Jealous of the female art of creation, man conjured up the art of the mummified reflection, and so was born the Work of Art: a solid hunk of inanimate matter scratched and battered into a shape codifying his unique understandings. A more ideal mate than Woman herself, the Work of Art is utterly faithful in replicating man’s image, and resistant, unlike himself, to the armies of decay. When his body is but a grey pool of foam greasing the slide of bones back to earth, a simple computerized image of himself lives on in his masterpiece. He worships art as the means of gaining victory over death.
But art is in fact the artist’s instrument of suicide, for it is more precious to him than his own life. In a bizarre hierarchy he classifies the immortality of the work of art as both more tangible and more desirable than the immortality of the human soul. Does consciousness die following the failure of the body? The artist declines to comment, pleading indifference, for in his place he can send his stylized self-image on into the future.
The artist abandons self-worship and renounces the divinity of his own body. Proclaiming the cult of the paralyzed reflection, he invests his life force in the mummified specimens of old ecstatic states. He brutalizes his soul. His immortality becomes purely hypothetical, dependent on the questionable evidence that images gouged out of matter survive relatively intact through time. From the prospect of this shadowy, second-hand self-preservation he takes consolation, and dies.
ART — the faker, the adorable seductive irrepressible hallucination, man’s favorite hoax. ART, NOT WOMAN! — though man generates tittering crowds of illusions around woman while seeking the reflections of his own image. He deifies the cumulative art of his hallucination under the name MAYA, the Great Illusion. And in a typically perverse twist, the perfect deluded foundation for delusion, he assigns MAYA to the female sex and elaborates fantastic scenarios casting woman as the enemy of the spirit.
Not many have dared to expose the contradiction. A few obscure passages in several esoteric late medieval texts refer to art as “the bleeding sore in the World Worm Ouroboros,” declaring that through art, “the spirit-blood (is) diverted from its course and split into the Abyss where Time does not cease to move.”1 With art as his idol, man has made death a cult immune to heresy.
In the thirteenth century a few enlightened men began to renounce the decadent diversion of art — very unobtrusively of course. These few men, most suave, shall we say, of the alchemists, recognized that the highest art is literally the transmutation of one’s own body. They developed (or rediscovered) the hypothesis that through the training of the imaginative faculties one could learn to precipitate actual physical changes in the body. And that skill in working with the densest states of matter would lead to proficiency in manipulating subtler states. The climax of the process of transmutation was thought to be the eruption of an immortal sheath of “etheric” matter around the shell of the dead and dying flesh. This sheath would be indestructible, being infinitely adaptable and in a state of continual regeneration. It could, if required, hold, as if in emulsion, a body of physical matter, and maintain it, through the steady creation of new cells, in the same undergenerating state as itself.
Of these select few alchemists, only three ever even approximated the climax of the process, and the result was a curious mutation. Through an erratic but relentless evocation of the feminine of their own bodies — and without the aid of surgery or any technologies — they radically transformed their bodies, unexpectedly it seems, from male to female.
Buried in the most abstruse of medieval texts,2 news of these miraculous transformations has been intentionally concealed. Men, the usual investigators of these texts, are repulsed by the discovery and suppress it, or else suppose it to be a metaphor for some psychic change and submerge it in abstract alchemical discussions. For more men, the creation of new flesh is a strange and alien process. And the construction of an immortal vehicle which can create flesh at will is difficult for them to fantasize in the most extreme orgies of imagination.
Yet the “secret” of creating new bodies is inscrutable only to men. For women it is a natural function. And while the male alchemists struggled to induce a kind of false pregnancy, certain of their female counterparts, the witches, were establishing a new covenant with the Mother Earth. By the fourteenth century several vanguard groups of witches (note that while the alchemists practiced their work in solitary, the witches were investigating the power of group work) had renounced their role in the reproduction of new human beings and had initiated experiments in SELF-reproduction.
These women practiced the only true art and awakened the only true immortality — and they live today to prove it, having created immortal Bodies of Light: vessels stable in the process by which they evolve but mutable in structure. They embody the divine and graceful willingness to transform — the immortality of perfect adaptability. Yet the code which animates their constantly shifting form is not simply a pliant, impressionable program mercilessly controlled by its immediate environment.
Whereas in human affairs WILLINGNESS means an eagerness to conform to the wishes of others, among the immortal women WILLINGNESS is a word whose polarity is active and positive. There its meaning is more akin to the human meaning for WILLFULNESS. The readiness to transform is not conditioned by a naive and mindless passivity, but by an aggressive desire to fuse the individual will with the Planetary Will — in a coordinated and symbiotic exchange administering the evolutionary needs of the Mother Earth. Each immortal woman is an intense and dynamically active worker straddling the intersection of many highly-charged currents of information.
Yet were they to perform in public few would immediately recognize the nature or intensity of their work. And if they were to apply political pressure on public figures their agitation would not show up in rapid legislative or executive action. Nor would these public figures necessarily be aware that they had been influenced. The immortal women work with subtle but very tangible energies, manipulating the refined weaves of matter in which the outward physical forms of things are suspended. They transmute INNER conditions.
The prestidigitators do not feel them. They are not tempted to duplicate the highly-publicized magic tricks performed by some who claim to be adept at commanding “invisible” or “psychic” forces. The miraculous bending of spoons from ten feet away without the use of the hands, or the visualization of images on cards on the other side of a brick wall may impress, frighten, or titillate some. But they add little to the planet’s evolutionary drama . . . are merely side shows.
Some MEN have discovered a way to paralyze evolution in their immediate sphere, inventing a shadowy dimension of self-interest and refusing to cooperate with the planet. But the Earth herself can resist neither her internal urges to evolve, nor the catalytic probes delivered by other bodies as immense or more immense than herself — planets, stars, and other, less compact beings. The Earth depends on the aggressive determination of the immortal women to attend to the details of her own evolution. In turn she feeds their immortal Bodies of Light with her own Body of Light, the Auric Egg, ANIMA Herself.
The immortal women, when they have lived openly in human society, have frequently been oppressed but have never been repressed. They have been denounced and persecuted as witches but their work transcends witchcraft. Though they live in small concentrated cadres widely scattered over the globe, they remain in uninterrupted communion, broadcasting an unbroken network of light.
We of MEDEA — and, we imagine, other groups of women who have understandably remained silent — have, for two years, been aware of their presence on the planet. We receive their inspiration but are not privileged with their direct instruction. They rigorously eschew intervention in the work which is properly established only through direct personal contact with ANIMA. They unleash the visions of Earth-light to those who approach but cannot offer advice on the awakening of one’s own link with HER. To those who have established contact with them they are known only under the collective name EGG*DAEMON, or the Genius of the Egg.
While they would never acknowledge any book as representative of their work (and neither condemn nor condone our efforts), we recognize certain books to be accounts — however diminished by the written word — of their activity. We here reproduce a section from the Book of Mutations, author known only by pseudonym as Lamia the Crone, believed to have been written about the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
“All successful mutation depends on the skillful use of death. Working after its own fashion death annihilates. Yet in the original instructions stored in every germ of life the message of death is joined as an equal and cooperative partner to the forces of reproduction.
“Death acquires its fearsome power only because the full potential of reproduction is almost universally ignored. In most human beings the reproductive urge is exhausted in the bearing of children . . .
“In fact, the growth and renewal of one’s own body requires no special attention, at least until biological maturity, since up to that time those processes operate automatically. In the early twenties, however, the natural impulse to grow inherent in the first explosion of life begins to wind down, and finally stops. Most humans never learn to wield the forces of reproduction for the continued recreation of their own bodies and minds; instead, they resign themselves to the building of miniature facsimiles of their own forms, through their children. Consequently, the processes of death, no longer balanced by those of reproduction, overtake and eventually destroy the life form . . .
“Death, when consciously manipulated is the prerequisite for all evolution. In fact, when complemented by the efficient use of the reproductive forces, death is merely the destructive aspect of transformation. Evolutionary change then proceeds according to the instructions passed on by the higher mind via the imagination . . .
“The intelligent imagination is therefore the technique or state of consciousness through which death operates; since all transformations follow changes in mental imagery. The mind conditions the matter around it with images of what it expects to find. When the image is altered, the external form will conform . . .
“Every seven years the human being has an entirely new body, composed of vast numbers of cells — each of which is a complete being — which did not exist seven years previously. When the mental patterns are changed and constantly revitalized, so are the instructions by which new cells are created. When death has purged the current assemblage of cells, the body will belong to a new community. All functions of the organism will then be fully conditioned by the new instructions fixed at the heart of each cell . . .
“. . . A single mutation may be seared into the mind in an instant, but will not be completely distributed throughout the body for seven years . . . of willful dying . . .”
1The Alchemist’s Gruel, author’s pseudonym “PANICUS,” Archives of the British Museum, London, estimated date of publication, 1435. (back)
2Homo Superior, The Fifth Kingdom, author unknown. Archives of the British Museum, estimated date of publication, 1420. (back)