Robin, and thanks for stopping by!