Zeus

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Zeus was the ancient Greek god of the realm Mt. Olympus. Also known as Jupiter in Roman Mythology, Zeus represents a Supreme Being. H. P. Blavatsky defines Zeus in the Theosophical Glossary as:

Zeus (Gr.). The "Father of the gods". Zeus-Zen is Æther, there fore Jupiter was called Pater Æther by some Latin races.[1]

Æther and Ether

Zeus is known to represent the Æther, the divine, as well as Ether, the physical. In many myths, such as the legend of Prometheus, Zeus is seen as representing the lower states of egotism. H. P. Blavatsky recognized Zeus' duality, as "The "Supreme Deity" bears, in every ancient Pantheon -- including that of the Jews -- a dual character, composed of light and shadow."[2] By embracing both the Æther and the Ether, Zeus represents both the spirituality of the creator as well as the intellect of the serpent. Blavatsky further comments:

Æther is Akâsa in its higher aspect, and Ether Akâsa, in its lowest. In one sense it is equivalent to the Father-Creator, Zeus, Pater Æther; on the other to the infernal Serpent-Tempter, the Astral Light of the Kabalist.[3]

When yielding to his lower passions, Zeus has often been symbolized as the Serpent. As the Manas is fused with the lower principle of Kama, Zeus embodies Ether. In The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky remarks:

Between Zeus, the abstract deity of Grecian thought, and the Olympic Zeus, there was an abyss. The latter represented during the mysteries no higher a principle than the lower aspect of human physical intelligence -- Manas wedded to Kama...Zeus was the human soul and nothing more, whenever shown yielding to his lower passions, -- the jealous God, revengeful and cruel in its egotism or I-AM-NESS. Hence, Zeus is represented as a serpent -- the intellectual tempter of man -- which, nevertheless, begets in the course of cyclic evolution the "Man-Saviour," the solar Bacchus or "Dionysos," more than a man. [4]

Zeus and triple Monads

In Greek legend, Zeus was first regarded as the single Monad, or Supreme Unity. However, through ancient scholars and mystics of Pythagoras, Zeus has been believed to evolve from the Monad into the triple Monad. Through the transformation of Zeus' single being, he embodies the higher aspects of the spiritual, intuitive, and mental spheres. H. P. Blavatsky comments:

Later, in the Pythagorean speculations, Zeus became the metaphysical trinity; the monad evolving from its invisible SELF the active cause, effect, and intelligent will, the whole forming the Tetractis.[5]

Zeus and Fohat

According to H. P. Blavatsky, Zeus is the Greek embodiment of Fohat, the masculine primordial cosmic energy. The cosmic vitalitiy of Zeus propells the Natural forces, which brings life to all things. Stemming from the Supreme essence, Zeus has been recognized as a guiding power of the manifestation process. Mme Blavatsky notes:

The Supreme Being of Heaven, or of all that is comprehended under this name, is Zeus, for it is by Heaven that Zeus gives life to all things...This is quite philosophical and in accordance with the spirit of Eastern esotericism: for all the Forces, such as Light, Heat, Electricity, etc., etc., are called the "Gods" -- esoterically...And, therefore, the personification of Fohat synthesizing all the manifesting forces in nature is a legitimate result.[6]

As the symbolic importance of Zeus changed throughout Greek history, H. P. Blavatsky also comments on the meaning of Zeus before he was idolized. It is here that Zeus is further described as the masculine primordial energy of creation, and is seen as a truly cosmic being. As stated in Isis Unveiled:

We must bear in mind that before the time when the Olympian Jupiter was anthropomorphized by the genius of Pheidias into the Omnipotent God, the Maximus, the God of gods, and thus abandoned to the adoration of the multitudes, in the earliest and abstruse science of symbology he embodied in his person and attributes the whole of the cosmic forces. The Myth was less metaphysical and complicated, but more truly eloquent as an expression of natural philosophy. Zeus, the male element of the creation with Chthonia -- Vesta (the earth), and Metis (the water) the first of the Oceanides (the feminine principles) -- was viewed according to Porphyry and Proclus as the zoon-ek-zoon, the chief of living beings. In the Orphic theology, the oldest of all, metaphysically speaking, he represented both the potentia and actus, the unrevealed cause and the Demiurge, or the active creator as an emanation from the invisible potency. In the latter demiurgic capacity, in conjunction with his consorts, we find in him all the mightiest agents of cosmic evolution -- chemical affinity, atmospheric electricity, attraction, and repulsion.[7]

Notes

  1. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. Theosophical Glossary (Los Angeles, CA: Theosophy Company, 1973), 386.
  2. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. The Secret Doctrine Vol. II (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1979), ft. 412.
  3. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1946), 95.
  4. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. The Secret Doctrine Vol. II (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1979), 419-420.
  5. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. Isis Unveiled Vol. I (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 262.
  6. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. The Secret Doctrine Vol. I (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978), 672.
  7. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna. Isis Unveiled Vol. II (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 261-262.

Further Reading