Monday, May 12, 2008

Mithras is Alive and Well and Living in New Jersey

Daria Invictus recently blogged on a subject near and dear to my heart- the enigmatic Golden Boy, who has been passed like a torch from corporation to corporation. Daria explored the various connections to a host of pagan deities, but I had a nagging suspicion there was still another figure being celebrated in this composite icon; the Corporate Elite's favorite god, Mithras. We shouldn't be surprised at Mithras' showing up in corporate iconography - his followers were deadly serious, highly disciplined soliders and merchants. And what is the modern corporation if not the ultimate apotheosis of the "Business as War" paradigm? Mithraists worshipped in secret during the First Century, why not in the Twenty-First? Golden Boy was originally known as "The Genius of Electricity" when commissioned for Western Electric, then renamed "The Spirit of Communication" when sold to AT&T. His latest owner is the new AT&T, formerly known as Southern Bell. 

He currently resides on the AT&T campus in Bedminster, Nova Caesarea. You can see him while driving on Interstate 287 South (2+8+7=17). As Daria notes, he originally sat upon a pyramidical turret on the old AT&T building in Masonic Manhattan, giving us yet another depiction of the Heavenly Insemination. 

As you see in this ancient frieze of Mithras, Golden Boy is simply a modern take on the old sun god. The Snake of Time becomes an electrical cable and his staff becomes electrical bolts. The pose is almost exactly the same, only minor details differentiate the two icons. For instance, the globe Golden Boy stands on comes to us from another Mithraic icon...

...that of Aion, the enigmatic figure whom Jung identified as the Imageo Dei- image of the god within. As with so much Mithraic imagery, the meaning of the globe is unclear, but my own interpretation is that the Mithraists had intended to rule the world. It's open to debate whether they are succeeding in that ambition.

Whatever the intended message behind it, it's interesting to note that Golden Boy has been reintroduced in advertising for the new AT&T. Maybe it's simply because it's an amazing work of art with heavy-duty Syncromystic resonance. One thing's for sure- you can add this to the rapidly escalating use of Solar symbolism in corporate and church iconography.