Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The 'Gap', Formlessness & Greek Chaos/Emptiness


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"Chaos (Greek χάος, khaos) refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, more specifically the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth."

"Greek χάος means "emptiness, vast void, chasm, abyss", from the verb χαίνω, "gape, be wide open, etc.", from Proto-Indo-European *ghen-, cognate to Old English geanian, "to gape", whence English yawn.".…….. Online Etymology Dictionary.

"For Hesiod and the early Greek Olympian myth (8th century BC), Chaos was the first of the primordial deities, followed by Earth (Gaia)"…..Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA.,Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.

"Greco-Buddhism, sometimes spelled Graeco-Buddhism, refers to the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BCE and the 5th century CE in the Indian subcontinent, especially in modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western border regions of modern India."

"Chaos was the non-personified concept of the gap between heaven and earth. In some versions of the myth, the egg of creation was born out of this gap ecircled by Chronos (time) and Ananke (inevitability/ fate). They proceded to crack the egg and start the other protogenoi……Khaos/Chaos was the embodiment of nothingness before creation. It was the parent of Chronos, Ananke, Eros, Gaia, Nyx and Erebos……Roman Name: Aer…….

Magnum Chaos represented at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome….The cosmic egg of Orphism was taken as the raw material for the alchemical magnum opus in early Greek alchemy.

"…….chaos (n.) …..late 14c., "gaping void," from Old French chaos (14c.) or directly from Latin chaos, from Greek khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty," from *khnwos, from PIE root *gheu- "to gape, yawn" (cf. Greek khaino "I yawn," Old English ginian, Old Norse ginnunga-gap; see yawn (v.))…….Meaning "utter confusion" (c.1600) is extended from theological use of chaos for "the void at the beginning of creation" in Vulgate version of Genesis (1530s in English). The Greek for "disorder" was tarakhe, however the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night"), and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Meaning "orderless confusion" in human affairs is from c.1600. Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c.1977."…..

"Student: Would you translate bardo again?
Trungpa Rinpoche: Bar means "in-between" or "gap" or "the middle," and do means "island," so altogether bardo means "that which exists between two situations." It is like the experience of living, which is between birth and death.
Student: What is not bardo?
Trungpa Rinpoche: The beginning and the end. [Laughter]"….TRANSCENDING MADNESS by Chogyam Trungpa

"Prima materia, materia prima or first matter, is the ubiquitous starting material required for the alchemical magnum opus and the creation of the philosopher's stone. It is the primitive formless base of all matter similar to chaos, the quintessence, or aether. Esoteric alchemists describe the prima materia using simile, and compare it to concepts like the anima mundi……The Greco-Roman tradition of Prima Materia, notably including 5th and 6th centuries Orphic cosmogony was merged with biblical notions (Tehom) in Christian belief and inherited by alchemy and Renaissance magic…..The cosmic egg of Orphism was taken as the raw material for the alchemical magnum opus in early Greek alchemy. The first stage of the process of producing the Lapis Philosophorum, i.e., nigredo, was identified with chaos. Because of association with the creation in Genesis, where "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2), Chaos was further identified with the element Water."…..

"In an essay entitled "Heaven, Earth, and Man," based on one of Chogyam Trungpa's dharma art workshops, he emphasizes what he called "art in everyday life." The cool, peaceful expression of unconditional beauty offers us the possibility of being able to relax enough to perceive the phenomenal world and our own senses properly. The dynamic of heaven, earth, and man (an ancient hierarchy of the cosmos) is basic to any artistic endeavor—painting, building a city, or designing an airplane—as well as to perceiving the art that surrounds us. During the twenty-year period of his teachings in the West, calligraphy was a primary means of this type of expression for Chogyam Trungpa……The Art of Calligraphy: Joining Heaven and Earth, features sixty-one of his brushworks beautifully reproduced. Facing them are short, pertinent quotations from his prose and poetry. Also included is his essay, "Heaven, Earth, and Man" based on one of Trungpa's "dharma art" workshops. —Bookmarks, The Asia Society.

"The motif of Chaoskampf (German for "struggle against chaos") is ubiquitous in myth and legend, depicting a battle of a culture hero deity with a chaos monster, often in the shape of a serpent or dragon. The same term has also been extended to parallel concepts in the religions of the Ancient Near East, such as the abstract conflict of ideas in the Egyptian duality of Maat and Isfet…..The origins of the Chaoskampf myth most likely lie in the Proto-Indo-European religion whose descendants almost all feature some variation of the story of a storm god fighting a sea serpent representing the clash between the forces of order and chaos. Early work by German academics in comparative mythology popularized translating the mythological sea serpent as a "dragon." Indo-European examples of this mythic trope include Thor vs. Jörmungandr (Norse), Tarhunt vs. Illuyanka (Hittite), Indra vs. Vritra (Vedic), Θraētaona vs. Aži Dahāka (Avestan), and Zeus vs. Typhon (Greek) among others."…..Watkins, Calvert (1995). How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. London: Oxford University Press.

"……with the five skandhas, a set of Buddhist concepts which describe ego a five-step process…….The first step or skandha, the birth of ego, is called "form" or basic ignorance. We ignore the open, fluid, and intelligent quality of space…..When a gap or space occurs in our experience of mind, when there is a sudden glimpse of awareness openness, absence of self, then a suspicion arise: "Suppose I find that there is no solid me? That possibility scares me. "……Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche from the first issue of the Garuda magazine published in 1971.

"In Greek mythology the Primordial deities, called the Protogenoi (Greek: Πρωτογένοs Protogenos, lit. "the first-born"), are the earliest entities or beings to come into existence - the original race of Greek gods. They form the very fabric of the universe and as such are immortal. These deities are a group of gods from which all the other gods descend. They preceded the Titans, the descendants of Gaia and Uranus…The primordial gods are depicted as a place or a realm. The best example is Tartarus who is depicted as the Underworld, Hell, and a bottomless abyss. His sibling Erebus is also depicted as a place of darkness, pitch-black or a vast emptiness of space. Their mother, Chaos is depicted as an empty void. Other siblings that include Gaia are depicted as Mother Nature, or as the earth. Pontus or Hydros are depicted as the oceans, lakes, and rivers. Chronos is depicted as time and of eternity."…..

Greek Mythology- Protogenoi Ananke

"…A PURE GAP…..When concentration and awareness are working together, for a fraction of a second you may have a taste of what enlightenment might be. You might find yourself with no discursive thoughts. When you discover that your unwholesome discursive thoughts have been pacified and subjugated, there might be a gap. A pure gap of the absolute, ideal state of mind might occur to you. For everyone, without exception, such a glimpse is always possible. You realize that bodhichitta, or awakened heart, is not a theory or a metaphysical concept, but a reality. It is more than rain clouds gathering in the sky—it is the actual rain."….From “A Glimpse of Wakefulness” in The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume Two: The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion, page 6.

"Closing in on the Border Between Primordial Plasma and Ordinary Matter….. Scientists taking advantage of the versatility and new capabilities of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), an atom smasher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, have observed first glimpses of a possible boundary separating ordinary nuclear matter, composed of protons and neutrons, from the seething soup of their constituent quarks and gluons that permeated the early universe some 14 billion years ago. Though RHIC physicists have been creating and studying this primordial quark-gluon plasma (QGP) for some time, the latest preliminary data—presented at the Quark Matter 2012 international conference—come from systematic studies varying the energy and types of colliding ions to create this new form of matter under a broad range of initial conditions, allowing the experimenters to unravel its intriguing properties."…….


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….September 2014


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