6.4 Clothing Chthonie

(Story begins here) Wild eyed and clad in dirty white robes and sporting a matted beard and a flowing, salt encrusted hairstyle, Pherecydes would not be presumed to be one of the all-time intellectual greats.

“Sadly, these people died several millennia before Peter’s time,” signed Baba, now holding a second board with ancient Greek characters on it.” Unseeing, Pherecydes clapped Baba enthusiastically on the back, but his intense, wide-eyed gaze was at all times transfixed on the sky.

“Well, that is most… unfortunate!” the philosopher replied, “but it is good to see you my friend.” Pete gasped with surprise as Pherecydes suddenly grabbed him with his free arm, as if a father enjoying the sunset with his two children. “This must be Pete, the intrepid adventurer from… the future!” The philosopher had the habit of finishing sentences with a dramatic gasp.

“Er, yes, nice to meet you,” said Pete, waving his palm in front of Pherecydes apparently unseeing eyes. There was an awkward pause. “Sooo, I understand you bridged the gap between myth and philosophy?” the younger man continued politely.

“You could… say that!”

“Ah, so_”

“But… you would be wrong!”

“Oh.”

“I found… God!” Pete wriggled free of the philosopher’s enthusiastic grip and turned to face him. With Meher Baba still in his grip, Pherecydes continued staring at the sky as if watching a fascinating play.

“The divine male and female are always in love and perpetually working together to produce and maintain creation. Whilst male and female have different roles, it is a divine relationship of absolute equality, and both parties are, in their roles… blissfully happy!”

“Well, that must have been nice for you. A lot of people in my time find God and_”

“No Pete. I mean I was the first to find God when He was… completely lost! Before me, everyone believed the poet Hesiod, that everything came out of… primordial chaos! In other words, everything came from nothing, ex nihilo creation if you want to put it in… fancy terms! But this felt wrong, so I focused my mind more and more until I saw… Him! I saw that creation came from Someone never born and never dying. I called this creator… Zeus!”

“But Zeus was already known of before, changing shape to have his way with women and_”

“Yes Pete! But that was a gross corruption of who He really was. The poets before me made a tidy living by making scandalous claims about… the true Gods! But the public lapped it up, when they should have been… appalled! I purified the pantheon of Gods and Goddesses to make it what it should really have been, a model of… true reality!”

“So Zeus is_”

Keter! As a kabbalist would call him, or a Hindu Brahma! The point where pure undivided light, the… singularity, is distributed out into plurality. The apex of the cone of creation. In other words, the… creator! As I understand it, Christian painters thousands of years after I lived were still painting Zeus when they tried to depict God.” Pete thought about the bearded figure on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and conceded that Pherecydes had a point.

“So did you talk of other Gods or Goddesses?”
“Oh yes! Chronos, the god of time and… Chthonie!”

“Who sorry?”

“Shall I show you?” The old philosopher grabbed Pete, crouched and leapt off the ground. Instead of landing however, the two men surged upwards, higher and higher into space. Pete turned to look down at Earth, but gasped. Instead of Earth, there was a giant but perfectly-proportioned woman.

“Um, she hasn’t got any clothes on,” whispered Pete, urgently through a cupped hand.

“That is the Goddess Chthonie, she is matter before being clothed with… order!”

“Should we be looking at a naked Goddess?” he asked Pherecydes.

“Nudity is in my nature, so I am not ashamed,” interjected Chthonie in silky tones. “Do you feel… lust for me?”
“No offence, but surprisingly not, especially since you have_” but Pete was cut off by the timely interjection of Pherecydes.

“Thank you Pete, she is an Earth goddess, so whilst beautiful she does not inspire lust, but… reverence! So with no shame on her part and no lust on ours, do you still see a… problem?”
“Well, I suppose not.”

“Good, because her husband is on his way.” Pete turned to see a handsome bearded man gliding through space, white robes billowing behind him. He kissed Chthonie tenderly, who responded by clasping the God to her in a loving embrace, closing her eyes as she stroked his hair. At length, Zeus withdrew and presented Chthonie with a large piece of cloth that had been trailing behind him. It was decorated with seas and oceans, mountains and deserts, forests and lakes.

“Beautiful,” whispered Pete. Beautiful white, feathery wings sprouted from Zeus, as he threw the cloth above Chthonie, who smiled and lifted her slender arms. The cloth drifted down over the Goddess forming a beautiful gown as it did so. The Goddess, now looking more like the planet Earth in female shape embraced Zeus again. “Chthonie seems pleased with her present?” said Pete.

“She is no longer… Chthonie!” said Pherecydes, “she has become… Gaia!”

“I’ve heard of her,” said Pete thoughtfully, “in the seventies they developed a theory, that not only does an earthly environment influence the life that grows on it, but vice versa, so temperature and atmosphere_”

“The symbiotic relationship which the planet Earth has with her life is beautiful and indeed… wonderful! At least, provided that humans very soon cease to be an abusive partner in that relationship. But Gaia has a deeper meaning still, certainly in my teachings. To use a metaphor from your time, if Zeus is the projector then Chthonie is the cinema screen and Gaia is the image of the film on that screen. Do you… see? Zeus is information, Chthonie is energy, Gaia is the beautiful product of the two, manifested information, otherwise known as… creation!”

“Exquisite,” said Pete, deep in thought. “But aren’t the female figures a little, passive in all of this?”

“The divine male and female are always in love and perpetually working together to produce and maintain creation. Whilst male and female have different roles, it is a divine relationship of absolute equality, and both parties are, in their roles… blissfully happy!”

“So it’s not sexist then?”

“This nature of reality will not alter regardless of what we think of it. If we disapprove of reality, perhaps it is we who should understand more deeply rather than reality which should be expected to change to indulge our particular… sensitivities?”

“So it’s not an excuse for men to dominate women?”

“In terms of earthly gender? Absolutely not, remember physical gender is a fleeting illusion. Part of Chthonie’s dress, what some Hindus would call the curtain of Maya, separating our souls from true reality. Souls are androgynous and whilst their consciousness is temporarily filtered through the minds and bodies of a fleeting physical gender, it does not define them. Men should love and respect women and women should love and respect men, Chthonie and Zeus set the example for us. Basically, everyone should love and respect… each other! Did you see Zeus growing wings? That was his transformation into Eros during moments of creation. So the God changes the nature of the Goddess, but the Goddess also changes the nature of the God, there is equality in difference.” (to be continued)

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