The Ikean Gnostic : An Esoteric Allegory

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What to do with an advertisement like this?  I recently viewed  Ikea’s “the future of Scandinavian design” commercial that features a brief (link here), one minute composition of images that left me questioning what I had just witnessed.  I wanted to pass on the advert, but felt there was so much intended, sacred meaning attached to the commercial, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had seen.  With the framework of an ancient cosmogony, a few Jungian texts, and other scattered books, a potential message presented itself to this researcher.  

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What are your first thoughts regarding the commercial after your first view?  Is this an ad designed to trigger a response in the human brain to associate Ikea items with wealth, luxury, and the sacred?  An ad created by a marketing agency whose team members, inspired by a Roger Sterling acid trip in Mad Men, possibly explored the indulgence of some psychotropic drugs to create a marketing advert? Or is this commercial another mainstream advertisement that is intentionally layered in deep, occulted symbolism that expresses a message with intention?  The first two explanations are of course possible contenders for the basis of the creation of this wonderful, surreal, Dada-esque short advertisement; but what is the fun in that?  Let’s take a look at the potential third motive: the intended esoteric and occult symbolism designed to be hidden in plain sight.  Yet before I dive into the various symbols of the commercial, I want to present a cosmogonical archetype as a reference point in which the Ikean short possibly makes some sense…

A Brief Summary of the Cosmogony of Pherecydes (or a Cosmogony I Found Useful)

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No, it isn’t quite Pythagoras, but rather a potential mentor of Pythagoras by the name of Pherecydes of Syros.  More information on this figure, which surprisingly, has very little literature available for purchase on the main book vendor sites (at least at reasonable prices) can be found here.

The majority of information online highlights his possible correspondence with the great philosophers of his time, such as Thanes and Pittacus, and his knowledge of the Phoenician School of Mysteries as the basis for his philosophical scheme of the cosmos.  Before diving into the schema of his cosmogony, I did find two fun facts on his life regarding his possible clairvoyant and/or experiencer abilities.  According to Thomas Stanley’s 1656 treatise The History of Philosophy in Eight Parts, legend has it that:

  • Pherecydes, upon drinking water in Syros, stated that within three days there would be an earthquake on the island; this foresight allegedly proved to be correct
  • In Juno’s Temple at Janus, Pherecydes beheld a ship in full sail entering the harbor; he stated the ship would not dock and upon his comments, a storm erupted in the harbor and sank the ship immediately

A historical figure with a mystical quality attached, Pherecydes was said to later instruct and mentor Pythagoras.  His cosmology states that there were three unique stages : “the production of the universe, the primordial cosmic struggle, which brings about the final organization of the universe.” A  Briefly, highlights of this schema include (all quotes taken from A):

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Max Ernst tapping into the primordial waters
  • Three primordial beings that exist eternally: Zas, Chronos, and Chthonia
    • Zas preceded both Chronos and Chthonia
    • Zas represents the aether, Chronos marks time, and Chthonia symbolizes the Earth
      • Chthonia initially symbolizes the Earth in its unstructured form; “she is the moist and chaotic matter in which the elements of earth are still mingled”
    • The aether is the active, or masculine principle, the earth is the passive or feminine principle, and time allows for the production of both polarities
  • Zas falls in love with Chthonia, transforms himself into Eros, and begins his reign as artificer or the demiurge of the universe
    • It is at this point the known Universe begins
  • Prior to this phase wherein the dyad (Zas and Chthonia) succeeds the monad (Zas or possibly something else), the original state of the dyad was ancient water; chaotic, full of antagonisms, and opinion (a mixture of true and false)
  • Zas and Chthonia, the active/passive union, begins the process of structuring chaos; fragments of the abyss and chaos begin to be sown together and harmonized into union
    • It is at this time that Chthonia transforms into the duality of Ge and Ogen, earth and ocean, and the eventual Earth as we know it today
  • As the great demiurge begins its work, Chronos then generates fire, breath, and water
  • This generation of elements creates a multitude of cosmic and elementary gods, and each god is divided into a larger group of one of five populations
  • It is also at this time that Orphioneus is born of the marriage of Zas and Cthonia
  • Ophioneus, or Ophion, begins a war against Cronos (not Chronos of primordial being status…it’s interesting to note that THIS Cronos of war is referred to as Saturn, and not the original member of the primordial triad being referred to as Saturn)
    • Cronos is victorious, and Ophion is banished to the Ocean, and Cronos is given heaven as a spoils of war
  • However, heaven, still in its infancy, still resides in an “imperfectly organized condition, wherein still reigns the spirit of discord, of hostility and of darkness.”

At some point, Zas regains control as chief architect of the universe over Cronos, but here the method in which he does so is uncertain.  All that being said…

  • Zas is the last demiurge, completes the work of creation, and brings the universe to final completion
  • In turn, he creates a magnificent veil, or scarf, to impart to Ge; the veil is the figure of the universe, the Harmonia; it carries on it images of the earth and the ocean and is placed over an oak tree
    • The veil features the Earth at the center of the cosmos, surrounded by the sphere of heaven, the sphere of the stars, and the Ocean that encompasses it all
  • The universe, now definitely organized by Zas, with the assistance of Harmonia, is depicted by Pherecydes as “an immense tree, furnished with wings to promote its rotatory motion, a tree whose roots were plunged into the abyss, and whose extended branches sustained the unfolded veil of the firmament decorated with the types of all terrestrial and celestial forms.”

I’ll return back to this paradigm once the analysis of the commercial’s symbolism is complete in order to make sense of the material (at least so that it attempts to makes sense to me).

The Quick Recap of the Ikea-HAY Commercial

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Getting back to the task at hand, let’s now review the commercial.  The commercial, at a brief 1:02, is beautifully constructed and flows wonderfully with the sparse music that accompanies the imagery.  The commercial begins with the camera image zoomed in, and upside down, on a glass sphere/ball that is rolling toward the camera.  As the camera expands away from the ball, the camera is flipped right side up, and highlights the ball traveling across a wood parquet herringbone floor.  The imagery at this time also highlights three, white, spare rooms with sunlight flowing in from the right side of the image.

After setting the ball/sphere as the focus point, the camera then pans to a side view of the ball.  The glass sphere is seen moving from left to right, and is possibly the third room/chamber, with three windows facing the sun.  As the ball proceeds across the floor, the camera now moves back to the first room (from which the ball originated), and features a white monolith.  As the sun begins to fade into dusk, the white monolith slowly begins to melt into the floor, until the room is dark and the monolith is no more.

Upon the disintegration of the white monolith, the camera now moves to what is possibly the fifth and final room the glass ball is traveling too; here, we again see darkness.  The wooden parquet floor ruptures, cubic forms are scattered, and from beneath the floor, a rattan coil rises into room above it like a slowly revolving serpent.

As the glass sphere continues to roll toward the final room, we then see a spool of wool thread, featured as Ypperlig, unwind from a spool.  As the sphere continues moving forward, the thread floats into the air behind it, and creates a  large, possibly wool scarf that floats, hauntingly, in the air behind the sphere.   With the floating scarf slowly rotates in the air, the camera image fades away.  Once the screen is dark, we finally move to the end scene wherein we again see the lonely, spherical glass ball rolling, slowly, from left to right, headed toward, we assume, from the room with the white monolith to the final room containing the rattan coil.

Brief, and to the point, this fantastic Kubrick-eque commercial hopes the viewer is to become curious about the future state of Scandinavian interior design.  Ikea’s hope, of course, is that you will not only be curious about the future collection, but that you will spend one’s hard earned currency for material goods to furnish one’s home.

Key Symbols Included 

The Glass Sphere as the Great Round, the Ouroboros, and the Great Mother

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The Great Round

The glass ball rolling along the floor, moving left to right on the screen, is an interesting object to attach the viewer’s focus and attention to.  Yet what could it possibly be representing?

Beginning with German psychoanalyst and dream symbol researcher Dr. Holger Bertrand Flöttmann research, the glass sphere “represents femaleness, the Great Round, the Great Mother and fertility.”1   The Great Round and Great Mother are interesting constructs in and of themselves.  Jungian Erich Neumann, in his book The Origins and History of Consciousness, attaches to the idea of the sphere (and circle) as equivalent to the philosophical World Egg.  The sphere carries with it the construct of the Self Contained, and with it represents both the “nucleus of the beginning” and the “germ from which…the world arises.” The sphere contains all opposites and represents perfection; there exists no feminine/masculine, good/evil within the Great Round.

The Great Round, as it were, could also be considered the cycle of consciousness emergence, dissolution, and resurrection into the maternal plemora.3  It is the shape of original perfection; the shape alleged to have been used by the great Demiurge or Artificer to create the world we live on.  Jung concentrated on the alchemical meaning behind the Great Round, or Rotundum, in his work Alchemical Studies, and casually states the sphere to represent Okeanos, or the “origin and seed” of all the gods, given its ability to split a metal  or prima material into the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth.4  Jung further goes on to state that the Rotundum, because of its roundness and wholeness, represents the Anthropos, or Original Man.5

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The Ouroboros containging the tetrakys

Returning back to Neumann’s research, he also correlates the concept of the Great Round to that of the ouroboros; the alchemical symbol depicting a single serpent eating its tail.  The serpent “slays, weds, and impregnates itself.  It is man and woman, begetting and conceiving, devouring and giving birth, active and passive, above and below, at once.” The ouroboros is regarded as having a dual nature, as it balances the ‘active and passive, masculine and feminine, which constitute the essence of the creative power in the eternal cycle of birth and death.”  It is a symbol of time and life; a cyclical form that is able to pass through all things.  It is the stage that exist prior to the delineation and separation of opposites. 6,7

The Urobous is the most ancient deity in the prehistoric world and known as the All One;  the Babylonians referred to it as the Heavenly Serpent, the Greeks referred to it as Leviathan, Aion, and Oceanus.  It is the primal being that states it is both the Alpha and the Omega.  The Ourobous,or Great Round, also carries with it the responsibility of being both the Womb and the Father and Mother representing the Universe and the symbol of eternal life.

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Concurrent to the Great Round/ouroboros is the the Great Mother.  The Jungian archetype of the Great Mother carries with it a similar aggregate of dualism.  As a potential theoretical image of the grander collective consciousness, the Great Mother carries the positive / negative polarity.  The good mother reflects fertility, sympathy, growth and wisdom.  The bad mother is the “Queen of the Night;”  it contains “anything secret, hidden, dark; the abyss, the world of the dead, anything that devours, seduces, and poisons, that is terrifying and inescapable like fate.”8

If we take a Jungian / alchemical approach, we see the glass sphere as the Great Round; the ouroboros or Great Mother that is self-sufficient, self-contained, and an aggregate of all forces, energies, and materials of the larger cosmos, ready to be differentiated and delineated at some future point of time and space.  It represents time, birth, death, and resurrection prior to a genesis.

The Herringbone Pattern

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Hand drawn creative herringbone pattern, perfectly seamless composition for print or web projects

The oak, herringbone floor upon which the Great Round or Great Mother moves from left to right was somewhat difficult to interpret at first. With a bit of luck, however, I found several books with references to and regarding the herringbone design.  One potential symbolic meaning of the design is found in James Churchward’s The Sacred Symbols of Mu, wherein he states that a possible interpretation is one of the herringbone being a universal ancient symbol of fire from the abyss, or a symbol of molten fire (or fire with flames).9

Another interesting interpretation of the pattern comes from the book Earthway: A Native American’s Visionary’s Path to Total Mind, Body, and Spirit. Author and researcher Mary Summer Rain states that herringbone pattern is a sign of “a logical mind…the pattern symbolizes one who will not judge, but rather weight the facts before coming to a conclusion.”10

One last symbol of interest is found in Ariel Golan’s Myth and Symbol: Symbolism in Prehistoric Religions.  One’s initial argument could be made, Golan argues, that the herringbone pattern represents the skeletal form of a fish.  Yet he goes on to persuade the reader that the herringbone pattern actually represented to unique cultures of humanity the symbol of wheat, or a possible outcome of the Black God, the god of vegetation.  Wheat is an interesting possible interpretation, as wheat has typically been associated with birth, death, and resurrection.  It has played multiple roles in various religions and mythologies, but is unique to the Osiris mythos, which, as well see shortly, also makes a possible appearance in the commercial.

If the floor is indeed oak, I personally find that interesting, as it correlates well to the cosmogony briefly discussed previously.

The Cross, the Triad, and the Pentemychos (or Pentad)

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The Cross

The image above, wherein the glass sphere is rolling along the floor, depicts a subset of three crosses embedded in windows in the main room.  The glass sphere also appears to be traveling the length of five separate rooms or chambers.  Continuing along this path of analysis, let’s breakdown the cross, the triad, and the pentad/pentemychos as symbols for a possible allegorical meaning.

The cross, of course, is a very ancient human symbol.  Its first possible meaning was to be a visual symbol representing the four cardinal points; north, south, east and west.  Humanity existed at the intersection of these four directions.  As a symbol of a point of contact between the celestial and earth planes, the cross’s horizontal axis signifies the material, the negative, the feminine, the passive, the earthly, and of time and space; the vertical axis representing a pathway to ascension, also implies the masculine, the positive, the spiritual, and the intellectual.  Being a symbol of conjunction and the manifestation of a single point of duality, it is the antithesis of the ouroboros.  The ouroboros, as earlier noted, proceeds the genesis of the cosmos and order as a form of chaos.  The cross represents a “breakdown” of the Great Round; a denotation, demarcation, or delineation of found within the ouroboros. 6,7

The Triad or Three Crosses

The use of three crosses is also of interest;  this indeed could perhaps be representative of the triad.  Three is considered to be the first number that is uneven, as one, or the monad, is possibly both even/uneven, male/female; three, is the perfect number, and being an extension of both the monad and duad, allows the potential of the monad to extend and advance into actuality.14  

The triad aside from its religious and mythological connotations (Father/Sun/Holy Ghost, Osiris/Isis/Horus, Zas/Cththonia/Chronos, etc etc etc), also carries with it significance in regards to three crosses.  Three crosses uniquely implies association to:

  • The three crosses of Calvary, or unrepented sin, purgatory, and self-sacrificing love
  • Three different states of man: punishment, penitence, and holiness
  • The Divine Comedy on the material stage

Of course, this really is only the tip of the iceberg, and one could devote their entire life to the symbolic implication of the triad and three crosses; yet we move on to the…

The Pentemychos and Pentad

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In respect to the Pentad, or the five rooms or chambers, we return to Pherecydes of Syros, introduced to the Pythagorean thought the ideas that the cosmos consisted of five elements; water, fire, air, earth, and the aether.  Pherecydes also taught of the pentemychos, or the five interwoven caves, caverns, gates, recesses, or chambers through which transmigration of the soul must proceed until reincarnation.  The pentemyhos existed in Tartaros, which was guarded by the Harpia and Thyella.  Tartaros has been inferred by some writers/ researchers as being a place of Luciferian worship or hell itself, but other research has discussed the possibility that Tararos is the great abyss of chaos, from which order and the world is constructed.  The pentemychos is considered to be unlimited by space and time, and ultimately allows for the order of the universe to arise and take form.  The pentad also represented the universal structural transformation embedded in the process of creation.  The pentemychos, as a function of the Pythagorean Formula (wherein the monad squared + duad squared = 5, which in turn leads to formulation of the Golden Ratio (1 + √5 / 2 = 1.618…), provides the pattern upon which creation rests.13

The White, Rectangular Prism (or the Kubrick Monolith)

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Returning again to a favorite subject of mine, the platonic solid known as the hexahedron, or cube, the Ikea commercial features a white, rectangular prism, or cuboid, that sits in a room from which the great, glass round originates.  What can the cube possibly mean in this context?

Rehashing again some of my favorite books on the use and meanings of symbols, let’s take a look at high level of what the cube is meant to represent:

  • A symbol of stability,Earth’s foundation, and connected to the number four
    • Four is to represent the four elements of material world (water, fire, air, and earth)
  • When taken together with the other primordial state, the sphere, the cube represents a final stage characterized by idleness or permanency
  • The cube represents the truth, as it were, as its shape is constant from various points of view
  • In alchemy, the cube represents salt; the synthesis and crystallization of mercury and sulphur

Returning to the Kubrick monolith…the monolith, as Cirlot’s A Dictionary of Symbols, is associated to the Egyptian god Osiris.  Per an analysis of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the monolith is a “determinative sign associated with the name of the god Osiris and signifying to ‘last.’”  A symbol made distinct by light, the monolith, as identified with Osiris, is symbol of resurrection and life eternal.  The celebration of the resurrection or reassembly of Osiris after his conflict with Set provided for the erection of the monolith.  The monolith celebrates “unity counterbalancing multiplicity, fragmentation, and disintegration.”  Cirlot also points out secondary meaning attached to the monolith, which include worship to the masculine, solar, and procreative principle.

The Spool of Thread,  Floating Woven Scarf, and the Cosmic Veil

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This one I found very interesting in respect to the analysis; at first, I wasn’t sure what the possible motive to include a spool of yarn/thread and a floating scarf or  would be.  Most first order summaries of the advert online go the simplistic route and state things like “the apartment has a poltergeist” or “an exorcism is needed after this advertisement.”  Possible rationales, but I found another interesting, potentially useful allegory to this series of images.

The spool of thread features the word “YPPERLIG;”  a quick search on the Google machine defines the Norwegian/Scandinavian word as “excellent, superb, great.”  Thread is considered to be an ancient symbol of connection; connection between the any of the various planes of spiritual, material and social existence.  As the thread slowly unwinds counterclockwise (which is a spiral considered to represent Poseidon),  it’s thread into the aether, as it were, and begins to generate a series of patterns and weave the possible scarf of the mother goddess; the mother who rules destiny and manages the illusion of life in the material or earthly plane.  This unspooling of thread leads into the idea of a woven scarf , and with that in mind…

The Floating Woven Scarf

Aside from the idea of the scarf of the great mother goddess, Rene Guenon and Agnus Macnad, in their work The Symbolism of the Cross, discuss a slightly more abstract possibility regarding the outcome of weaving.  The key to the analysis is the actual process of weaving cloth, and the use of warp and weft.

Warp is defined as the “threads that run the length of the yardage and parallel to the selvedge.  Weft threads run perpendicular to the warp threads, and run side to side (more info here).

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Allegorically, Guenon and Macnad state that existence of any being is dependent upon the meeting of a thread of warp and a thread of weft.  The warp represents the concepts defining an array of all worlds and all states that are connected by each warp strand; the weft represents a series or change of events produced in each state or world.  Manifestation of a unique existence it ultimately represented by the warp and weft.  Or better yet (the authors are much more poetic than me), the warp and weft that “meets at a given point corresponds to a definite state of existence, and the intersection of the two threads determines the relation of the being, as regards its manifestation in that state, with the cosmic environment in which it is thus situated.”

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The Great Cosmic Veil?

Sure, the floating scarf could be a poltergeist, but I tend to think of it is a symbol and outcome of multiple worlds, multiple states, and multiple times of a great illusion that is our material world in which the Great Round exists. And yet again, returning back to the Phereceydes cosmogony, the cosmic veil represents creation of the Earth; the veil represents the Harmonia and the connections that hold the Earth, the heavenly sphere, the starry firmament, and the primordial ocean together.

The Rattan Coil

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Saturn? Set? The Great Serpent?  The Tree of Life? Or something more primordial?

This image is one of the more striking in the short video. At first, I thought the image to be of ill intent. A serpent-esque type form coils and breaks free from a plane below and into the plane above; a snake type shape that is rising from below as the sun sets in the West. One could probably argue that this is indeed the Great Serpent of ill-conceive, the Tower of Babel, Set/Typhon, or possibly the spinning Saturnian itself rising high into the heavens as the Solar God ceases to exist. It could very well be strangling a God of Life, the Sun, or even the symbol of the male reproductive spirit. However, before getting too far ahead of myself (which seems to always be the case in this area of study), and in keeping with the themes of this study, I want to begin this segment with the ancient symbol of the caduceus.

Most books attempting to define the symbolic meaning of the caduceus focus on the Roman mythological thread, wherein the god Mercury (or Hermes), the messenger of the gods, intervened on fight between two serpents; Mercury therein through his staff into the conflict, and the two serpents reconciled and curled around the rod. In this context, we have instruction that the caduceus serves a symbol of moral balance and good conduct; the perfect construct for a rod of a god of commerce to represent commercial success.
Prior to the Romans, the Mesopotamians considered the caduceus representative of a symbol of the god who cures all illness. Other researchers have speculated that the caduceus represents either “the companion of the Great Goddess of Carthage, the Phoenician god of the sun, or of the solar heat, Baal Hamman.” 15

In Mackey’s An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences, the caduceus is a symbol of immortality.  As the herald’s staff, it is the attribute of a life restoring God.  It represents a magic wand that was utilized by an ancient deity to bring the dead back to life; it is a symbol of resurrection.

The most telling symbolism implied by this commercial, I believe, is the alchemical usage of the caduceus. The spinning of the double serpent conveys opposites that manifest of any dualistic possibility; “illness and health, good and evil, fire and water, binding and loosing-opposites ultimately to be united.”16  As Jung states, the caduceus is a symbol of the foreshadowing of coniunctio, as forms in the guise of animals who spend their time fighting and copulating The serpent’s ability to shed its skin and renew its apparent youth year over year attaches generative energy and immortality.

And finally, returning to the idea of antiquity, Phoenicia, and Pherecydes, we have Zas, the last demiurge, completing his work on the universe by definitely organizing the universe. With the assistance of Harmonia and the Veil that carries with it the images of material existence, the universe is symbolized as an immense, rotating tree; a tree whose roots are fastened deep into the abyss, and whose extended branches bear the weight and structure of the firmament, holding all celestial and terrestrial forms in place. The tree, as depicted above, is representing the totality of the universe.

A Possible Esoteric Analysis

With all that being said, what do I think the commercial is intending to covey to the viewer? To be honest, I initially thought the short video to be a parable of good losing to evil.  There is the possible idea that Osiris has finally lost his eternal battle with Set, and in turn, the world ceases to exist and Set rules supreme with humanity damned to darkness, forever.  As with most research in this community of researchers, this is most certainly a potentially more popular perspective.  Who wouldn’t want to read about the ruling class using a popular, home furniture store advertisement to sneak in a message regarding their personal hope that Osiris finally loses, and the Great Serpent Typhon reigns supreme?  While I’ll be the first to admit that, sure, this is a possibility, I would like to construct an alternate message that is potentially hidden beneath the images of the commercial.

Birth, Death, and Resurrection Amid the Construction of the Universe

Deconstructing the images, we get the following : a white monolith or cubic formation releasing a glass sphere.  The glass sphere is traveling through five chambers, with three crosses illuminated upon each chamber, shining down upon the glass sphere, upon a herringbone pattern oak floor, against one cycle of the sun rising and setting in the sky.  As the ball continues to traverse, the sun sets and a) disintegrates the monolith and b) allows the caduceus to spring forth from below.  Along the glass sphere’s travels, we see a spool of thread unwinding into the air, and floating scarf hovering over the oak parquet flooring.  The glass sphere will ultimately continue to roll until enters the final, fifth room and encounters the chamber of the caduceus.

Taking a deep breath (that being me), and attempting to also traverse this 1:02 of imagery after all of these definitions I’ve made you read through, I would argue that:

  • The monolith represents the monad, the male procreative principle, the “thing” which existed before the dyad
    • The monolith or cube represents the prime source or origination of the primordial ocean of chaos and exists in chamber or phase one of the pentymychos
  • The monolith is lit by the rays of the Solar Sun
    • The Solar Sun represents time, or Chronos
  • The white monolith discharges the dyad: the glass sphere, the Great Round, the ouroboris, or the great cosmic seed
    • The Great Round/ouroboros is the all encompassed universe; it is the aggregate of everything that exists, indefinite of time
    • The Great Round is possibly parallel to the archetypes of Zas and Chthonie
  • As the sun sets and the the Great Round is discharged, the monolith collapses subsequent to the generation of the ouroboros in the first chamber of the pentymychos
    • The pentymychos represents the five phases of the monad’s program; the crosses in each phase represent the delineation of the ouroboros, or the manifestation of dichotomies from the greater aggegate
  • The Great Round begins the generation of our universe in chamber/phase one of the pentymychos and moves through the primordial ocean
  • As the Great Round evolves, five times, from a lower to higher phase of the pentymychos, it passes in front of the illuminated Triad of the Cross
    • At this point, the ourboros begins to delinate
    • Returning to our cosmogony reference, this is where the duad begins to separate: ie the separation of Zas and Cthontie
    • The Triad of illumined crosses cause the potential of the monad to progress into actuality
  • As the ouroboros traverses into later phases of the program or pentymychos, the cosmic veil begins to be assembled
    • Again, the floating veil or scarp, represents the time and space of the material world as we know it
  • Finally, the ouroboros makes its way to the final chamber, the fifth phase of the penemychos, and in turn completely dissolves the aggregate into the discrete
    • The caduceus, or entertwined serpents or tree, represents the final universe’s design
    • The caduceus dismantles the aggregate of the ouroboros and generates duality
    • The archetype of Zas carrying out the monad’s original purpose; the generation of the material universe as we currently experience it

I Want Linear!

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That’s my take, at the very least.  One of my problems is that I want abstract ideas and images to form into a nice, logical, and linear progression.  My brain wants to make sense of the sacred, whether it be 2001: A Space Odyssey, Slaughterhouse Five, or even this Ikea ad, and wants to fit into some potentially long lost Mystery School train of thought.  Is this commercial attempting to be symbolize alchemy, freemasonry, cosmogony, Jung, or something else?  Is there even a true Mystery School that exists and portends to enable its adepts to know the true reality of this plane of existence, or is that some romantic notion that sits collectively in our minds?   As always, I don’t pretend to know anything, but I do appreciate where the research takes me.

And with that being said, what is your take on the commercial?  I used the archetype of Pherecydes to attempt to put the symbolism into some context, but I would argue that his philosophy is in no way unique or intended (ie I’m sure there are other cosmogonies that fit much better to the symbolism analysed).  What things have I missed, misinterpreted, or possibly spaced out on?  I’d love to hear everyone’s take, and as always, collaborate on the material at hand.

References

A1837-1883 LF. The beginnings of history according to the bible and the traditions of oriental peoples.: From the creation of man to the deluge. United States: Hardpress Publishing; January 28, 2013.

  1. Flöttmann H. Flöttmann’s Scientific Encyclopedia Of Dream Symbols. Norderstedt: Books on Demand; 2012
  2. Neumann E, Jung CG, Hull RFC, Hull FCR. The origins and history of consciousness, Vol. 42. Princeton, NJ, United States: Princeton University Press; July 1, 1992.
  3. Dourley JP. Jung and his mystics: In the end it all comes to nothing. London, United Kingdom: Routledge; April 9, 2014.
  4. Jung CG. The collected works of C.G. Jung: V. 13: Alchemical studies. Adler G, Hull RFC, eds. United States: Princeton University Press; February 1, 1968.
  5. Jung CG, Hull RFC. Collected works of C.G. Jung, volume 9 (part 1): Archetypes and the collective unconscious. 2nd ed. Adler G, Sir R F C Hull, eds. United States: Princeton University Press; March 1, 2014.
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8 thoughts on “The Ikean Gnostic : An Esoteric Allegory

  1. Just a quick thought- the Rattan Coil- at first glance reminded me of a giant beanstalk. The Stalk had disrupted the “oak-herringbone” floor which in turn had connected the heavens and the earth. IKEA is of course Scandinavian, and in Norse Mythology you have the world tree- which this rattan coil resonates well IMO.

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    1. Most certainly I think that is at play here – maybe a spin on the wondrous tree of Yggdrasil? Also of interest is a green orb/sphere that passes near the spool – any thoughts on what that potentially was placed there for?

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      1. Possibly the creation “spark” or energy? Not sure, I actually didn’t even notice it until you pointed it out! The Cosmic seed?
        Watching again- the more I think your analogy here is spot on. It is a cosmic creation story- the scarf could also be symbolic of the “fabric” of space and time- which was “created” by the weaving of the thread. Yggdrasil ties (or weaves) it together perfectly.

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  2. Great article!!!
    Notes on the vid:Interesting that there is a BALL(earth) rolling over a flat plane and Icy white walls. The no trees in flat earth meme seems to be in there as well with the Giant tree thing coming out of geometric shapes on the floor. The melting white monolith symbolism is pretty dark to me. The crystal ball of course is a classic divination too.

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    1. My first thought on the melting monolith was dark too, but thought I’d put a more cosmic/primordial spin on it that was in line with the Jung symbolisms, Pythagorean tetrakys, and the cosmogony at hand…but yeah, it is anyone’s guess at what was intended. At the very least, if it was intended to be dark, a positive interpretation can’t be too bad…maybe reverse the original inversion back to the original state of positivity in this little corner of the world wide web with a bit of spellcraft myself (just kidding, I think…)? Thanks as always, Jim, for the feedback!

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  3. Pingback: Rosetta and Philae : An Isis Fairy Tale – Sagesigma Unbound

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