Jim Morrison/Dionysus and Some Criticisms of Monotheism (9/09)

Great writing by Paul DeFatta on the Dionysian influence on the life and death of Jim Morrison and the affects of the shift away from polytheism to monotheism.

Paul's Bench

Regardless of its merits as an accurate depiction of Jim Morrison, the Oliver Stone movie “The Doors” serves as a useful illustration of the risks and the dangers involved in becoming psychologically identified with a religious archetype—in this case the ancient pagan deity, Dionysus.  At the same time, the film acknowledges and vicariously celebrates the imaginatively vitalizing and enriching effects produced by an influx of such “unauthorized” (by traditional Christianity) archetypal energy.  As the movie progresses, Jim Morrison’s ego becomes increasingly identified with (or subsumed by, depending on the direction from which one approaches the situation) this age-old god of “divine madness,” leading eventually to the breakdown and disintegration of an inflated, Dionysus-and-Jack Daniels-intoxicated ego-personality.  Of course, in chronicling the progressive dissolution and disintegration of his personality, the film unfolds like a cautionary tale.  The rock star’s ego, failing to maintain even a faint toehold within the arenas of…

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8 thoughts on “Jim Morrison/Dionysus and Some Criticisms of Monotheism (9/09)

  1. theburningheart

    I started to study Astrology when I was maybe 19 years old, a long passion of me, always present, but not very active when it come to make charts and study them as used to do, from time to time publish Astrology posts.





    And others.

    Well, you got a good attitude, and that is helpful, I tell friends that Knowledge its a Treasure, most people do not appreciate it, but those who have it, can appreciate the value of it, and the difference it makes on life to live with Knowledge as Wisdom, to put it on practice, and enjoy it subjectively.

    Ibn Arabi taught me his prayer:

    Knowledge is fundamental to the task, so he constantly discusses it. … Ibn ‘Arabi often cites the divine command, “Say: ‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge’”

    He will say unceasingly with every breath, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge …

    Chapter (20) sūrat ṭā hā
    Verse (20:114)

    Sahih International: So high [above all] is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.”

    So through my life I have try to make a fundamental cornerstone on such prayer, and seeking actively, on an eclectic base.

    God willing.

    Blessings to you Debra. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the links, and especially for the prayer! I look forward to reading them tonight.
      Happy solar eclipse and may God grant us all an increase in knowledge!
      Blessings dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. theburningheart

    Working at a Benedictine Monastery, that must be quite a job! 🙂

    For some years of my youth, thought I may end on a Buddhist monastery, Trappist, or on a Desert Egyptian Christian one, but as I deepened on my studies , and family come in between, it never happen, although, now alone for twenty five years made me see life on a different light, realize monasticism its not for me, even if I live a life of solitude, study. meditation, prayer, and reflection. now for two years retired, but with a full load of things to do.

    I kind of smile, also thought that after retirement I may have a chance to do more the things I care for, but the reality of it, life goes on, and the need to prepare a meal, wash laundry, do errands, and take care of a never ending of small, or big projects, keep you busy, and with little time left, even to rest, and not enough time to read as I would like.

    A motivation to reach, and help, its always good, and help us to balance with deeds, our more subjective interior life.

    Yes, we all should seek our own path, and do the best we can, do not pretend to change people’s mind, but to open windows into their lives, and show them different approaches, in order to enrich their life, it always surprise me how many people supposedly educated , hold narrow views to many issues, and in our conversation, try to open those windows, to expand their view.

    The World Ephemeral as it may be, still the place where we must live our experience as Human beings.
    So for us to have a holistic experience of it, we need Wisdom, that only come through the study and practice of Virtue, on its many modalities.
    In my view the wider the scope, the better.

    Thank you for your response Debra, we really appreciate it. 🙂


    1. I manage a database in the development office where we fund raise for the monks. Oh these modern times where a monastery needs to fund raise!

      I, too, used to harbor thoughts of joining an order and living in a religious community. I don’t think I would last there though. I do enjoy quiet alone time, but both relationships and a certain amount of freedom, especially around beliefs, or lack thereof, are important to me. And, it’s only through the “other” that I seem to see myself a little more clearly and also find compassion in seeing the truly human side to us all.

      If I can get away with it, I will retire soon. If not, I at least hope to drop down to working part time. I am studying astrology, and if I am any good at it (the jury is still out), I’d like to read charts as a part time job. All of my retired friends tell me that they are busier now than when they worked!! If I am busier in retirement, let it at least be doing what I feel more called to do. 🙂

      “Yes, we all should seek our own path, and do the best we can, do not pretend to change people’s mind, but to open windows into their lives, and show them different approaches, in order to enrich their life, it always surprise me how many people supposedly educated , hold narrow views to many issues, and in our conversation, try to open those windows, to expand their view.”

      Your words are timely here. At this stage in my life, I don’t feel that the intentional “I” can change much of anything, other than to be present with these big life changes by more delicately responding and having the courage to be a bit more true to myself than I have in the past.

      One of things I enjoy about writing is that feeling one gets of sinking into some pool beyond oneself, and absorbing there the ideas that just seem to present themselves. If I can cooperate with moments like that, it’s a good day! But for now, I’m more in need of taking in, than giving out. So yes, the windows are open and I am trying to listen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a copy of Alone With the Alone, and have read it once, enjoying the book immensely. I need to reread it though, as I can be slow to process what I am reading.

    I hope that you are able to fulfill all of your reading dreams, but if not, you never know what awaits you beyond the veil. Perhaps something more splendid than we can imagine!

    When you say that there are not too many religions, but too few, you opened a window for me. I can see the wisdom in what you are saying, I think. The image that came to mind immediately was that of an unimaginably infinite whole. The more the whole is fractured into tiny, tiny pieces, each one a particular of the whole, the more the whole takes on a form (even though it can’t display its actual form to us, we only have the imagination to attempt to “see” it). This is how I try to see and understand people and especially why there is so much brokenness. We are all fractured pieces of the whole falsely believing in our separateness. We have just enough wiggle room to appear different and then to believe in that difference.

    This belief protects us when we are hurt, but it leaves us immeasurably hungry for each other because at some level, that perhaps we have forgotten, we are all a part of the whole. I must admit that I get incredibly sad at the brokenness and the yearning that I have for all of us to feel how entangled we are. Feel, not believe, because feeling is what leads us to compassion. Compassion shows us all that we don’t want to see, that we share in the whole, and the feeling of separation.

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom and ideas with me. Soon, I will be able to retire, or work part time, and I hope to have more time just plain sitting, reading, writing and playing music. My job is incredibly stressful and time consuming, and although I am blessed to work at a Benedictine monastery, which is such a good environment for me (the monks care about people, and always strive to bring beauty and kindness into everyday), I have had an incredible urge to just simplify my life and get back a more quiet way of living and being.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theburningheart

    Actually I was to recommend you Henri Corbin’s ‘Alone with the Alone’ Creative Imagination on the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, and after reading that if you wish to know better Ibn Arabi; William C Chittick introduction to Ibn Arabi: The Sufi Path of Knowledge Metaphysics of Imagination.

    His work is very extensive, and not an easy subject by no means, Jewish, and Arabs scholars influenced the writing of our best Christian Theologians like Tomas Aquinas.
    The Arabic-Latin translation movements in the Middle Ages, which paralleled that from Greek into Latin, led to the transformation of almost all philosophical disciplines in the medieval Latin world.

    In fact Ibn ‘Arabi was given the surname of Son of Plato.
    His main work was The Meccan Revelations, a fifteen thousand pages book that I am trying to read now, but that I despair may I not live long enough to be able to read it to its end. Not to say about a third of it, has not being translated yet.
    Just like I despair of not been able to read Rumi’s entire Masnasvi, too long, and not fully translated yet.

    Also I believe we live in different times, so new things are necessary, not being dogmatic preclude me to belong to a specific partisan creed, so common between the not so well educated person.

    But I the same time I am not ready to embrace people with good intentions, who advocate amalgamation and synthesis views, but with superficial knowledge about many issues.

    Maybe the problem of our age, is that we are at an early stage of development for a really mature and well thought New all encompassing Way of Life, and notice I how I didn’t use the term new religion.

    A word that conjure an outdated way of thinking.

    My point its not that there’s too many Religions, but actually too few.

    Every Human being should be an exemplary holder of a Religion of its own.

    So Debra, you are totally in the right of proclaiming yourself an Omnitheist. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In a sense, monotheism is an urge to articulate the wholeness or oneness that seems to be the reality behind the curtain. In that sense, I see it as meaningful. Can I be an omnitheist? 🙂 …or whatever word would include a contextualized understanding of any particular perspective. As I sense from your writing, you know and respect the problem of language; it’s static nature and suggestion of actually being reality, or being capable of adequately describing reality.

    I love and respect too, the Sufis, but only know of them through Henri Corbin and Tom Cheetham’s works. Ultimately, even the monotheistic cosmologies, perhaps by virtue of their immediate comparison of the one God down to human world, leave room for an angelic realm, or lesser gods. It seems natural and compelling to me to include these realms as some form of accounting for mediation becomes necessary. Except for Buddhist cosmologies, where all is of the mind, leaving a very bleak and stark none-world (I am probably misrepresenting to some degree here), I can’t think of any cosmology that doesn’t breakdown into hierarchies of meditation.

    …and that brings us to your last point! Yes, a Hermaphroditic or hermetic perspective allows for the idea of mediation (Hermes was understood as a god that was the mediation, very distinct from the other gods), to be front and center, the essential function of exchange between the divine and human realms.

    So, it’s as if the One God can’t be spoken of, or experienced directly, and so, the specificity and articulation of the qualities of God cause the articulation lower realms, even if ultimately all is One. What would Plotinus say? 🙂

    Here is a link to one of Tom’s books that I wrote about: https://ptero9.com/2015/04/26/imaginal-love/

    ..and here: https://ptero9.com/2014/12/08/the-green-man/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. theburningheart

    Quite sometime ago maybe 2004, I was in contact with a professor who raised the flag of Henotheism, Friedrich Schelling coined the word, and Friedrich Welckerused it to depict primitive monotheism among ancient Greeks.

    I didn’t rush to embrace his way of thinking, by the time very immersed on other studies, and had my on views on the matter somewhat clear.
    He contacted me actually, to set me straight on the matter, he was very learned, but realized his point of view come only from a Western oriented education, and he didn’t knew nothing, as for example of Islamic Tawhid.

    A key word to understand what Islam its all about it, its not only a subjective idea of one God, but a whole praxis, with practical implications of a way of living, as well as an esoteric, and exoteric view of the Universe, and ultimate Truth.

    No, I am not a Muslim, but quite clearly understand, and respect their point of view, also see truth, in diverse ways even of polytheistic origin, like Shamanism, and respect it, like Frithjof Schuon did, also known as Īsā Nūr al-Dīn in Islamic circles, even if criticized by some, of his own.

    On my blog I have post about Hinduism, Shamanism, Panpsychism, and Neopaganism, and for a while I have contemplated to contemplated to write more about it.



    Also remember writing about the Dionysian vs the Apollonian views.

    I am open to everything, however I must confess reading for many years Ibn Arabi the Shaykh al-Akbar, make me cautious against tirades against Monotheism, so common now day, just because patriarchal ideas, not really derived from Monotheism, but from tribal customs preceding Monotheism, unfortunately now married in their outward dress, in our outlook into Monotheism.

    Ignoring the 99 most sacred Names of God like Al Rahman, and Al-Rahim are one of the names of God in Islam, meaning “Merciful” Raheema. Rahema. Rahima: is a female Arabic given name meaning “kind or compassionate” Meaning the Female Womb.

    And how Ibn Arabi addressing God use indistinctly the Word She, or He.

    Facts that are not even known, in our Western oriented outlook, always ready to criticize Islam, and patriarchy.

    Yes, I agree, its time for patriarchy to be superseded for an Hermaphrodite view, of Hers/His, at least on its Immanent side. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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