“In conclusion, the chemical-physical world is the outcome of the materialization of sound. The chemical-physical world is condensed sound. We do not accept an anthropomorphic and dogmatic God, but scientifically, we accept sound as a causa causorum of the Universe.
Furthermore, a cause for the precosmic sounds has to exist. The great oriental sages tell us of a Solar Logos. Dr. Krumm-Heller stated that “the Logos sounds.” Indeed, the Logos is the Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not.” (John 1:1-5)”
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This Diagram is a formula expressing the creative energies of the Word, or Logos, the Greek of which is given in the centre of the star. The double triangle expresses the dual relation of the creative forces,—as male and female,—the ancient term of expression being theos-sophy. Their triune expression is, first, Spirit; second, Body; third, Soul. The seven points of the star are expressive of the seven primate creative principles, as named on the respective points; and when man conquers or subjugates these principles to the higher will within himself, he then attains the ultimates which stand expressed against the seven points. These seven creative principles are found to have their solar expression in the seven planets made use of in this system, and the different planetary signs are placed against their appropriate point, or principle, in juxtaposition to the sign of the zodiac in which they find their most natural or perfect expression. These seven points are called the seven vital principles. The body of man, being an epitome of the solar man, or nature, cannot exist without having these seven principles in working order, while he can live without the five serving principles provided he be served by others. The serpent encompassing the triangles is expressive of the circle of eternity, also of the psychic or sex principles of nature, which is active in the work of creation or generation.
It’s been a while since I’ve made any updates to this project, but I want to start again because it’s an interesting exercise.
ODIN is the next god I’ll be contemplating from the Norse pantheon, and because he’s such an important and complicated figure I’ll have to do it over a series of posts that will take some time.
I thought I would start by relating him to the ancient Greek concept of logos. Odin, as a god that has a lot to do with words and symbols (poetry, runes, etc), has an immediate logic connotation. The question I’ll be contemplating in this post is: is Odin a personification of the logos?
The word means “word.” It also means “reason, account, opinion,” and “speech.” Unfortunately there’s no one set definition: the meaning of the word depends almost entirely on the context in which it’s used. For this post I’m going to ignore its Aristotelian use in rhetoric. Instead, I want to focus on a couple other definitions:
1. Logos as man’s capacity to reason. This definition sees use in some theory and in the works of Carl Jung. It is often contrasted to Eros. Both forces represent some animating principle in mankind. One, logos, is a higher principle, and involves man’s conscious ability to reason and contemplate. On the other hand, eros is a lower principle, and is closer to man’s base instincts, driving him to consummate.
This definition is the least mystical interpretation of logos. Think of it this way: logos = word. What is a word but a symbol that means something, that points to something substantial? Logos, as man’s capacity to reason, is the faculty man has to contemplate symbols. And what is logic but the contemplation of such symbols? Creating symbols, contrasting symbols, figuring out what they mean. The sign and the signified. I’m using my logical faculties - my ability to reason - right now in writing this post, and you, the reader, are using them in reading it.
2. Logos as the word of the divine. This definition has far less consensus and can be viewed in a variety of different lights, all esoteric. This view of logos is partially bound up in the history and theology of Christianity, but the truly Christian definition, that Christ himself is the logos, will be discarded here. The word can be made flesh only in allegory.
The logos I’m interested in here is more like the logos of Plato, Heraclitus, the Stoics, Philo, and Plotinus. It, also, isn’t well-defined, and the aforementioned thinkers all had their own versions of it.
For Heraclitus, “all things come to be in accordance with this logos.”
For the Stoics, “the logos was the active reason pervading and animating the universe.”
For Philo, “intermediary beings were necessary to bridge the enormous gap between God and the material world. The logos was the highest of these intermediary beings, and was called by Philo “the first-born of God.”
What do we have here, then? An organizing principle? An animating principle? The “logic” of God, of creation? That which moves things, but moves them into specific configurations?
The most basic idea of divine logos seems to be a medium between god (ultimate divinity) and the mundane. That opens up a whole world of interpretation. For example, what is logos in relation to:
Tao (which is the Chinese and Japanese translation for logos)
Subject and Object (in light of ‘Tao’ definition, it’s tempting to cast these as yin and yang)
And of course, the Hermeticists and Gnostics have their own esoteric, metaphysical ideas of what logos is, which I won’t go into because I’m not read up on that stuff.
ANYWAY, to get back to Odin. The myths surrounding Odin (of which there are many) seem to link him to the concept of logos.
First, there’s myth of the creation of humanity. Odin and two of his friends - either Vili and Ve or Hœnir and Lóðurr - are walking along the beach and they find a couple logs. They decide to turn them into humans, so the three gods each give the couple gifts. Odin gives them Ǫnd, which means ‘breath,’ or ‘spirit.” Ǫnd seems to have the same definition of pneuma, which the Stoics saw as inseparable from the logos. Next, Hœnir or Villi give the first humans (named Ask and Embla) óð, meaning sense. “Sense” has also been translated as “reason” or “intelligence” - logos. However, this “sense” seems to be of our first definition of logos, the psychological logos. Finally, Lóðurr or Ve give the humans physicality, including their blood, their hue, and their senses. For the most part, Vili, Ve, Hœnir, and Lóðurr disappear from the myths from that point on. Odin, however, remains incredibly important.
That doesn’t link Odin directly to logos, but it puts them both in the same field. The next myth worth looking into in this area is the myth of the Mead of Poetry. Without getting too into the convoluted story, the Mead of Poetry is a symbol of poetic inspiration and is a gift from Odin. Can poetry from Odin be seen as the literal “word of God?” Possibly. Or perhaps the act of writing poetry itself is inseparable from the logos, the medium between the divine and the mundane. In that case, that Odin gave it to us is deeply significant - yet, I’m not sure it proves that he is the personification of the logos himself.
The next important Odinic myth in this contemplation is that of his sacrifice of himself to himself, in which he hung from the world-tree (axis mundi) Yggdrasil for nine days. After nine days hanging, the runes revealed themselves to Odin. The runes are a few things. First, they’re an alphabet, similar to the one we use today. Next, each is representative of an occult meaning. Now, the contemplation of meanings and readings of signs is firmly in the camp of logos definition #1. However, I’m having trouble attempting to bridge the occult/magick side of runes with the nature of divine logos. Perhaps, stretching the basic esoteric definition of logos as “medium between divine and mundane,” Odin himself acts as logos by hanging between life and death at Yggdrasil (the divine), and discovering actual runes that can be carved and used (the mundane).
All of this is merely food for thought. Thinking of Odin in terms of logos lets one appreciate certain aspects of the god - those of wisdom, knowledge, language, poetry, and inspiration. As in all myth, Odin is a complex figure that embodies a variety of forces and cosmological principles. There obviously isn’t a 1:1 correlation between Odin and Logos, nor are there rigid definitions for either. And of course there are inherent difficulties in reconciling Scandinavian myth with Greek philosophy, it’s not even syncretization really. But I think we can see that both Odin and logos occupy similar territory.
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