l. As already stated, the snake is the symbol of rebirth, transformation and regeneration. But it is much more than that. According to Campbell

The power of life causes the snake to shed its skin, just as the moon sheds its shadow. The serpent sheds its skin to be born again, as the moon its shadow to be born again. They are equivalent symbols. Sometimes the serpent is represented as a circle eating its own tail. That’s an image of life. Life sheds one generation after another, to be born again. The serpent represents immortal energy and consciousness engaged in the field of time, constantly throwing off death and being born again. There is something tremendously terrifying about life when you look at it that way. And so the serpent carries in itself the sense of both the fascination and the terror of life. ( [44], answer 2).

The snake is about life energy and consciousness incorporated in a temporal body and as women are givers of life, they are associated with the snake. As such, women are a reminder of the fall of “man” from timeless non-dual consciousness [44]. By depreciating woman, one, by association, is also depreciating life itself.

5.2. Male-God-Oriented Group Myths

The fall from timeless non-dual consciousness seems to be the reason some cultures associate women with sin, for she gives birth to life in a world, which is dual. We find this depicted in the story of the Garden of Eden [44].

A historical example and manifestation of this belief occurred in the Hebrew subjugation of the Canaanites, whose principle divinity was the Goddess and her symbol the snake, which represents the mystery of life [44].

Likewise, the followers of Apollo, another male-god-oriented group, rejected the Python and all that is associated with it. In fact, in killing the python, the myth of Apollo can be seen as going further than the Hebrews in their myth. To add force to the myth, it was enacted at the beginning of at the Delphi Games, which comprised of not only sport but also music. These games took place at regular intervals for over 1000 years.

Women were subjugated in Greece where, as already pointed out, in public discourse they were supposed to be silent and in politics and power lacked any right to be heard ( [41], p. 27). Ironically the Pythia was the most powerful person in Greece, especially as she not only pronounced on private matters but also affairs to do with politics and the state.

6. Possible Repercussions on a Psychic Level

From a scientific view, proving repercussions is very difficult. However, one can suggest some of them. On an emotional level, what we do to others affects the doer first [10] so by association through the python, men were “slaying” the female aspect of themselves. In the terminology of Jung [45], it would become part of the shadow, the dark or unknown side of the personality, which is prone to psychological projection. Interestingly, this perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else [46].

Whereas Jung [47] talked about the anima and animus, I prefer to talk about the male and female principle and here I mainly restrict my usage of these terms to the alternative ways of knowing associated with each principle.

As we have seen, intuitive knowing gives rise to guidance through intuition. The dependence on the oracle of many men in ancient Greece can be seen as an example of lack of inner guidance. Not only did men seek guidance in how to act regarding private matters but also affairs to do with politics and state. Women also consulted the oracle but had to send men in their lieu.

I cannot and am not trying to prove a causal connection between the myth of the slaying of the python by Apollo and the lack of guidance through intuition in men; I feel there are always multiple reasons for any behaviour. My intention here is to point out some of the patterns that can be observed. Bringing unconscious patterns to light or conscious awareness is an important task for it is said “who do not know their history, is condemned to repeat it” ( [48], p. 284).

The lack of conscious connection by men with their inner guiding voice may also be seen as having its positive side for it seems to have provided the impetus for men to develop a different way of knowing, later termed the rational way of knowing. And if it did not directly provide the impetus, at least it might have provided some of the ground for its development. The early Greek male philosophers who were later identified as developing the rational way of knowing, lived side by side with women who formed a “sisterhood of mystics” ( [42], Prologue) who pronounced the oracles [33]. However, in a later section in this paper, I question if many of the insights of the early Greek Philosophers truly arose from the thinking mind and suggest they probably arose through intuition. I also question where or from whom the early Greeks Philosophers acquired their knowledge.

7. Definitions

For me, the heart of the dilemma, which takes us up to the present day, is the lack of clarity regarding the source of intuition and rationality. But first, let us look at what these terms mean.

7.1. Intuition

Intuition: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference [49].

To highlight this usage, I share a mythical account of the story regarding the writing of the Bhagavad Gita, the most famous epic poem of India, which involves a discourse between Krisna (god) and his pupil Arjun. The scribe who took down the tale was said to be the elephant god Ganesha. He was told to take down the story without stopping. So, when his pen failed halfway through, he quickly broke off the point of one of his tusks and used it to continue writing. Today all images of Ganesha have a part of one of his tusks missing as a reminder that when direct intuition is flowing from god (also known as soul or Self), one must not stop or let the rational mind interfere with what is being relayed.

A modern-day definition of intuition states “the mental faculty for making immediate direct connections between two or more ideas analogous to vision... the related ideas may be abstract objects or properties or feelings” ( [51], p. 9). This knowing takes place without the conscious use of reasoning.

7.2. Rationality and Reason

Reason: 1) “the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways”. 2) “the sum of the intellectual powers”.

Archaic definition: treatment that affords satisfaction [50].

For Spencer, rationality (reasoning) is known as the mental faculty of reason... and it is distinguished from memory, imagination or (religious) belief; its admirers believe its results are intellectually trustworthy ( [51], Section 1, p.1). He also points out that dictionaries point to its “role in Truth-seeking and Problem solving” ( [51], p. 1). Reasoning involves a process, which is like speech in that one statement leads to another. In this, it is also like mathematics and logic, both intellectual methods of establishing the “correctness of results of valid reasoning (a belief is ‘true’ or the problem solution is appropriate)” [51].

Inherent in the act of rationalizing is the “psychological self-deception of making up plausible excuses for one’s acts and beliefs (where the actual word rational) closes the circle by relating it to reason, deliberately linking it to thinking, sanity, sensible and non-foolish” ( [51], p. 1).

The rise in reason and the rational way of knowing in science has been accompanied by a decline in intuition or at least the acceptance of its existence. Many scientists classify research into intuition and psych phenomenon as pseudoscience in spite of there being quite strong statistical evidence which would “be widely accepted if... (this data) pertained to something more mundane. Most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at the data” [52].

7.3. The Basis of Intuition and Rationality

Although the above-mentioned definitions specify the differences between the rational and intuitive way knowing, the modern-day tendency of writing off intuition, seeing it as a property of the mind or as intuition and rationality being “mental faculties”, does not tell us very much about their source or origin. And it is here that I agree with La Tour and La Tour [53] that it is only people who have explored the nature of their own consciousness who can throw light on this interesting and vital question. In the theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness talked about at the beginning of the paper, both ways of knowing are expressions of the deeper Self, soul or conscious spirit, however, they represent different levels of consciousness. The rational way of thinking, “sharpened by the cultivation of learning... evolves into a faculty called intellect” ( [1], p. 37). is often associated with the surface of the brain. Intuitive knowing, on the other hand, is an emotional faculty, which is associated with the mind of the heart. I associate the former with the masculine principle and the latter, the female principle.

Arka’s theory gives a new way forward in that individuals can investigate it more thoroughly through science and also personally, through inner exploration and discovery. The interesting thing is it recognizes thinking mind consciousness associated with the intellect and also incorporates intuition and the female principle, which, I argue here, was depreciated in Apollo’s slaying of the python. But before I go further into this, let us look at the rise of Greek Philosophy.

8. Greek Philosophy

8.1. The Rise of Greece Philosophy and Rational Thought

Before the rise of philosophy in Greece, “myths explained natural phenomena (the sun was carried around the heavens by Apollo’s chariot; Zeus hurled thunder and lightning from the top of Mount Olympus). Early philosophers attempted to provide uniform, rational explanations for the ‘world order’ or kosmos and nature” ( [54], 2PL).

On a timeline, the different schools of Greek Philosophy all came into existence after Apollo was said to have slain the Python after his arrival at Delphi. Scott [55] gives the date of Delphi’s use as a sanctuary of Apollo as the late eighth century BCE. Greek Philosophy as an independent cultural genre began around 600 BCE, and its influence persists today [56].

Greek Philosophers rejected mythology and the poetry of Homer and Hesiod and they sought to replace this way of conceptualizing reality by explaining things in terms of impersonal Nature. The break was not sharp but it involved a rejection of “the pseudo-science of divination, where one tries to know the minds of the gods” to explain “things using reason, logic, evidence, argument, and rational criticism (tests)” The fundamental questions also changed to what and how, rather than who or why ( [54], π 070 02F).

Daniels [57] identifies two different philosophical currents as practiced by the Greeks:

• naturalistic

• mystical

“Some like Socrates, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius merged the two currents in an attempt to do justice to the informable complexity of life,” “But even in these men the dominant strain, characteristic of Greek thought, was the love and pursuit of reason.” ([Durant in [57]).

8.2. Roots of the Western Intellectual Tradition

The roots of the Western intellectual tradition are said to stem from the Greeks, but it seems this is not entirely accurate. Thales (640 B.C.) received his education in Egypt, and his associates Anaximander and Anaximenes, who were also natives of Ionia in Asia Minor, adhered to the Egyptian Mystery Schools, as did Xenophanes (576 B.C.), Parmenides, Zeno and Melissus and Pythagoras [58]. It seems Ionia was a stronghold of the Egyptian Mystery Schools, whereas Athens was against these teachings, hence the sentencing to death of Socrates in 399 BC and the fleeing of Plato and Aristotle from Athens as “philosophy was something foreign and unknown to them” (i.e. the people of Athens) ( [34], part 1, para 3).

History, according to James [34], makes it clear that the teachings of the Egyptian mysteries are the true authorship of philosophy and neither the Ionians nor the Italians, where these teaching had spread prior to them being accepted in Athens, ever tried to claim authorship of them. In support of his claim, James points out that there is “a complete absence of information about essential information concerning the early life and training of the so-called Greek philosophers, from Thales to Aristotle” ( [34], Section 2, para 1). In other words, the history of Greek philosophy is said to arise from men about whom history knows next to nothing “yet expects the world to accept them as the true authors of the doctrines which are alleged to be theirs” ( [34], section 2, para 3). The lack of the publication by the early philosophers is understandable as the publication of the information was contrary to the rules of the Egyptian Mystery. Hence the Book on nature entitled Peri physeossaid to date back to the sixth century BC, was probably not produced by genuine Initiates ( [34], Section 2, para 5]).

Egypt was the centre of the body of ancient wisdom, and from there religious, philosophical and scientific knowledge spread to other lands through student Initiates [34]. Vial [59], (1909) suggests its origins can be traced to the “far East— to the earliest civilization, from which time and place they have spoken in nature’s language to all peoples of the earth” ( [59], p. 9]). Empires and civilization come and go, but this information carved in stone in rock temples and elsewhere, continue to “convey the Great Secret” ( [59], p. 10) to future generations. Hence the Egyptians were probably not the origin of the esoteric tradition they taught. Veil credits the “Sons of Venus” as the source although they are sometimes known by different names ( [59], p. 14). The Institution of the Mysteries was found in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Samothrace and Chaldea, India, the Druidical Mysteries, and many others ( [59], p. 10) and forms the basis for all religions ( [59], p. 14).

According to James [34], it was after the conquest of Egypt by Alexandra the Great that looting of the Royal Library at Alexandria occurred. Aristotle’s pupils then usurped this knowledge to form the basis of what became known as Greek Philosophy ( [34], Section 3, para 2). The Memphite theology, which is engraved in stone and said to date from 700BC, already contains information attributed to the later Greek Philosophers. The theology itself has been assigned to a very early period of Egyptian history (between 4000 and 3000 BC) ( [34], Chap VIII).

Whether James’s accusations are true or not does not directly concern us here. However, what does concern us is that the Western intellectual tradition chose reason as its base which they attributed to the Greek Philosophy. This has cut this tradition off from its base in the Mystery Schools and its love of truth. The main objective of the Egyptian Mystery System was “the deification of man: They taught that the soul of man, if liberated from its bodily fetters, could enable him to become godlike and see the Gods in this life and attain the beatific vision and hold communion with the Immortals” ( [59], p. 25). And this brings us back to the heart-based meditation methods discussed at the beginning where intuition is the key to realizing knowledge of the Self.

9. Deeper Reality

9.1. Pure Consciousness

Arka [1] describes the journey to Self-discovery as “a journey from the Rational Mind to the Emotional Heart to Pure Consciousness” ( [1], p. 38; 38). When using the heart-based IM method, the practitioner goes through six main levels to achieve Pure Consciousness. The journey includes rewinding our surface consciousness to reverse everything that has happened to us [1]. This has some parallels with the four specific stages proposed by Grof and Grof [60] in the healing process: 1) the sensation phase 2) the biographical stage 3) the perinatal stage, and 4) the transpersonal stage.

Pure Consciousness or Pure-Self–Consciousness is the sixth layer Arka [1] identifies. This is the “very essence of your whole presence and of everything that you feel, think and do. It is addressed as Soul or Self” ( [1], pp. 37-38).

In Classical Indian writings such as the Upanishads, “consciousness is thought to be the essence of Atman a primal, immanent self that is ultimately identified with Brahman, a pure, transcendental, subject-object-less consciousness that underlies and provides the ground of being of both Man and Nature” (Sen in [61], p. 1). The quality of its consciousness is referred to as Sat Chit Ananda, pure Being, pure Knowing, and pure Bliss [62].

In IM, the journey to pure consciousness involves a return to our innocence where we learn to listen to Nature’s guiding wisdom through our Feeling Hearts. The source of this guiding inner voice is referred to differently by different people and traditions, some seeing it as voice of God. It is, however, not the name that is important, but the capacity of people to connect with their feeling-heart mind from which intuitive guidance is whispered silently. Feeling is “like ‘mother sense’, the mother of mother sense... without its involvement... [we] cannot grasp anything” (Arka in [6], p. 158).

Many meditators feel keeping the mind blank is what meditation is all about. It is not; at least heart-based meditation methods are not about this. In meditation one can go above the mind (thinking mind) or below it; going below it is easier (Arka in [6]). Intuitive Meditation is about connecting with the deeper Self, a state of Silence from which all arises. Silence is the true nature of Consciousness and it is on entering into this state, that deeper experiences and/or knowledge about one’s subject of interest may arise. It can happen naturally like when one is relaxed and in the bath. It can also be entered at will through training in certain meditation methods where one invites ones surface consciousness to descend to the heart level [6].

9.2. Different Names for the Underlying Deeper Reality

On one hand, we have names that refer to our deeper nature and on the other hand, we have names for the underlying deeper identity of the universe. As we have seen, our underlying identity is often addressed as Self soul, or atman. According to Plotkin [20], (2003), the soul is an “agent of Spirit”. “By spirit I mean the single, great, and eternal mystery that permeates and animates everything in the universe and yet transcends all” ( [20], p. 25). Some call It Higher Nature or Mother Nature, whereas others call it That. In India the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe is known as Brahman [63]. It is also referred to as the primal, immanent Self, which provides the ground of being of man and Nature.

Goddess traditions and the Taoist tradition identify it as the “Womb” from which all arises [64] [65]. Others refer to it by the different elements through which It manifests—water, fire, air or space—also Apeiron—the “infinite”.

It is also identified by the quality of the experiencing Consciousness—Pure Consciousness or Sat ChitAnanda-pure Being, pure Knowing and pure Bliss or as having properties such as Omniscience, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.

In Quantum Physics Bohm [66] calls the underlying reality the implicate order, whereas, in the newer versions of quantum theory, they talk of the Unified Field of Consciousness [67]. The Bhagavad Gita talks about the field and the knower of the field. In the discourse between Krishna and Arjuna, Krisna says “the body is called a field...; the one who knows it is called the Knower of the field. This is the knowledge of those who know. I am the Knower of the field in everyone, Arjuna. Knowledge of the field and its Knower is true knowledge” ( [68], Chap 13).

Maybe the term God, Allah and YEHOVAH (YHWH) (the word that should not be spoken) is related to this topic.

10. Discussion

10.1. Summing up

This paper has two main thrusts. One has been to show that the history of the Western intellectual tradition ignores the connection of early Greek Philosophers with the Egyptian Mystery schools. This has helped to promote a tradition which is based on reason and the development of the thinking mind which with training, develops into intellect. I have argued here that this has cut people off from their intuition and appreciating or exploring of the meaning of the maxim Know Thy Self engraved in stone in the forecourt of the temple to Apollo in Delphi; a saying that similar to that found in the Luxor Temple in Egypt-“Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods” [69].

The second thrust involves exploring the nature of the Self. To facilitate this, I have made a distinction between thinking mind consciousness and feeling-mind consciousness; the first I associate with the male principle and the second with the female principle. One is based on thinking and the other is linked to intuition. The analysis presented adds to the research that supports people can access information and make decisions not based on analytic thought and is also in agreement with most people that “there is such a phenomenon as intuition, involving emotionally charged, rapid, unconscious processes” ( [70], abstract).

As stated, many scientists do not credit that many of their ideas arise through intuition and when they do, they link intuition with the mind, which they usually associate with the brain. Although the relationship between mind and the brain has long been debated, Driver, Haggard and Shallice claim “advances in neuroscience have now led to wide acceptance in science and medicine that all aspects of our mental life—our perceptions, thoughts, memories, actions, plans, language, understanding of others and so on—in fact depend upon brain function” ( [71], para. 1). This has led to a massive amount of neuroscientific research including the search for the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) “where the brain as a whole can be seen as an NCC”. ( [72], heading 1, para 1). Although researchers suggest intellectual cognitive thinking is mainly associated with the prefrontal cortex [73] and emotions with the limbic brain stem [74], they do not have a model which helps us clearly distinguish cognitive mental processes involving analytical thinking from intuitive emotional functioning and the role of the heart in this process. They also do not have a theory which honours the full nature of the “being” who performs these activities.

It is here The Theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness provides a bold step forward in our knowledge of the Self by suggesting we have different levels of consciousness. In this theory, cognitive functioning involving thinking is associated with the surface of the brain and can be addressed as “Mind Consciousness” ( [1], p. 37). Intuition is seen as an emotional faculty which is feeling-based and associated the heart and Arka identifies it as “Feeling-Mind Consciousness. According to this theory, among other levels, Mind Consciousness and Feeling-Mind Consciousness are different levels of consciousness of the Self which is expressing itself through the physical body. To access the third deeper feeling layer, one has to go below the thinking mind which Arka names as subliminal Mind Consciousness. Arka addresses the part of the Self that undertakes the inner journey as ‘I awareness’,” “I ego conscious awareness,” or “I ego awareness” [75]. The “I awareness” is the pivot of the memories which form into a personality. “With the development of ‘I ego awareness’ a time arises when we want to touch the origin of consciousness expressing itself through the human body” ([Arka in [6] p.147). In the journey to Self-realization he talks about the need of the person to reverse all that has happened to him or her (2013). Other meditation approaches that meditate on the Self, talk of ego transcendence [76] [77] [78].

Arkas’ model is not purely theoretical but arises out of his exploration into his own consciousness and the consciousness of his pupils. It involves a step by step procedure to know one’s Self and the nature of one’s consciousness which unfolds when one uses a heart-based method of mediation such as the IM method and probably PM, a method also used by the Egyptians [2].

10.2. Implications

The analysis performed in this article, has spiritual, theoretical and practical implications which are relevant to us personally, socially and scientifically. I outline some of the main ones in point form below:

1) There is a deeper aspect to every person beyond his or her “I ego-personality or identity” which together with this feature, makes up the totality of the person even though he or she may not be consciously aware of his or her deeper Self or the functions it performs. Here it is referred to as the Self, soul, or “unconscious mastermind”.

2) Intuition is a faculty through which the deeper Self or soul can supply guidance regarding issues of importance to the “I ego personality”.

3) To discover our true nature or Self, each person needs to undertake a personal journey to discover the nature of their consciousness. This is consistent with the maxim Know Thy Self written in stone in Delphi.

4) Scientists need to explore the nature of their own consciousness if they want to fully unravel the riddle of consciousness. Exploring it through the outside-in approach and speculating about it using the thinking mind [79] will never reveal the different qualities of consciousness as people proceed through the different levels.

5) On a practical level, the Theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness provides a new step forward in the study of Consciousness for it includes definable levels which are testable and reproducible using the scientific method. In this theory the levels are common but the connects of each level are unique [1].

6) This theory is scientifically testable through the use of scales like the one Lindhard [6] used in her investigation. Additional scientific measurements using technology such as the MCG, ECG, EMG, EEG, and the SQUID could be included which would give additional information about the levels from the outside-in perspective.

7) Combing some of these techniques with self-reports and GVD imaging (Gas Discharge Visualization Camera), or the PIP (Polycontrast Interference Photography) could also be undertaken to understand more about changes in the relationship between electric fields, the aura, the meridian, the chakra system and brain waves of seasoned meditators when they are absorbed in meditating on the deeper Self via the heart.

8) There are differences between meditation methods regarding their objectives. Using heart-based methods such as IM and PH, if pursued, enables the practitioner to connect with their deeper Self and discover its nature.

9) The role of the heart and its link to intuition is under-researched. What exactly is meant by “heart” needs to be established but is beyond the scope of this paper.

10) The Western intellectual tradition has expanded its emphasis on reason and the formation of the intellect through the Western Educational system, a system which is being extended throughout the globe. This has serious implications for it has undermined educational systems of other cultures and alternative ways of knowing.

11) The female principle needs to be acknowledged and revered to bring balance and harmony to oneself and the world outside otherwise the “social and psychic structures become over mechanized, over-politicized, over militarized”. At the same time “the need for relatedness, feeling, caring or attending to nature goes unheeded” ( [80], p. 16).

12) To become fully functioning human beings, we need both the female and male principle.

11. Conclusion

For a new evolutionary step forward, this study suggests humans need to learn to live from the heart and not only the thinking mind. This is based on the analysis that we have two principle ways of knowing which are different and can be associated with the male and female principle, one based on thinking and the other based on intuition; one associated with the surface of the brain and the other with the heart, a deeper layer of our being which is connected with the deeper Self or soul. Arka [10] identifies three planes, living from the mind, living from the heart, and living in the core being ( [10], p. 61). This article directs our attention to understanding more about intuition and living from the heart. This means “living with depth, with feelings, with emotions, and with creativity where the heart uses the mind to express its guidance” ( [10], p. 61). However, to discover out full potential, we need to develop both, the heart first and then the mind [10]. Summing up Einstein’s thoughts, Samples [81] says: “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift” ( [81], p. 26).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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