Events taking place in the supersensible worlds have been recorded for humanity in the imaginations referred to as "mythology" . It is from these imaginations that there arises an impulse of a prophetic nature. As mankind' s attention turned more and more to the earthly sense world and to its mastery, the guarded knowledge of the mystery centres and the beings that inspired them were left behind and slowly faded into the darkness. Interest in earthly history grew more detailed. The cosmic powers gradually withdrew their activity, yielding up to humanity an ever greater role in managing the Earth until humanity's origin in a supersensible world would have been quite generally lost if it had not been kept alive through myth, legend and poetical song.
Before the beginning of outer history, the soul of Europe dwelt in the spiritual world. Her passage from divine remoteness to earthly embodiment was an arduous one of far reaching significance with the aim of leading civilisation to a new stage of cultural unfoldment. In the myth, Zeus in the shape of a gentle, yet majestic, white bull approached Europa, daughter of Phoenix the King of Phoenicia, as she played on the seashore at Tyre with her companions. He carried her off on his back to the island of Crete. Poseidon smoothed the waves for him. Europa bore Zeus three sons, one of whom was Minos. Asteriusr King of Crete became Europa 's husband when Zeus left her and later adopted Minos .
It is told of Minos, son of Europa and Zeus, who became King of Crete after Asterius that he deceived Poseidon over the sacrifice of a sacred bull. Poseidon in revenge caused the queen to give birth to a monster with a human body and a bull's head —— the Minotaur, a creature so terrifying that he had to be imprisoned in a cave at the centre of a labyrinth especially built by the great artificer Daedulus. The Minotaur required in sacrifice an annual tribute of seven young women and seven young men.
Thus the Minotaur destroyed the youthful forces of mankind . None of the victims could find their way back out of the labyrinth to the light of day, but were doomed to be lost in the intricate and convoluted winding passages of the maze fated to be devoured by the monster. Here the story anticipates the way mankind's evolution has proceeded. The Minotaur with the bull's head is the activity of a thinking separated from the divine and imprisoned in the hollow of the head representing the distorted image of divine wisdom. The dark winding passages of the labyrinth point to the convolutions of the human brain wherein it dwells.
This brain—bound thinking, with its great technological achievements and analytical development, has brought about the most powerful accomplishments of our modern post- industrial age but with an ever increasing tyrannical captivation of the human soul. Young people especially are delivered into its spell. Small children are exposed to the influence of television, video, and a computerised virtual reality where illusion is given the veneer of reality. Whether it is stated or not, the aims of education mould the child in such a way that only the outer values of money and worldly success have any relevance. Children learn that they are the product of heredity and nothing more and that extinction occurs at death. Modern astronomy presents a picture of the oppressive vastness of the universe where only mechanical forces operate. With such ideas it becomes ever more difficult to engender responsibility for the Earth and for others.
Further, the idea that historical events can be attributed entirely to heredity, chance and the struggle for survival, comes from the same dark labyrinth of brain bound thinking . The destructive Minotaur forces will increasingly attack the whole of our earthly existence if they are not recognised and overcome.
Brave souls who are approaching the Earth with loving hearts seek to be born into the resistance of matter to free those who have fallen prey to the Minotaur forces so powerful today. But they will need the thread of Ariadne if they are not to lose their own way in the labyrinthian abyss.
According to the myth, Theseus, a Sun hero, embarks with the other victims to be offered up as tribute to the Minotaur. However, he has the intention of entering into its lair and destroying it. Ariadne, the daughter of King -2- Minos, loves Theseus and furnishes him with a ball of thread which he can unwind behind him so that he can find his way out again once he has slain the monster. It can be be seen even in the darkness of the labyrinth. Her lifeline represents logical, crystal—clear thinking which can lead out of the prison of the brain. One who can uncompromisingly follow his/her observations and experiences to their conclusion, determined to hold to this light filled thread of objective spiritualized thinking, can be led to remembrance of a life before birth and to a knowledge of a future journey through the spiritual worlds towards a new earthly existence. In this state, perspectives of time and space metamorphose into new conditions of consciousness. The idea of birth and death as absolute beginning and final end fall away.
Only an independent, objectivised thinking sufficiently detached from the thoughts it produces to observe and test them can be called spiritual. Such a thinking, which can use the brain as an earthly anchor but also soar to higher levels of consciousness, belongs to the goal of Europa.
According to some accounts, Ariadne's bridal wreath made for her by Hephaestos, smith of the Gods, to celebrate her union with the victorious Theseus, was in the form of roses and set amongst the stars forming the constellation of the Crown. This constellation still shines from the heavens as a sign of the light filled thinking that is to be found through sacrifice. It stands next to the mighty visionary constellation of Hercules, another great Sun hero. Hercules kneels with one foot resting on the head of the dragon while above him he holds the serpent in check. These are the two great adversaries who threaten man's progress on the spiritual path.
Modern astronomy has discovered that our entire solar system — Sun and planets —— is racing towards the constellation of Hercules, This is the direction of the divinely ordained future which Europe's soul longs to serve: to unfetter all humanity from the power of the adversaries with the uplifting impulse of a divinely ordained spiritualized thinking.
This archetypal picture of the myth of Europe, as it comes down from the Greeks, has much to tell us about the way forward at present. It is a light filled picture of which the current European Union is but the shadow side. The future of Europe requires the renewal of imaginative consciousness accompanied by the self awareness of the ego consciousness that has already been established to generate new cultural norms. By this means the other spheres of the social order — the political and the economic — will be illumined.
By Nelson Willby, December 1996