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The Sower and the Seed

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The Sower and the Seed explores the origins of consciousness from a mytho-psychological angle. The concept of immanence, a vast intelligence within the evolutionary process, provides the underlying philosophy of the book, presented as a creative-destructive spirit that manifests higher orders of complexity (such as life, intelligence, self-consciousness) and then dissolves them. The book explores the human psyche as immersed in nature and the realm of the Great Mother, showing how the themes of fertility and power, applicable to all life forms, saturate the history of humanity - most evidently in the period stretching from 40,000 years ago up to modern civilizations. The book examines in particular the transition to patriarchal religious consciousness, in which a violent separation from the world of nature took place. The Sower and the Seed also explores Hebrew, Egyptian, and Greek creation myths as commentaries on the origins of consciousness, and shows how the transition to consciousness from the unconscious (the birth of humanity) is inherently problematic, since it creates a separation from the realm of nature and instinct. This rise of consciousness out of nature and its fall or separation into a separated egoic state is its central dilemma. Alan Mulhern also analyses the Enlightenment and scientific revolution. As he suggests, this was essential for capitalism to emerge and required a specific change in consciousness, provided for by Protestantism. However, capitalism was destined to undermine all religions and replace them with a thoroughly materialist philosophy. As well as being a profoundly creative system the author shows that industrialization is equally destructive, and that indeed a death potential in consciousness is activated within it (witnessed for example in the proliferation of enough weaponry to wipe out most of life on earth). It is suggested that humanity will undergo species-trauma in the near future and that remaining populations will face either fundamental reform or extinction. Capitalism presents many changes in consciousness during the different stages of its development, including the latest digital age where human consciousness is being fused with artificial intelligence. The book concludes by showing that no matter what happens collectively, the path for individual progress and even enlightenment is open to each individual. This final section, 'The Quest', presents a series of illustrations, poems, and commentaries that show the search of the individual on the path of higher consciousness. The metaphor of the pilgrimage is used and shows essential psychological as well spiritual steps on such a journey.

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28 Chapters

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Chapter One: Origins


Something formless yet complete,
Precedes both man and earth.
It lay outside of space and time,
It had no death or birth.
It did exist before this world,
All things it does bring forth.
It is the mother of all life,
The father of all thought.

Figure 2. Origins.

Human beings long for harmony within themselves, a sense of meaning and belonging in the cosmos. In the mirror of the starry firmament we find the creative-destructive nature of our own psyche. We also sense, and are thrilled at, the wholeness that underlies these opposites—an integrative intelligence that permeates all things including the depths of our own nature.

Our consciousness is compelled to look at the preconscious state and divine its nature. Symbols of the totality, found in all cultures and epochs, intimate that once, before time, the universe was one; that despite the problematic entrance of consciousness there was, is, and shall be a unity to the cosmos. There is a longing and intuition that the conflicted human being, consisting of so many parts, derives from and can return to a unity outside ego consciousness.


Chapter Two: Becoming


Creation acts through power divine,
Through destruction life is born.
God rests at centre of the wheel,
Serpent makes the world of form.
Our mother life, our mother death,
All becoming, source of all.
We, thy children, human race,
Seek your wisdom, hear your call.

Figure 3. Becoming.

The cosmos undergoes eternal cycles of creation and dissolution. The world and all its life forms have evolved, but its intelligence or spirit is coexistent with matter and is immanent in this evolution.

The original oneness is beyond all existence but in its unfolding contains the matter, energy, intelligence, and spirit of the whole universe. The original cosmic singularity precedes time, causality, mass, and space and yet is the origin and determiner of all things, the potentiator of our universe, which from the beginning to end of its cycle is an evolving drama of creation and destruction. The impulsion towards higher order, seeded into the cosmos, produces life forms throughout the universe that evolve ever greater degrees of intelligence. These, in turn, are subject to dissolution.


Chapter Three: The Emergence of Human Consciousness


The birth of human consciousness,
A very recent spark,
Evolving as a mystery,
A light within the dark.
It is a part of nature,
To past it does connect,
But looking to the heavens,
Our instincts it rejects.

Figure 4. The emergence of human consciousness.

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Hamlet. Act II, Scene ii, 319–323

The intelligence of our hominid ancestors developed over millions of years. The eventual emergence of human consciousness has been its spectacular and problematic result. Apart from it being impossible to be objective about itself, consciousness is both material and immaterial, matter and spirit. It will never yield its inmost secrets to purely materialist analysis.


Chapter Four: The Good Mother


Nature's garden, wondrous love,
pulsing through the heart.
It is our earth, it is our soul,
These two should never part.
Child with mother, earth with man,
So sweet the senses swoon.
Union born of precious love,
We must prevent its ruin.

Early mankind's experience of nature splits into the good and the terrible mother. The good mother represents the abundance and fertility of the earth as well the positive and loving ground of our psyche.

Figure 6. Earth's goodness.

The cosmic principles of creation and destruction pulse through all nature and life forms. The spectrum of mankind's early psyche reflects our experience of nature: on the one hand, of goodness and light, on the other, of darkness and death. Let us look at each in turn.

The good mother is the state of oneness experienced by the psyche, a state of harmony within itself and with nature. She represents the beneficent principle of creation, the foundation of our being. In the early period of the development of our species, the embryonic ego was a small island in the ocean of the unconscious. It was precarious, and surfaced periodically, easily and swiftly falling back into the goodness of the Great Mother, the unconscious, where it was secure and nourished. Psychologically, this state in early infancy is a foundation for health and the capacity to love; when disturbed, non-existent, or traumatised, then damage ensues; when enjoyed, a sense of confidence, happiness, and security develops. It is the psychological foundation for development.


Chapter Five: Fertility and Power


Fertility is nature's child,
Around the world she runs.
No person can resist her charms,
All dancing to her drums.
Her treasure chest is open wide,
Wild spirits do descend.
Bind Odysseus to that mast
Or sure his journey ends.

Early mankind lived in participation mystique with nature; its fertility and abundance had immense impact on our psyche. Reproductive instincts and sexuality are archetypal parts of ourselves. Nature is also overpowering. At first, human beings are small in relation to its power, but later become more powerful as they understand, manipulate, control, and destroy it.

Figure 7. Fertility.

The creative life force manifests itself in fertility and power. The biological imperative of survival dominates all creatures, including mankind. This translates into two parts: first, personal or group survival in the present; second, species survival across time. To achieve this end, the masculine and feminine split into two respective archetypes, power and fertility, that deeply influence Homo sapiens even to the present. Reproductive instincts evolved into fertility rites, so evident in early civilisations but which existed long before them. Power and fertility are therefore the direct manifestation of this life force and exist in opposition to the threat of extinction. Life and death, creative and destructive forces, are intertwined in timeless embrace and constitute the framework for the history of all species including our own.


Chapter Six: Earth's Terror


Hast thou perceived the breadth of earth?
Declare if thou dost know.
Where is the way that light doth dwell,
And how doth wisdom grow?
As for darkness, where's its home,
And when's the time for death?
Thou fear'st so much, thou can'st not know
When is thy final breath.

Adapted from Job Ch.38:
Yahweh confounds Job on his limits to the understanding of light and dark, life and death, creation and destruction.

Figure 9. Earth's terror.

Nature and Great Mother worship have, as we have just argued, a life-affirming, creative, positive quality. But there is also a darker side—that which opposes the emergence of individuality. Hence the importance of human sacrifice in these nature religions. The realm of the Great Mother demands immersion in the collective, in nature and her mysteries, in reproduction, family, and tribe. It is quite distinct from the principle of differentiation of personality and the importance of individuality that is later to develop in patriarchal religions.


Chapter Seven: The Opposites at the Root of Consciousness


He lifts the light of consciousness,
Above chaotic waters.
Scarab shall our tutor be,
For lessons she has taught us.
She rolls the ball with eggs of life,
Embalmed in the mud,
Life's renewal ever mixed
With darkness and with good.

Nun, god of the waters of chaos, lifts the barque of the sun god Ra, represented by the scarab and the sun disk, into the sky at the beginning of time.

The Book of the Dead of Anhai, circa 1050 BC

Figure 10. The light of consciousness.

The opposites of order versus chaos and creation versus destruction were central to Egyptian mythology, at the root of the gods’ struggles, mankind's existence, and consciousness itself—civilisation is the temporary resolution of this conflict.

Within the psyche of early man the two great principles of creation versus destruction express themselves in the derived polarity of order versus chaos. This is expressed in the religions and myths of early civilisations, a period in which we see the worship of the Great Mother before it was replaced by the patriarchy. These opposites can be traced as structuring principles of the cosmos, evolution, life, species existence, and civilisation. They can be found at all later levels in the human psyche and underlie mankind's own creative and destructive nature, sometimes termed good and evil.


Chapter Eight: The Book of Job


Where was't thou at foundation's birth?
Declare, if thou dost know.
Who laid earth's corner stone thereof,
Who made the heat and snow?
Can'st thou ride the north wind sharp,
Or calm the wild bull's pride?
Or can'st create the light and dark,
Or stem the ocean's tide?
Whose hand was it that formed the earth,
When morning stars did sing?
And sons of God cried out for joy,
Such glory did it bring?

Adapted from Job 38
Yahweh reveals to Job the nature of the world before his consciousness.

This famous biblical story represents the ambivalence of the shift in consciousness from nature religions and the realm of the Great Mother to patriarchal religious domination. Yahweh reveals his dark and “feminine” side as a nature god that precedes the transcendent god of law and morality.

Figure 12. Fertility and power.

The Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, stemming from a single source, had a decisive influence on human consciousness. They constituted a religious concentration on one God, transcendent to creation, whose word was embodied in law, the focus of which was overwhelmingly moral—good and evil were split into two radically different camps. It was a revolutionary transformation of consciousness that gripped the religious imagination of significant parts of the human race from the second millennium BCE. This law was intended to embrace individuals and their rulers; its vision gave meaning to mankind's relation to the cosmos, its creator, to this life, and the hereafter. So powerful was this new paradigm that it also later formed the religious and ideological basis for the development of Europe in the Middle Ages and for the Islamic world after the seventh century AD. Its foundations lay in Judaism. It constituted a shift to patriarchal religious consciousness, since it was a break from the nature religions, the spiritual and religious way of thinking and behaving that had dominated mankind for millennia, in which fertility, magic, power, spirit world, sexuality, sacrifice, superstition, and shamanistic healing were dominant.


Chapter Nine: Dragon Fight


The hero struggles with his fate,
He rises with the sun.
He cannot rest until he's freed,
And awesome deeds are done.
The hero comes from other worlds,
His arrows are sharp-feathered.
To kill the mother of all life,
And from himself be severed.

Figure 14. Dragon fight.

Three to six thousand years ago patriarchal religions replaced Great Mother worship. The masculine became opposed to nature, the realm of the feminine, mythologically portrayed in the dragon fight. This is a fundamental shift in human consciousness and prerequisite to the advancement of patriarchal civilisation.

The story of Homo sapiens, so far presented, is that of an emergent consciousness founded upon a vast heritage—now the unconscious of our species. The Great Mother, in her beneficent and terrible aspects, presided over our pre-history and therefore, like a mother with child in womb or at breast, is the mythological foundation of our evolving consciousness and of the archaic roots of our unconscious. The contemporary human being has a consciousness centred in the ego, plus an unconscious, which is more than the id of sexual and aggressive forces; it is a vast inner world, quite different from our consciousness, and has its own purpose, meaning, and vibrant numinosity. It is immersed in fertility and power and founded on an archetypal, transpersonal, awesome realm with its own beauty and emotional narrative. So, also, in the history of the evolving consciousness of our species, there is a duality—the patriarchal civilisations arose by repressing the matriarchal feminine, for example, the God of the Jews forbade the worship of the cow of fertility. The consciousness of modern man is built on this repression.


Chapter Ten: The Emergence of Civilisation


He gazes at the far off town,

It rises to the skies.

The dragon gasps its dying breath,

To earth it sinks and dies.

At what cost is this destruction

What the price of lofty deed?

Urban life and civilization,

By this blood from Nature's freed.

Order now is raised from chaos,

Sexuality controlled,

Discipline will be the watchword,

Boundaries will be patrolled.

Consciousness demands such rigour,

Clear division is its goal,

You and I are separate beings,

Nature no more holds the soul.

Thoughts to new heights now do rise,

Technique shall have no bound.

Carnal impulse is contained,

Spirit touches not the ground.

Instinctual world now is repressed,

Nature's power is therefore dimmed.

In spite of freedom yet we feel

By this action we have sinned.

Great Mother into shadow fades,

Father gods shall now shine bright.

Moon descends below horizon


Chapter Eleven: The Garden of Eden


Adam and Eve Hear the Heavenly Words of Caution

Love is sweet and love is pure,

A light within your soul.

Fragrance melts your outer core

Surrender to be whole.

Forever and forever more

This love transcends all time.

Your bodies do one soul unite

As words are sung in rhyme.

Your bodies melt within its flame,

Soft the essence, tender touch.

New day dawns this kiss is all,

You can hardly bear so much.

By nature blessed your hearts do ache,

Be at peace and still your mind.

Here's creation for your sake,

All is given to mankind.

The joy within creation's light

May be your only guide.

Rejoice in every moment

There's nothing you should hide.

You are perfect, you are whole,

There's nothing left to need.

All you want lies in you now,

Already you are freed.

Oh, why seek more when what you have

Can last for all earth's time?

Why seek for knowledge evermore?


Chapter Twelve: Lucifer


Lucifer fell high from heaven,

In his pride did he choose.

Challenged he the supreme power,

Mighty battle did he lose.

Clothed in darkness was he cast out,

Down fell he upon the earth.

Fallen angels his companions,

Here was he at mankind's birth.

The impulse into consciousness,

The bringer of the light.

Dread serpent in the garden,

He knows what's wrong and right.

With fruit of Tree of Knowledge

He tempted Mother Eve,

“Taste this apple if you dare,

Great knowledge you receive.”

But Eve at first was cautious,

“This fruit must not be ate.

If our God we do deceive,

Then death will be our fate.

The fruits of all this garden

Are waiting to be picked,

Except the Tree of Knowledge

It is forbidden strict.”

But Lucifer persisted now,

More weight he brought to bear:

“As gods on high you will become

Your self becomes aware.

Taste this fruit, become divine,


Chapter Thirteen: Banishment


Get ye gone O wretched sinners,

From this garden banished be.

Tree of Knowledge now is tasted,

Suffer hence your destiny.

Consciousness is now awakened,

Self-awareness is your fate.

Constant guilt is your companion,

Time from now is getting late.

Labour now is your obsession,

Count its long hours all your days.

Fear of hunger ever drives you,

Now you keep the wolf at bay.

Paths of knowledge must be taken

Once you've tasted of its fruit.

Blind you are, you go on searching,

Feeling safe is your pursuit.

Tree of Life is strict forbidden,

Way is barred by flaming sword.

Greater knowledge is quite hidden,

Weep, repent unto your Lord.

Unity with your creator

Now is sundered, all seems doomed.

Consciousness is now shame-ridden

Pained by anguish of its wound.

Into death you shall be banished,

Pain and anguish be your lot.

From here on your days are numbered,


Chapter Fourteen: The Fallen State



When each of Adam's sons were born

He praised the Lord above.

To fill the void of Eden's loss

Sweet Eve gave all her love.

Raised were they unto the light

In hope for all our race.

Erase the memory of that pain,

The primal fall from grace.

Abel with their flocks kept watch,

While Cain did till the earth.

At common table took they food,

A bed they shared from birth.

At mother's breast they shared her milk,

They played at Adam's feet.

As boys they fought to pass the time,

In youth they did compete.

But darkness grew within Cain's soul,

He fought it hard and long.

Anger gripped him in a vice

To do his brother wrong.

For Abel seemed more favoured,

In all he did excel.

In parents’ eyes he was their joy,

In shadow Cain did dwell.

In sacrifice to God above,

These brothers did light fires.

Cain brought corn and Abel sheep

Sought they favour in His sight.


Chapter Fifteen: Isis, Osiris, and Seth


At dawn before time's morning,

When all the gods were young,

Isis did Osiris love,

Though siblings they were one.

They danced across the heavens,

They sung among the stars,

Their love flowed sweet along the Nile,

It lived in trees and flowers.

Osiris had a brother Seth,

Hate consumed his heart.

Self-twisted fury eviled him,

A monster in the dark.

Two fundamental opposites

These brothers represent:

Seth malevolent violence,

Osiris innocence.

Exiled from their precious love

And in self-loathing wrapped,

Seth clothed himself in darkness,

Revenge his mind had trapped.

Osiris he did ambush,

Surprised him unaware.

The hunter lay in hiding,

Beguiled him in a snare.

Seth cruel stormed, Osiris shocked,

Across the skies they rushed.

Mediterranean gasped in wonder,

Saharan sands lay hushed.

The Atlas boomed their clash of swords,


Chapter Sixteen: Evil and the Shadow


Satan's Plan

Of all addiction I'm the source
Of lust and also greed,
Destruction I rejoice in,
Desire I turn to need.
Of appetites I take control
I rage against the sacred.
I will not rest until I've seen
This world is full of hatred.

The human heart became my home,
Your mind it is my court.
The body is my playground,
My spies control your thought.
In man's reason put I poison,
Woman's heart is seized by fear.
Children's tongue with lies I planted,
In youths’ hands put I a spear.

The animal within you,
The shadow at your back.
I am your carnal appetite,
I'm always painted black.
The psychopath that's in you,
Enhancement that you crave.
I give you so much pleasure,
It drives you to your grave.

The monster in your mind am I,
The canker on the flower.
The source of all confusion,
The sadist with his power.
Destroyer of all precious life,
I kill you in the womb,
The root of every illness,
I'll dance upon your tomb.


Chapter Seventeen: The Higher Self


There is still hope for humankind,

Rich gifts we took from Eden.

“You have a heart, you have a soul,

These lie outside your reason.

They are above your appetite,

Beyond desire and fear.

Face your darkness, see the light,

A voice within you'll hear.”

Awareness will awaken you,

Let mind and breathing slow.

Sense a presence in the brow,

Feel its dim light glow.

Still the breath, emotions calm,

Expand now with the light.

You can ask it any question,

You'll find it answers right.

Let it seek out all your wounds,

It has great healing force.

A truth that is impersonal,

It has transcendent source.

Beyond the Tree of Knowledge

Another tree does lie,

Whose roots go deep in earth's dark soil,

Its branches reach the sky.

Enlightenment is promised,

Let light within your soul.

“You will become as gods” he said

Transcendence is our goal.


Chapter Eighteen: The Experience of Love


He guards his arms around his love,

Within them are contained

These precious ones on him depend,

By him they are sustained.

He will labour, he will fight

Until his final breath.

To help them grow towards the light

And not devoured by death.

She will nurture, she will love,

Their sorrows she repairs,

That they may be protected

And never know despair.

She offers all that she can give,

Her essence is the heart.

Her breast is rich and full and strong,

From her they'll never part.

The child will grow within this love,

Such beauty in her soul.

She is lovely, wide and bright,

Cherished to be whole.

On each other they depend,

Each has their position.

The precious gift that they can give

Is love with no condition.

Across one thousand million years

Nature has devised,

That from two loves one more is born,

And reproducing, dies.

It therefore is no secret


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