Monday, April 20, 2009

The Mythic, Mithraic Mysticism of Michael Clayton

Abstract: Tony Gilroy's 2007 masterpiece
Michael Clayton is an ancient myth masquerading as a legal thriller. Consciously drawing upon the symbolism of fantasy literature and pre-Christian religion, Gilroy revives a narrative tradition of ethics and morality wed to Synchronicity and visionary experience.

While preparing this article, I realized that in my somewhat-amorphous Top 20 list of favorite movies from the past 15 years, 4 of them star George Clooney.

Of those 4, only one (Out of Sight) was a true mainstream hit. The other three films are Soderbergh and Cameron's Solaris, Syriana and Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton.* I've written about the deep mythological parallels in Solaris, which you'd expect in a mystical sci-fi film (particularly one involving James Cameron).

But there is as much - if not more - mythic symbolism in
Michael Clayton, which you wouldn't expect in a legal thriller of this type. Unless said thriller was written and directed by one of the primary screenwriters in yet another of my top 20 films, The Devil's Advocate.

Gilroy has said that Clayton grew out of his work on Advocate, which saw a scenery-chewing Al Pacino as Satan using a Manhattan law firm as a staging ground for the Apocalypse. The conceit of that film was that the Devil was not a puppeteer, but merely an enabler for humankind's own (limitless) capacity for evil. The Devil's Advocate was pure fantasy; Michael Clayton is much more frightening because the evil it depicts is that much more real.


NOTE: We're in for spoilers galore, so if you haven't seen the film and want to be surprised, stop reading now, go rent it and then come back. I'll be still be here when you get back.

First a word about the actors- in a Secret Sun context, it's hard to imagine a more significant lead cast: You have the aforementioned Clooney in the title role. You have Tom Wilkinson (of Eternal Sunshine fame) as the doomed attorney Arthur Edens (more on that name later). You have the late, great Sydney Pollack playing a close variation of his Eyes Wide Shut role as Clayton/Clooney's boss.

And finally you have Tilda Swinton (aka the "One-Woman Synchromystic Factory") as the villian of the piece, corporate attorney Karen Crowder (I'm sorry, I realize using "corporate attorney" and "villain" in same sentence is redundant). Both Clooney and Wilkinson were nominated for Ausurs® for their amazing work in the film and Swinton won Best Supporting Actress.

The plot is that Arthur Edens- a top litigator with a history of mental illness- goes off the deep end when he realizes that U-North, the agro-chemical company his firm is representing, deliberately suppressed evidence during a lawsuit over a carcinogenic weed killer. When Arthur threatens to expose a damning memo, U-North's lead attorney has him murdered by a pair of corporate spies. Clayton is the firm's fixer who discovers what Edens was on to and soon becomes a target himself.

So many of the signifiers we've seen repeated over and over in other films are well-represented in this film. First of all, the story is told in flashback, which is to say reverse time. At the beginning of the film we meet Michael Clayton at a gambling den in Koreatown. His car is parked on 33rd St, staring straight up at the Empire State Building.

From there, Clayton drives to Westchester, to deal with a client involved in a hit-and-run. Driving home as the Sun rises, Clayton stops when he sees three horses on a hilltop. Later we find out the significance of this sighting.

Exhausted and distraught, Clayton climbs the hill to connect with the animals. But as he does so, his car explodes. Hmmm- flaming chariot, horses, sunrise...sound familiar?

Here's a hint.

Clayton then throws his wallet and watch and phone into the flaming car. The watch is especially fascinating, given that the Roman sun god, Helios Mithras (aka Sol Invictus, or the "Unconquerable Sun") was known as "the god of Infinite Time."

Doubly fascinating, since following the explosion (and its attendant sun god symbolism), we go back in time, and the first thing we see is this image: the flaming solar disk logo of the film's fantasy franchise, Realm + Conquest, which is sort of a combination of Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and World of Warcraft.

Realm + Conquest is the obsession of Clayton's son Henry, and becomes the linchpin of the entire film. What Gilroy is doing here is telling us that we are now in a mythic realm, so we need to look out for signifiers.

Like this: Clayton is summoned to Milwaukee to deal with a crisis- Arthur freaked out during a deposition with a plaintiff (named "Anna Kysersun"- I kid you not) and stripped naked and ran through the parking lot. Now we are introduced to Karen Crowder in narrative time as she leaves a corporate minivan during a Wisconsin snowstorm. Ring any bells?

Here, does this image help?

We hear Arthur's confession to Clayton during the film's opening credits. What he describes sounds less like a psychotic break, and more like a Philip K. Dick-type visionary experience. After a lifetime of conscience-less litigation, Arthur realizes he himself has become an accomplice to mass murder:
I realize we're standing in the middle of the street, the light's changed, there's this wall of traffic, serious traffic speeding towards us, and I freeze, I can't move, and I'm suddenly consumed with the overwhelming sensation that I'm covered with some sort of film. It's in my hair, my face... it's like a glaze... like a coating, and... at first I thought, oh my god, I know what this is, this is some sort of amniotic - embryonic - fluid. I'm drenched in afterbirth, I've-I've breached the chrysalis, I've been reborn.

But then the traffic, the stampede, the cars, the trucks, the horns, the screaming and I'm thinking no-no-no-no, reset, this is not rebirth, this is some kind of giddy illusion of renewal that happens in the final moment before death. And then I realize no-no-no, this is completely wrong because I look back at the building and I had the most stunning moment of clarity. I realized Michael, that I had emerged not from the doors of Kenner, Bach, and Ledeen, not through the portals of our vast and powerful law firm, but from the asshole of an organism whose sole function is to excrete the... the-the-the poison, the ammo, the defoliant necessary for other, larger, more powerful organisms to destroy the miracle of humanity.
Clayton then meets Karen Crowder and it's hate at first site (this film is kind of a classic Clooney romance picture in reverse). She's one of those denatured, defeminized, dehumanized drones those of you who've worked at certain corporations will be well familiar with. Clayton has Arthur released and is charged with cleaning up his mess. Crowder's minions do background on Clayton, where we hear this voiceover:

You were probably wondering when our magic number was going to show up. Note also the staff of wheat in the flag behind Clayton, which bears a strange resemblance to the golden laurels of Apollo.

After his release from prison, Arthur speaks with Henry, who has called to speak with his absent father. Henry has become a Realm + Conquest evangelist, and Arthur is immediately captivated by the story's premise of heroes being summoned to a great mission by shared, visionary dreams.

Gilroy is giving us the true power of mythology, by placing a myth within his own emotion-laden myth.

Arthur uses the book as direct inspiration for his own quest- to avenge the deaths of the Midwestern farmers killed by U-North's weed killer. He later titles his case against U-North "Summons to Conquest."

Arthur then escapes Clayton's supervision and returns to his New York loft, where U-North's spies are tapping his phone. Clayton then confronts Arthur, who is clutching a large bag of French bread to his chest. We must then wonder- is Arthur actually Ausur? After all, some scholars have traced the Arthurian legends to Egyptian sources.

And I can't help but wonder when I picture this image of Osiris, with wheat growing from his sarcophagus.

The performances in this film are absolutely riveting. As a loose cannon, Wilkinson alternates from child-like mental case to aggressive, razor-sharp litigator without warning throughout the film. Suspicious that the firm wants him committed, Arthur utters this cryptic line, which ties us back to Clayton's sunrise epiphany. His confrontation ends with a withering glare which you could just imagine reducing witnesses to rubble in a courtroom.

From there we see Arthur back in vacant mode, wandering around Times Square (of course) freed of a lifetime of deceit. Note that he is crowned with the oceans of the earth in this shot, again tying back to the Osiris archetype.

But his mood instantly changes when he sees U-North's greenwash bullshit appear on an electronic billboard. Note the juxtaposition of the U-North logo and the Wicked poster- the Wicked Witch of the West identified with Jadis the White Witch in the form of Karen, Tilda Swinton's character.


In the mix-and-match language of fantasy literature, Karen could also be Morgan le Fay, perhaps with Arthur and Clayton as the Pendragons.

Note also the explictly Solar Europa Cafe logo- this links us directly to bull symbolism, which we'll see in a moment...

Karen orders Arthur to be killed when he announces his intention to expose their complicity. I couldn't help but see Arthur/Ausur as the Apis bull, the sacrificial god of Taurus seen in the Mithraic Tauroctony. Those surgical caps the killers (named Mr. Verne and Mr. Iker) are wearing remind me of this...

... Mithras' Phrygian cap, which we see in the Tauroctony. The fact that Arthur is poisoned parallels the scorpion and snake in the icon.

Oh, I know- that's stretching it a bit...

...or is it? As we are told, "the man was a bull." This Tauroctony parallel certainly puts the flaming chariot in a whole new context...

...which is foreshadowed when Clayton looks at Arthur's copy of Realm+Conquest (note mark-ups). Gilroy is not only showing us the power of myth, he's showing us classic synchronicity. The symbolism of this myth drove Arthur's own quest and then saved Clayton's life- and signifies his symbolic apotheosis.

Clayton "dies" and is resurrected- Using his police connections (through his brother) Clayton has the story get out that he was killed when Verne and Iker bomb his car. Clutching a rolled-up copy of Arthur's "Summons to Conquest," Clayton confronts Jadis/Morgan after U-North has agreed to a cash settlement with the victims' families.

This confrontation is one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema. And there we see that magic name- Anna Kysersun ("Inanna Caesar-Sun") - interesting in that Inanna was the direct equivalent of Hathor, consort of sun god Horus. Is Gilroy pointing to this love goddess/sun god relationship when Anna and Clayton meet in a hot-sheet motel-at an airport, no less? (Inanna was identifed with the sky, as was Hathor)

Michael then explicitly takes on the mantle of Arthur's godhood as the NYPD swoop in and arrest Karen and her boss Don Jeffries (brilliantly played by Ken Howard of White Shadow fame).

Clayton then descends an escalator, like Osiris descending to the Underworld to judge the dead, and walks out to the street...

...and hails down a cab (or in Kotzean parlance, a "Checker Chariot"). Note that 7x25=175.


In my opinion what Gilroy has done here is create a modern myth to encapsulate the elemental forces that converge within the daily corruptions of modern corporate practice.

Following the financial meltdown, this mythology seems less subversive (some idiot reviewers accused Gilroy of "anti-captialism") than prescient. It's one of the oldest stories in the book- Arthur is a king who is unjustly killed and Clayton is his son who avenges his death. "Arthur" and "Edens" both point to lost idylls- the Camelot and Round Table of the Arthurian romances and the Garden of Eden in Genesis.

Clayton is an elemental man (who, like the Adamah, is "made" of clay) who dies and is reborn as an avenging sun god, which is signified by the horses and flaming chariot at sunrise - and Arthur's explictly solar totem "Summons to Conquest." Just like in Narnia, the Sun God melts the Ice Queen. This is mythology in its purest form, made relevant for a modern audience. If Michael Clayton was powerful in 2007, today it's foundational.


This attitude towards corruption ties back to Mithraism, which imposed a stringent morality upon its followers. Contrary to academic misinformation, this variety of sun worship didn't die because it was elitist- the Emperor Aurelian had established an exoteric solar religion apart from the Mystery cults during his reign. It died because it insisted on a severe morality in business as well as personal matters. And with bone-crushers like Aurelian (nicknamed manu ad ferrum, meaning "Hand on Sword) in its ranks, it had the ability to enforce that morality.

Aurelian was assassinated for opposing corruption, which became a way of life as Rome became increasingly beholden to foreign merchants (we see this paralleled with the NYC-based law firm and the provincial U-North). Likewise, Diocletian opposed profiteering and deceitful business practices.

The last sun-worshipping emperor of Rome, Julian the Apostate, followed Aurelian and Diocletian's rigorous example and publicly chastised his cousins in the Constantine family for their mind-numbing hypocrisy and criminality. He too may have been assassinated for fighting corruption, which slowly strangled the Empire when the Christian emperors regained power.†

Is Gilroy consciously referring back to Mithraism and its stern ethics? Probably not, but he is obviously using mythic elements drawn from that same tradition. Again, perhaps we are looking at a kind of cultural DNA, where you can't separate the mythos from the message. Meaning that through cultural osmosis, we absorb the myths and their meanings, which are reconstructed through the power of the Collective Unconscious.

Clearly and unambiguously we see myth as a motivator, both for Arthur and Clayton. We see Clayton "die" and be reborn at sunrise (which we looked at in the context of a different Clayton recently). We see Tilda Swinton do a real world do-over of her Narnia role. We have symbolism galore, both overt and otherwise, if not always a clear handle on its meaning.


For reasons I can't explain, I believe that Myth needs to exist in the non-physical realm for it to truly realize its power. Meaning that it loses its power when it is literalized. I think that the Gnostics understood this, I think the philosophers understood this.

Another problem is when people diminish the power of Myth by trying to actualize it. Michael Clayton is powerful exactly because I don't know all of the mundanities of the character's lives or their temporal connections (which too much fannish sci-fi tries to reintroduce, as in the various Stargates or The Dead Zone series). These characters exist outside of temporal restriction, which we see symbolically referenced when Clayton destroys his watch in his flaming chariot.

I think a new understanding of Myth is an integral component in our conscious evolution, and I very much suspect that storytellers like Tony Gilroy agree.

*Clooney also starred in a couple movies in my top 50-
Three Kings (about the betrayal of the Kurdish resistance after the Gulf War) and The Perfect Storm (which was set in my old summer stomping grounds, Gloucester aka Innsmouth and co-starred my former neighbor Mark Wahlberg and my teenage lust object, Diane Lane).

† Despite what some apologists would like you to believe, the "Eastern Empire" was a glorified city-state with a geographic buffer that shrank relentlessly before finally surrendering to Islam.


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  3. (Sorry, paste from text editor messed up the previous posts!)

    U North = Hu North

    Horses = Horuses = BULLS (Equine/Equine OX)

    4 Children = SION (Set Isis Osiris Nephthys) 3 Horses and Michael (4 HorusMen)

    ARK Angel "M"ichael (Aldebaran / Alpha Tauri)
    Clayson / Clef Son / Chi Son / Key Son

    Bread is made from wheat (note the side Arthur Edens his holding it on)

    MB Leg - Golden Boy(From my post Fargo Floods, Ox and Bow and 17th PamenotArthur Edens: [on the phone with Anna Kaiser-son] "Isn't it what we wait for? To meet someone... and they're, they're like a lens and suddenly you're looking through them and everything changes and nothing can ever be the same again."

    Arthur / Our Thor / Art HoR / Arc Tor / ARK TAUR

    The ARKYellow cab = Golden Chariot / Sun/SON Chariot

    7x25 = 7 x 7 and 7 x 25 = 175 (June 24, 175th day of the year)

    A must read: the start of June, the sun rises in the constellation of Taurus at the end of June, the sun rises in the constellation of Gemini.

    Again we meet the MIN~o~TAUR...

    Masonic, Uber-Templar and Prieure de (Priory of) SION:
    Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in Quebec) June 24.

    Arthur Edens: "Yes! Here we are, all together. Is everyone listening? 'Cause this is the moment you've been waiting for, a very special piece of paper, so let's have a big, paranoid, malignant round of applause... for United Northfield Culcitate Internal Research Memorandum #229! June 19th, 1991"

    June 19 = 170th day of the year

    AU-Gust 17 (Golden wind) is the 229th day of the year.

    And Off-topic (kind of):

    Further to the link between 17 and 119/911

    Take 119 (119th Day of the year) divide by 7 = 17
    9 Days into the Zodiac sign of TAURUS

    Ambiguous pehaps, I know...
    but it will be made clear soon enough.

    http://strangeye.blogspot.comWV: edinglue (no kidding!)

  4. Oh well, at least that one is readable and not all mashed into one line! ???!


  5. Do you think the people involved in these movies (actors, writers, etc.) actually know, what they´re depicting, or are they themselves pawns of some higher institution (if there is any) beeing unsuspecting about everything?

    Its hard for me to see the whole symbolism, so i want to know if there is any or if its just your perception, which is so focussed on this issues that it sees them everywhere ( i.e. If i had my mind occupied on Mickey Mouse symbolism, then it would be Mickey Mouses i´d see everywhere).

    Is there really something, or is it just your mind?

    Greetings from Germany

    1. symbolism is everywhere and the powers that be definitely know what they're doing. Script doctors job is to add these things into the story. What may seem like a throw away line, a poster in the background or an item of clothing are PLACED there, by design. What if everything you thought was true was the lie and everything that has been mocked, laughed at was the reality? Why did we have to study "Mythology" anyways? It's like studying gossip right? Was it a myth? Were they describing the zodiacs, the planets (wandering luminaries) under the dome. Lord of the rings starts to make sense (flat earth under the dome with the "satellites" being the stars, sun, moon and wandering luminaries. What if NASA in hebrew means "to deceive". What is solider in latin means "sold to die". What if our politicians are simply playing their part like in professional wrestling the super hero and the super villain. .and they know it will get messy but the vatican/the royals who own everything orchestrated this all. What if washington, DC is outside of our so called united states of america is the military of the world and london within the city of london handles the money and the vatican (man made religion-the decepitor-satanic pedophilia and baby/child sacrifices). What if we were born into slavery with our birth certificate (names in ALL CAPS) and were sold onto the stock market since 1933 (US declared BK). All cap names means "non human, corporation. What if you could tap into your account and reclaim your money, inheritance? What if THEY changed teh frequency of music from 432Hz to 440Hz, causing dis-arm to our cell and to better control us? What if we knew legalese (quantum grammar) so we could get out of every ticket in a courtroom. When the Matrix film said, "the world has been pulled over your eyes", he wasn't joking. This was hidden in plain sight. If this was the plot of a film, we would gladly pay the ticket. . but we have; The Matrix trilogies, the Truman Show, Wag the Dog, Dark City, The Simpson episodes, Lord of the Rings, Wayward Pines, The Colony and sooooo many more clues in films like Back To The Future, Men in Black, Trouble with the Curve, Gremlins. . it's literally everywhere and in almost ALL company logos.

    2. ever notice in Disney animation films .. after she finds her prince, gets married and gives birth. . she dies, DEAD. Everytime. Like there is no use for her. In Avatar, towards the end when he goes to Aywa to warn her about the humans. He said, "they killed their mother". Mother Earth. There has been a suppression of the feminine since almost forever. Look at the conquering of native peoples (the melanated people). They have been described as savage and needed to be socialized/modernized. . or murdered, raped, enslaved and stole their land.. .all across the world. There was the whipping post for those natives that didn't declare jesus their lord and savior were whipped, hand or foot cut off. Their children stolen, put to work, forced into their systems (school, dress, hair, manorisms), belittled, 3rd class citizens in THEIR SYSTEMS of enslavement. There are truths in religious books/texts but hey, who was their editor eh? ALl nations with very few exceptions are corporations where all the money, resources and souls go back to London (Switzerland) and The Vatican. US are the bullies but it's not the US we/you think it is. Everything has been hijacked. .every system and systems designed to enslave humanity. Look at nature. . can you find it? The tree of life. . where is it, where are they? Cut down. The oceans, streams and lakes, poisoned, the soil; over used, poisoned with gmo seeds. . the food, altered and void of nutrients. the water (the frequency of water-dr masaru emoto) is no longer WATER anymore. Chem trails in the air, weather manipulation (H.A.A.R.P.). Every REAL scientist has been mocked, suppressed and killed. Nikola Tesla, Royal Rife ad hundreds of others.Tesla wanted to give the world FREE energy over 100 yrs ago. . they mocked him, called him crazy and went with Edison (he electrocuted elephants for fun and stole other people's inventions) and killed Tesla and stole his notes and inventions after that to be used for alternative purposes (it's like the subplot of T2). Watch They Live, The Truman Show, The Real Flat Earth Model, Under The Dome, What is Holding Up the Sun?, ODD TV/ODD Reality: "flat earth:as seen on tv & in films". Good luck on your journey

  6. "The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

  7. "The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

  8. This is not post related, I'm going to watch Michael Clayton and come back later to read it.

    The "17" meme in tragic circumstances:

    Sri Lankan army 'rescues civilians'Seventeen killed by suicide bombers, a time of '17:30,' and there is a thirteen in the story too.

  9. Excellent post, I've yet to see this movie but I know what to expect now so I'll be sure to check it out...

    Skinjob - If you saw how often these themes appear in the media, you'd understand. Combined with the knowledge of who these symbols are important to creates a new "realm" to "conquer" (through wisdom, not war). IMO they are more often used by the same old corrupt fogeys for mass manipulation but every once in a while they shine through as true art similar to what we attempt to convey through our writings and endeavors in this realm. Alas, I have taken the mic from Chris, maybe he can explain things a little better for you.

  10. Great work. Caught this film by chance one day, and by the "horse scene" I was damn near transfixed. It definetly resonated on some higher level with me.
    Thanks for the analysis.

  11. i'm with Jay on this one, i caught bits and pieces of it when my brother has watched it, he loves the movies, but never the whole way through. Each time i was tranfixed and was really hard to pull away. Only because i want to be a world famous pop star. But the absorbing of myths and their meanings through the collective unconscious is goin on fo'sho.

    I finally get what you are tryin to do with only addressing the 'memes' you cover. Now i gots to get crackin on how to incorporate what you do into what i do. As well as understanding myths better. Great stuff.

    And being Marky Marks neighbor, i feel those good vibrations, feel it, feel it. Naw, i kid, i love Mark Wahlberg. Talk about six degrees.

  12. Thank you, everyone, for the comments. In point of fact, I tend to strenuously avoid films like Michael Clayton, but was attracted to it by Gilroy's history and the main cast's semiotic track record.

    The movie is subversive in many ways- but mainly in the way it uses myth to ratchet up the resonance of the drama- and yes, I think this is intentional. How much of the detail is conscious is hard to answer -- once you start playing with the archetypes they have a habit of taking over your story on you. Which is an incredibly fascinating process in itself and one of the main motivators in my work. Meaning that the archetypes are not inert- they are potent, proactive aspects of human creativity - and consciousness itself.

    I neglected to mention that Gilroy was born 9/11/56, which is kind of interesting, and aside from The Devil's Advocate and the Bourne films, he also wrote Armageddon.

  13. Oy Gevalt Knowles, this stuff is off the hook. Brilliant. I adored this movie, noticing zero mythic structure. I guess any story of deceit and murder and redemption is mythic, but still...
    It seems as if the Mithraists are the bad guys, killing the bull, Arthur, the guy trying to redeem himself. But in Roman times, the Fish/sun god killed the Mithraists, but the winners were the corrupted faction of Christianity, the corporate bastards. So is Gilroy redeeming the sun god, and battling the Mithraists? Or is it just a jumble, like egyptian mythology. Am I completely missing something???? A i being too linear? Am I still lost?

    If the corporate heirarchical structure (masonic and Catholic) are evil or gone way bad, and Mithra and the sun god are battling them in "Michael Clayton", but the Mason's are Mithraic and are battling the victorious christians still, and the Muslims, or is it just the .... (brains seized)


  14. yes the horse scene was the most fascinating and before reading this post, enigmatic. I didn't catch the horse references prior to the scene to have a better understanding, the burning chariot connection was a brilliant discovery. It was as if Micheal was in the process of dying, and was brought before a tribunal... the silence says it all. excellent insights.

  15. I think it's important that the mythic parallels not be so predictable, otherwise it becomes a kind of cultic ritual drama. That's a danger once writers become aware of the symbols- it can become a plodding, literal kind of direct correspondence. My personal preference is for the symbols to follow a kind of dream logic- which is very much part of the plot, particularly pertaining to Arthur.

  16. The sublime plots in movies must be known to many inteligent actors. All the backround placements of archtypes and syncro's is edited in each and every intelligent film. The masters of film know exactly what is in their film. The corporate xtians and fascists do their best to dumb downe and co-opt many thoughtfull story lines. The Mirthric rituals involved bull's blood raining downe on initiates in huge caves/stages? A passion play without using a human being as the sacrificed offering? Myths without borders. Dennis from Oregon.

  17. Its hard for me to see the whole symbolism, so i want to know if there is any or if its just your perception, which is so focussed on this issues that it sees them everywhere ( i.e. If i had my mind occupied on Mickey Mouse symbolism, then it would be Mickey Mouses i´d see everywhere).

    the way I answer that to any that ask that question is to say "let's perform a little experiment to find out"...

    Take your keys and put them in your refrigerator and then go look for them in your bedroom.

    If you in fact find them in your bedroom then it is all simply a matter of what you focus on. If you do not find them in your bedroom, there's much more to it than just focus and perception.



  18. Brilliant- I'm stealing that, Strangey.

  19. Just watched the film. Quite amazing.
    The Realm + Conquest sun symbol really did set the mythic tone right from early on. The clinical, stone-cold way the mercs killed Arthur really disturbed me. Blithely efficient and emotionless.

    I think the number 13 may have been present in the scenes where Clayton reads the book in Arthur's apartment (1 horse) and he then pulls over in the car and goes to meet the three horses on the ridge of the hill. 1 & 3 making 13.

  20. Consider it public domain my friend!


  21. Going from the flaming chariot was a nice touch. And I wonder if the three-one wasn't a Trinity reference...

    The funny thing about the mercs was you couldn't really hate them- they were just doing their job, as warped as it is. I got the feeling they were quite reluctant to kill Arthur and Michael, not the least of reasons being that they'd take the fall for it. In a way, the way they killed Arthur was almost merciful.

  22. I don't think the key/refrigerator metaphor works. The dude with the keys in the fridge WOULD see his keys everywhere, but he would never find them til he opened the fridge. he would also never stop looking, proly, til he found them. Of course he would also have to be an idiot to put them in the fridge. A conspiracy theorist. Every tale of death and redemption is mythical. We haven't really found anything here, despite the brilliant analysis, and we will all keep looking, proly. Chris is suggesting only that myth never dies and recreates itself unconsciously eternally. But we already knew that. The keys are the myth, and the refrigerator is the mind of god. But humans seem to form secret societies that do horrorific battles over who put the keys where, and nobody ever seems to find them, so we won't be going anywhere soon.

    I thought the way they killed him was far from merciful. Maybe hemlock and a choice to drink it would have been better.

    check this: full of 17's and 72's and 28's

  23. ... I don't think the key/refrigerator metaphor works. ...The "I don't think" part of the statement tells me you are only making an assumption of the outcome based on what you believe.

    There is an important lesson to learn there in regards to discovering/uncovering symbolism.

    ... The dude with the keys in the fridge WOULD see his keys everywhere, but he would never find them til he opened the fridge.

    Unfortunately without conducting the experiment yourself you will never really "KNOW".
    The experimenter would not see 'his real keys' everywhere, as that would be hallucination.

    ... he would also never stop looking, proly, til he found them. ...Wouldn't it be odd to continue to look for them after you've found them?

    ... Of course he would also have to be an idiot to put them in the fridge. A conspiracy theorist. ...Interesting way to attempt to create an association:
    Conspiracy theorist ... Idiot.

    The word IDIOT has interesting origins. Historically it meant "AN ORDINARY CITIZEN NOT INVOLVED IN GOVERNMENT" (from Gr. IDIOTES) and "A PRIVATE PERSON".

    In actuality, the correct application of the noun "IDIOT" would be for one who assumes that conspiracies don't exist.

    ... Every tale of death and redemption is mythical....Indeed it is the realm of myth as nobody is "completely certain" about DEATH. (Even when we are)

    ... We haven't really found anything here, despite the brilliant analysis, and we will all keep looking, proly....The use of WE is interesting. I would have said "I", but to each their own idioms.

    ... Chris is suggesting only that myth never dies and recreates itself unconsciously eternally. But we already knew that...."WHY doesn't myth ever die?" is the question that needs to be asked...

    ... The keys are the myth, and the refrigerator is the mind of god....Then GOD would have put the keys there and not the experimenter, or is there a difference?

    ... But humans seem to form secret societies that do horrorific battles over who put the keys where, and nobody ever seems to find them, so we won't be going anywhere soon....Indeed a common assumption is that "WE" put the keys there.

    WV: dinessis

  24. I look at it this way- you can't just say "E=MC2," you gotta also do the math...

  25. Your metaphor doesn't work because everything is everywhere always.

    Chris proves it every day.

    Good luck finding your keys!

    Put it this way: When Michael Clayton stops his car just before it explodes: if there was a cow on the hill, the cow would be the milky way, and he would be who? Horus? or Re? or both? If there were birds on the hill he would be Daedulus or Thoth or the Birdman of Alcatraz. If there was a scarecrow he would be the Tinman. If there was just the sky he would be the consort of oh never's all symbolic. it all fits a myth somewhere. You are doing something important when you assemble a jigsaw puzzle in your mind.

    That's Entertainment!

  26. Well, as we soon shall see, Pygmyie, Mithraism is different and very much relevant to what is happening today. And it's this thread that is one of the reasons I shifted this blog to bigger posts.

    In the meantime, anyone interested should do a "Mithras" search at the top of the page there to prepare for the next big Mithraic-oriented post, which will be up within the next three weeks. I promise it will all fall together....

  27. 'Abo..solutely' Mithraism is important for both the occult aspects and mainstream religion connections to the big western 3 religions of TODAY - Christianity, Judaism, Islam.
    (and to a lesser known degree (pun intended) in Freemasonry (Blue Lodge) and the Scottish/York Rites)

    While I focus on the Egyptian connections, (afterall we all gotta do something to distinguish ourselves in the blog~o~sphere right!?:) I personally feel that Mithraism is likely the most direct historical connection to what we are "experiencing" today.


  28. pygmy, don't take me the wrong way... I'm not knocking ya! Challenging for better explanations, maybe...
    But we certainly agree on the point that it is ALL symbolic. Even our explanations of what we experience and see are symbolic.

    Though we differ on the keys, I would still enjoy reading what you have to say!

    That's what I truly appreciate about Chris's wonderful work on this Blog (and his others as well). They're like a Blog~o~Forum ! You get this wonderful mashup of minds exploring the topics... and everyone benefits.


  29. The problem with your metaphor Strange-i, is that it is purely physical, (plus I didn't put THE myth into the universe, as the dude put his keys into the fridge) whereas myth is ethereal. (mostly) At least keep the metaphor in the ideational world. Lets say this; Yer trying to lose a little weight for yr girl, on a little diet and there is a day old homemade fresh garlic whole wheat pizza in the fridge. Yer in your room, and the cat steps on a frisbee. You already had lunch, but YOU get hungry.

    Is it in your room or in the fridge?

    Anyway my point is that you should rilly check this Bill Cooper piece on the Gnostics and Secret Societies (so far nothing on Mithraism, but it's pretty much the same I'll bet) and PLEASE tell me what you think. He's almost as amazing as Chris. And he's dead. Killed by a deputy's bullet. And that deputy might've had the double involuted triangle on his uniform. Oy gevalt

    again, thanks for everything!

    and PEACE!

  30. the man, the myth, & the legend, George Clooney himself is coming to my hometown to shoot a movie and 250 local boys(18+) get to be an extra, talk about six degrees of syncronicity-mysticism

  31. Hey Strange-I. Thanks for the response to my question.

    If you in fact find them in your bedroom then it is all simply a matter of what you focus on. If you do not find them in your bedroom, there's much more to it than just focus and perception.
    /end quote

    Is there? and if there is, what is there? you fail to deliver, as a lot of people do occupied by these topics.
    If you have to nail it down you cant, why? because its a personal experience.
    And since Heisenbergs uncertainty principle we know, that you "change" or "create" the outcome by measuring it.
    There is nothing "more to it" as you said.
    Its just what you see and perceive, so au contraire my friend... It´s ALL about perception and cultural imprint.
    Even different cultures have different archetypes.
    And that was my point.
    If you concentrate your mind on stuff like this, its that stuff you´re going to see, like a tunnel-reality as Robert Anton Wilson said.

    "Truth" is always your own personal truth, nobody elses.
    And if i choose not to be affected by that "evil" or "devious" magic", than it simply doesnt affect me.
    Thats the power i was given, everything starts existing the moment i perceive it, and crumbles into nothingness, the moment i turn away.

    Greetings from Germany

  32. Skinjob,

    Is there? and if there is, what is there? you fail to deliver, as a lot of people do occupied by these topics.
    If you have to nail it down you cant, why? because its a personal experience.
    I certainly hope that "fail to deliver" portion of your comment was a generality and not something more directed at me!

    And while it certainly is difficult to "nail down" in simple terms that is, the difficultly arises not from lack of conceptual understanding but rather a lack of words and definitions to adequately describe the observance.

    "Truth" is always your own personal truth, nobody elses.
    And if i choose not to be affected by that "evil" or "devious" magic", than it simply doesnt affect me.
    Thats the power i was given, everything starts existing the moment i perceive it, and crumbles into nothingness, the moment i turn away.
    While my beliefs are more along the lines of the interconnectedness of things (and the ultimate connection to a single source which is multiple in nature) I would tend to disagree.

    and Truth IS Truth regardless of perspective. Truth, Opinion, personal perspective and perception are often confused.

    I do agree that how others' energies affect you is indeed under your personal control as I've stated the very same regarding "evil" and "devious magick" here before.

    However, everything does not crumble into nothingness the moment you turn away. In fact, even if all experimenters turn away, it will not crumble into nothingness... So there's definitely more to it.

    I provide you a teaser summary description of my perception, seeing as Chris commented on E=MC2...
    As it is a topic I will elucidate in my future articles on my blog, I'll keep it brief here.

    In the beginning was the sentient all-encompassing single Energy (GOD) of a specific frequency.

    The energy varied its frequency throughout itself and from itself manifested the ATOM in the material/physical realm.

    The ATOM and the energy begat another ATOM.

    The ATOM and the ATOM and the energy begat another ATOM.
    so on and so forth.

    All the ATOMs believe themselves to be individuals, because they can not see the energy which manifested them and connects them.

    Each ATOM believes itself an individual when it is not. It is the physical/material manifested form of the ONE Energy.

    There is only ONE thing manifesting materially as many things that falsely believe they're separate from the ONE thing, the ONE Energy. The ONE Energy flows through all of creation and every being.

    This energy combined with the ATOM is also constantly organizing itself into vessels for the individual expression of being and GOD consciousness to inhabit. The vessels take many forms. From just a few ATOMs to the largest Galaxies. The size and alignment with the source GOD energy affects its degree of influence on the localized creation fabric.

    Without the source "energy of GOD" there would be no ATOM and thus no material vessel for the individual expression of the being and GOD consciousness to inhabit.

    When our thoughts and emotions are at peace we are in tune with the underlying GOD energy and thus a conscious part of creation. We are able, to a somewhat limited localized degree, to consciously participate in the creation process. When our thoughts and emotions are negative, we may begin to manifest them in the fabric of creation.

    Should the one source energy, which strives to maintain its creative purity, begin to sense a negative destructive influence by a conscious vessel or being speading throughout the fabric of creation, a limiting disconnect of the individual ATOMs responsible is enforced. And thus, for a time, they are in a fallen state not completely disconnected from the One Energy, as they could not remain in existence without it, but temporarily excluded from the creation process - Until they once again regain their harmony with the One Energy. The one Energy will also push the negative destructive influence out of itself and into a conscious vessel for transmutation to a harmonious state.


  33. Not nagging this time. Just thought I'd let you know I built a Squidoo lens about Alan Cabal that might interest you. This Michael Clayton thing is fascinating.

  34. Looks great, Raymond. Appreciate the article links.

  35. Dear Chris-

    Here's something you'll find interesting. The British government has just declassified a whole slew of UFO files that had been classified. This apparently happened today ( Wednesday )
    Here's a good CNN LInk:
    Hope you find it useful!


  36. Hi Chris,

    I saw "Michael Clayton" today, actually I recorded it after I watched "Beowulf". Talk about mythical overload!

    Chris, "Michael Clayton" is as powerful as your post. It's sheer genius how you congregated your thoughts here. I agree with the myth needing to stay beyond our grasp for this movie. But it was just as powerful as the blatant mythical lessons in "Beowulf". In fact, I would suggest that some might want to watch both "Beowulf" and "Michael Clayton" in the same sitting. Talk about being jacked in to primeval consciousness!

    I absolutely loved this movie! And Chris, you were spot on with the assassination scene of Arthur appearing exactly as it occurs in the Tauroctony! I saw it exactly as you described and I concur with the poisoning by means of snake and scorpion (needles, injections between the toes no less!) This scene is burnished in my mind and it is a movie scene that I will never forget!

    Thanks so much for your insight on this film! The mythology of "Michael Clayton" felt as comfortable and as familiar as a favorite dream. I think the collective conscious deserved the Oscar!

  37. Chris,

    BTW, the mythology of "Michael Clayton" felt real and natural.

    It makes you feel connected to reality not disjointed like the clanging and clacking of giant robots in "in your face" films like "Transformers"!

  38. I'm so happy you watched it, Soapie. Now go read the Mithraic liutrgy post again! =)

  39. Absolutely brilliant piece. Thoroughly enjoyed this, thank you!