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The Black Book of Many Colours

A sura from the Axis mundi

Chris King

"The book is an amazing accomplishment, enjoyable to read and re-read."
Elaine Pagels, author of "The Gnostic Gospels""
"Incredible tour-de force! The implications of his interpretations of science and religion
for the environmental crisis are profound"
Carolyn Merchant author of "Radical Ecology" and "Earthcare"
"A spectacular work" Riane Eisler author of "The Chalice and the Blade".



The Black Book is both the doomsday book and the book of forgiveness in the re-flowering of immortal life on Earth. It is the requital in true love culminating the patriarchal epoch. Its blackness is totipotentiality pregnant within the void. Through its very blackness, it is the dispelling of evil. It is the healing of the war of light and darkness in the sacred marriage of dark and light - complementarity - the Tao of physics. This is at once peace - Sakina - the reunion between woman and man and between humanity and nature - Holy Matrimony.

It is the Book of Many Colours because it is the seed of unfolding diversity, through which the tree of life can unfurl. It liberates diversity in healing the war of darkness and light in the complementation of unity and diversity the pregnant dark and the many colours of the light represent. This is the healing of the Fall from Eden in the fruit of the knowledge of dark and light, healing analytic knowledge of the opposites in Wisdom, in the fruit of the tree of life.

The black and many coloured book is conceived as a cultural mandala of the millennium in transformation. It consists of several short chapters, some of which unveil cosmology, bioapocalypse and the injustices committed by religion, in pronouncing forgiveness, liberation and the healing of nature in the flowering of life on Earth.

The Black Book celebrates the return of the Queen of the South - "Black but comely" who shall rise up in judgement on the men of this generation - the Shulamite or darkened one, the repressed river of feminine Wisdom which forms the missing key to the sustainability of human culture and those to come, through the long-term investment in life the feminine generative strategy embraces.

The Black Book is our key to our awakening, to our cosmological coming of age in space-time, as a living part of the unfolding fabric of the sentient universe. The Black Book is thus the book of enlightenment in diversity.

Its promise is the promise of the rainbow,
sun and verdant moisture, life everlasting,
abundance bursting from fertile ground.

Complete downloadable pdf file of the Black Book (15 megs) under the title "Codex of the Tree of Life"


In her closing statement in 'The Curse of Cain', Regina Schwartz, whose name is itself a cognomen of the Shulamite Queen said: "My re-vision would produce an alternative Bible that subverts the dominant vision of violence and scarcity with an ideal of plenitude and its corollary ethical imperative of generosity. It would be a Bible embracing multiplicity instead of monotheism. And I hope that this description of the Bible will also serve to describe its future, that it will not only tell of proliferation, but that new versions, decrying the violence of monotheism, will proliferate. I anticipated concluding with the injunction from Augustine to 'close the Book.' For him, faith had superseded it; for me, its ancient agonistic values are far too dangerous to continue authorizing. The old 'monotheistic' Book must be closed so that the new books may be fruitful and multiply. After all, that was the first commandment."

Coincidentally I was working on the encyclopedia Genesis of Eden which was itself intended to become a bible of living diversity in the Wisdom tradition, celebrating in evolutionary time our cosmic coming of age in restoring the living diversity of the biosphere. I had conceived this as a scientific recapitulation of the biblical genesis, not to tread well-worn ground of traditional religious vision but to bring together the human stream of consciousness with the immensely elaborate physical world view we have recently come to understand as our cosmological becoming.

Central to this vision are two trends which are yet to be fully understood by the scientific community, even at the end of the twentieth century. The first is the cosmological nature of life and evolution as a fundamental interactive consequence of the processes of symmetry-breaking at our cosmic origin. The second is the mystery of subjective consciousness, which, although it manifests in ourselves at the 'pinnacle' of the evolutionary process, is likewise, in its elusive and paradoxical nature, a manifestation of fundamental dualities in cosmology expressed in the biological realm.

Complementing this scientific vision of conscious biocosmology is a deeper personal search for the thread of experiential knowing and existential meaning which connects all our lives into the fabric of existence. This is a search which has occupied shamans and sages through the entire development of human culture. It is the core of the religious experience and the essence which has driven all the great cultural and spiritual traditions. Following this search took me to the East to wander as a Sadhu and as a Sufi and to the deserts and jungles of the Western hemisphere to the sources of the eucharistic power plants of the shamanistic traditions of Native American cultures. These two became a counterpoint between the mysterious self or no-mind of the Eastern traditions of Vedanta and Buddhism and the sap and dew of earth-induced illumination in merging with nature.

Humanity is clearly coming of cosmic age in this century both in the all-encompassing tapestry of scientific discoveries, reaching from the quantum to the cosmos and from nucleic acids to the conscious brain. Although there are many more great discoveries to be made yet, most of the central details of how the universe works, and how life comes to exist and organisms come to be are already known. This is a process which cannot be repeated, unless we set ourselves back to the stone age, and although we have not yet completely elucidated the unified theory of everything, we are close enough to it that the broad outlines of our scientific world view are likely to remain with us not just for centuries or millennia to come but probably in evolutionary time as long as human life and culture last. Our culture shock and short-term view in this generation is thus anomalous in terms of both the past and the future.

At the same time we are causing a catastrophic impact on the planet, both in terms of in one generation plundering the best of its resources, destabilizing the climate and devastating the quality of its oceans and atmosphere, its forests, wetlands and even deserts and more acutely for our future in terms of its biodiversity, precipitating a mass extinction of life, potentially much more severe than that which wiped out the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. These actions, while understandable in terms of culture shock, are so foolish and based so much on short-term gain, personal selfishness and greed for ever more wealth with no sense of fairness and foresight for the generations that follow that they call into question the entire direction of human culture and raise the spectre of humanity being a suicidal species which could mar the living face of the planet and with it destroy ourselves.

Central to this dilemma is the advent of genetic engineering, because, although one can never stop the relentless march of evolution, by replacing natural diversity with monoclonal and genetically modified varieties which lack the characteristics for natural survival or carry alien genes which disrupt natural ecosystems we run the risk of undermining the very resources on which we depend, our food and medicinal species. For the first time in Earth's 3,900 million history of life the terminator gene threatens to break the immortal web of the germ line holding life financial hostage to corporate intellectual property rights.

Woven in with this exploitation is a fearsome militaristic paranoia and mutual suspicion between nations and between individuals sourced in competitive advantage, rather than trust and cooperation, which has led to a massive overkill of nuclear weapons, the invention of diabolical weapons from land-mines to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and a series of unrestrained technologies from the humble automobile, through heavy polluting industry to uncontrolled clearing for monoclonal agriculture farming and forestry to genetic technology which seriously pollute the planet and threaten to undermine the natural diversity of the species upon which we depend for our survival.

The human psyche is likewise divided between a materialist view, often based on hunger for wealth and power with no understanding of any meaning of purpose of life outside the pleasure principle of some chemical machine and traditional religious views which, while sometimes espousing social compassion and justice, remain caught in archaic modes of thought often based on the primacy of mind, a creator God spawning a clockwork universe, or a view of the material world as gross and illusory. This is a schizophrenic situation in which we seem to have completely lost sight of the immortal ongoing nature of life in the passage of the generations and any sense of creative wisdom or even compassion for living diversity and indeed our own offspring and descendents to ensure we leave the world a better place for those that follow.

Why does this situation exist? Is it intrinsic human, or biological weakness, or violence at the core? What then is the role of the human nurturing conscience and our all-consuming passion for sexual love winging universally on the airwaves? As I began to explore the social aspects of this problem, a variety of lines of research began to make it clearer and clearer that the problem did not source from an intrinsic evolutionary weakness of Homo sapiens, but from a severe and critical sexual imbalance in the relationships between the genders, which had occurred as the cultural phase of urban societies became established, concomitant with the rise of the major patriarchal religions. Rather than humanity being intrinsically flawed through some genetic original sin, it appeared that our evolutionary origins in egalitarian 'original virtue' fostered by female reproductive choice had become usurped by a cultural imbalance in which male reproductive imperatives had come to repress and sequester the female aspects of our evolutionary paradigm, in turn resulting in an epoch of dominion over nature through venture-capital exploitation. The root of our population crisis, ecocrisis, and militarization, and damaging human impact appeared to be a schism at the birth of urban culture in which male dominion had repressed an essential half of the human evolutionary endowment, the long-term generation-spanning investment of the female reproductive strategy, leaving only the spermatogenic venture-risk exploitation strategy with all its boom-bust instability, competitiveness and short term winner-take-all emphasis unbalanced and unhinged.

This motif ties in in a shocking way with the world's heritage of religious traditions and is expressed in stunning archetypal form in the founding Biblical myths of the Fall from Eden, the cursing of Eve and of nature, the retreat of God and successive historical episodes running through the rape of the sanctuaries by Josiah to the annihilation of the Goddess in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, the genocide of the European woman in the Inquisition's mediaeval witch burnings and the sequestering and repression of women through often violent means from stoning for adultery through to enforced veiling, circumcision and foot-binding. The monotheistic God began look more like an agent of the spermatogenic imperative "as the stars in the sky" rather than the fabled cosmic creator.

However lying much deeper in the stream of consciousness at the shamanistic, visionary or gnostic roots lies the ultimate mysterium tremendum of conscious being and the interconnectedness of all phenomena in the uniqueness of history, in which each of us participates through the agency of free-will. Suddenly this deeper level began to manifest in the complementation of the genders and of mind and body in all the cultural traditions in a converging theme of reconciliation or holy matrimony in the complementation of the Tao, in body-mind, spirit-nature, wave-particle, female-male, chaos-order. The problem wasn't the search for the divine, but the reconciliation of the warring opposites set at odds of dark and light in ultimate conflict by the male paradigm, when in reality the totality achieves its evolving complexity and new life and form through the interplay of these complements. Destiny seemed to be calling us all towards a synchronistic convergence point of awakening in cosmic time in which the prophetic vision in the scriptures, like precognitive dreams, heralded a tumultuous and perilous transformation to a future paradisiacal age preceded by chaos and crisis.

The Black Book of Many Colours is thus an accounting of these traditions and the healing of their violence and repression in ending this destructive epoch of dominion over woman and nature in unfolding the immortal epoch of the tree of life in the complementation of chaos and order and in complementation with the physical description of reality discovered by science itself.

At the centre of this reconciliation is the renewal of fertility in the hieros gamos or sacred marriage, the sexual relationship between woman and man as a central expression of the complementation all these principles express. I would even go so far as to say that this complementation is cosmic in just the way the Taoist tradition claims, that ovum and sperm carry, not by analogy, but in a fundamental sense, the complementation of wave and particle - that in the very complementation of mind and body - spirit and nature, the universe is in its very source gendered and that the celebration of the reconciliation of the complements is the foundation of creative meaning in space-time.

Following this quest leads to an apocalyptic awakening of all the religious traditions. At the core of Christianity itself lies a secret of fertility in the reconciliation of woman and man, the holy matrimony of the bridechamber of Jesus and Magdalen, a secret clothed in innuendo and derogation, despite the obvious gynecology of Jesus life, from the women of Galilee ministering unto him of their substance to the parables of the bridegroom and the living fertility of mustard seed in evoking the tree of life. Although mother Mary is in Catholicism given the accolades of chastity, or even frank circumcision, to overcome Eve's sexual sin in eating the fruit of knowledge, Magdalen, like Inanna, was a priestess of seven familiars and, like the four women of Jesus' genealogy, of 'ill repute' in reproductive terms. At Bethany we know Jesus referred to 'that good part' Mary played, that she, rather than a high priest, anointed him and wept and that in acknowledgment Jesus said her name would be hallowed throughout all the lands where he was honoured. Finally it is to Magdalen we owe the exaltation, placing her, and with her free womanhood, in full equality with the 'lord' in evoking the vision of unfolding life.

The Bible is suspended between the fall from Eden and the Tree of life. It proceeds from biodiversity to biodiversity interrupted in between by the patriarchal epoch with the crucifixion symbolizing the very arrow of violence healed in forgiveness. It is to this forgiveness we now need to turn in ending the epoch of blood and dominion in bringing Jesus down from the Cross stranded between earth and heaven and healing the blood in new life.

The Black Book is conceived as the closing of this epoch and the Many Coloured Book the opening in abundance and diversity of the immortal epoch of the Tree in throwing open once more the doors of perception to the feminine and in reconceiving the Logos of reality in living diversity in evolutionary time. This is an awakening in which we as creative participants assume responsibility for our actions in guardianship of diversity and even progenitors of the unfolding of new life, a creative meaning in which we as agents possessing free-will can paint a picture of splendour and abundance through our compassion, visionary foresight and sensitive intuition of the beauty and splendour of evolving life as yet unconceived.


The Black Book arose as a 'critical mass' compactification of the existential cosmology originally conceived in the CD/html encyclopedia "Genesis of Eden". Its purpose is to pronounce the cosmology of life and consciousness, account the destruction wrought by the patriarchal epoch, particularly in regard to biodiversity and gender repression, and to unveil the new millennium in the epoch of unfolding life.

The first sections are scientific and may appear dense to the general reader. Any unanswered questions in this section can be found in modern scientific works and particularly in Genesis of Eden itself which is designed to extend the discussion and evolve over time as new discoveries emerge. While compact, this section is intended to provide a modern Genesis account in which humanity, both in terms of biological evolution and the conscious brain, can be understood in the cosmological perspective.

The first chapters provide a compact theory of biocosmology stemming from inflation and cosmic symmetry-breaking. The inflationary universe leads to a symmetry-breaking view of the 'periodic' table of the elements in which the chemical form of life on earth is an optimal interactive consequence of the cosmological origin. This leads to the RNA-era concept of life's origin now current.

A cosmological view of evolution is then elaborated in which, despite random mutation and selective advantage causing an undirected diversification of form and complexity, universal algorithms lead to a cosmological generalization of function spanning the first excitable cells through the mammalian to the sentient human brain.

We return briefly to quantum reality to understand the 'transactional' view of space-time interactions, then to mathematical chaos and its beauty and natural complexity. These two areas are then integrated in a model of the intentional conscious mind expressed in the dynamically uncertain quantum-chaotic aspects of brain dynamics, finally bringing together an integrated view of the human subjective condition in terms of wave-particle cosmology.

Central to the thesis are the major eco-crises facing the living Earth -biodiversity holocaust, the destruction of the great forests, climatic and atmospheric change, population and pollution. An in-depth assessment is made of the predicament facing humanity in terms of an evolutionary mass extinction and its consequences for our future.

This leads on to a discussion of genetic technology and cloning and its impact on diversity and the questions still unanswered concerning developing an ethics of sensitive creative foresight which will protect our genetic future in the face of runaway genetic engineering from mechanistic and commercialistic motivations.

Next we address the practical holocausts of violence perpetrated in the name of patriarchal culture: nuclear holocaust and contamination, chemical and biological war, genocide and political oppression, gendercide and later female circumcision.

The remaining sections of the book address the subjective condition of human experience and how this forms a 'cosmology within' complementing the 'cosmology without' of the modern wave-particle description of physical reality. The theme of this entire section, comprising the majority of the book is the diversity of human consciousness and its healing through the appreciation of diversity and the 'other', especially the repressed feminine and nature herself.

This section thus proceeds from natural diversity of the psychic plants as the evolutionary eucharists, to shamanism, to dreaming reality and then to the inner vistas of the subjective condition as expressed in Eastern traditions including Vedanta, Buddhism and the Tao. The foundations of this stream of consciousness perspective are then elaborated in Jungian archetype and synchronicity.

We now move to the fertility tradition of the Goddess, originating deep in the Paleolithic and giving expression to the twin themes of the sacred marriage as a reunion in fertility on the one hand and the violence and spilled blood of the male sacrificial principle on the other. We then celebrate the verdancy and sheer fertility of the Song of Songs in discovering the deep underlying unity of the holy matrimony of masculine and feminine in reconciliation with nature in pastoral splendour in the mythical portrayal of the hieros gamos between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba opening our vision of Wisdom also as a primordial feminine complement of deity. We then move centrally to Christianity and the abundant yet mysteriously occluded theme of Jesus and Magdalen as sacred marriage partners of the matrimonial bridechamber, in the women of Galilee, the anointing and exaltation. A messianic expression of the sacred marriage as world healing is conveyed in the bridegroom, rebirth and requital chapters and an accounting is made of the violence of the patriarchal religious epoch in accounting the blood and violence of the Christian tradition, from martyrdom through Crusade to Inquisition to witch hunt and holocaust.

We then examine the Yahwistic tradition to close the cycle of gender reunion by traversing the tangled abyss of history between the diverse roots of ancient Near Eastern polytheism and the monotheistic tradition, highlighting Abraham and then Moses' cultural origins and the tortured relationship between Yahweh and his consort Asherah.

Next we enter into the literary history of God in exploring the nature of divinity and the mysterium tremendum of the Holy Spirit, in healing the almost interminable war of darkness and light which has plagued the patriarchal viewpoint of divinity. In counterpoint to this we discover the abstract feminine divine in its deep relationship with deity in the form of Shekhinah - the manifestation of the divine on Earth, ironically associated with the Judaic tradition of messianism.

These anguished motifs of female and male in conflict in the monotheistic tradition again come to a crest in Allah and his repressed 'daughters' al-Uzza, al-Lat and Manat cursed in the 'satanic verses'. While Muhammad is acknowledged as a genuine prophet and Islam as a genuine part of the religious tradition, aspects of the violence of its history are addressed in coming to terms with the plight of women in many parts of the Islamic world. This difficult history is redeemed in the flowering insight of Sufi mystical vision.

We then revisit the apocalyptic condition in eucharistic terms in the profound convergence between the living sacraments, the Dionysian tradition and sacramental Christianity, following through on Jesus' controversial and miraculous nature and passion as clearly Dionysian motifs fulfilling a wider cultural atonement than the narrower Jewish interpretation of the messiah.

To affirm the prophetic tradition on the last shores of Earth, we acknowledge in like kind the most remote of the 'lost tribes' in the Maori prophetic tradition and its immanent healing of the nations in truly hapiru complement to traditional Judaism, echoed in the 'new moon' movement of modern Jewish feminism.

In consummation of the reunion with nature in founding the tree, we bring all these traditions back together in the founding archetypal myth of human culture, the Fall from Eden and embrace in its consummation the healing of the biosphere from man's dominion over woman and nature alike. This provides a root archetypal myth of the founding of the patriarchal epoch in the cursing of woman and the ground of nature, banishment from the garden and its long echo down to Jesus' attempt to reverse this misfortune through undoing the sins of Eve in the twain becoming one. This then leads to the pangs of the messiah and the gnostic visions which form the abyss of vision repressed by the Christian orthodoxy.

This finally leads us to the era of millennial apocalypsia or bridal unveiling in our current cultural awakening. The messianic implications of this apocalypse of the entire Biblical tradition are then absorbed in the democratic vision of liberating the repressed feminine, expressed in the visions of a spectrum of ecofeminist and feminine spirituality authors in their own words.

Ultimately we come to the core, the sociobiology of the repression of woman and nature in perceiving scientifically how the religious and cultural epoch of patriarchal dominion can be healed in restoring sanctity to woman and nature alike. This returns us to the evolutionary paradigm and the biology of sexuality, original virtue and of emotional love.

Respect is then paid in turn to men who have expressed powerfully the love of diversity and prophetic warning of the danger and consequences of mass extinction of diversity.

In closing, we return to the fractal as vision of ecosystemic democracy in proposing a more spontaneous, dynamic and ecosystemic vision of how free and egalitarian democracy can become.

A hidden thread pervading this entire work is that is the millennial apocalyptic, cosmological logos of the messiah and that this is a living aspect of quantum reality expressed in archetypal myth in the stream of human consciousness and in the 'caprice' of human history and represents a manifestation of the way in which the cosmic 'self' becomes incarnate in all of humanity coming of age in the realization that we, through the power of love and by accepting cosmic responsibility to cherish the Earth and replenish her and by giving back to the feminine and the females of this planet the sovereignty of reproductive and personal autonomy are, by this act, becoming the seed of the unfolding immortal flowering of sentient eco-cosmology the universe has struggled through evolutionary time to achieve.

*** The Black and Many Coloured Contents ***