"Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?" That is the end of William Yeats' poem "Lyda and the Swan." The poem explores the Greek myth that Zeus, king of the gods, took the form of a giant swan in order to seduce or rape the beautiful princess Lyda. That myth is but one of the many old stories about supernatural beings mating with mortals, stories to which I alluded in my previous post. They are, among other things, stories about feeling raped by life. The occultist, Yeats, however, sees the myth as not only about Reality penetrating one but about that penetration as a source of omnipotence and omniscience. That is not a usual reaction. As I explained in my previous post, the prevalent response to connecting to what is not like us is to resist that joining, sometimes violently. Unwillingness to connect amicably leads ironically to a kind of connection after all: penetration by sword or bullet substituting for penetrations of an x- rated sort. One may lead to the other. Consider, Genghis Khan's conquests. Allegedly, he planned to kill non-Mongols and turn their cities to prairies where his horses could graze. He would thus resist invasion of Mongolia by Chinese culture by destroying that culture. His conquests, however, brought such increased contact between Mongol and Chinese that the Mongols could not maintain their separation, except by staying drunk most of the time. Even then it was on Chinese wine with Chinese women in bed next to the Mongol warriors. In my previous post, I asked for feedback from readers and the first came from my wife, who suggested that I write about war with the above title: "Resistance is Futile." So I thought about Yeats' poem, about the Trojan War that came as a many-year-long, disastrous attempt to restore the order that Leda's mating had shaken: the bad marriage of Leda's immortal daughter Helen to a possessive king, whom she was brave enough to leave because, unlike any other Greek woman of her time, she was immortal and recognized her own divinity. Protecting such status quos as that bad marriage, Greek mythology preaches the need to keep the gods at a safe distance. Greek civilization--a step forward in advancing human reason--required a distancing from tribal superstitions. The Greek ego was pushing itself up from a less conscious state. The Homeric poet--whoever he or she may have been--thus blames the war on the gods, thereby warning us to stay clear of close contact with the divine. There is a grain of truth in that warning since the unconscious personified as devil, fairy, god, or alien is shaped by interconnection with much more of the universe than the conscious--a much more that thereby effects us. Consequently, the conscious mind fights to push the rest out for fear of losing control. So we make up stories to reassure us that resistance is not futile. The federation will win out against the Borg. But what in our world is the Borg threat-- the threat of becoming intermingled with the not us? It is the paraplegic able to walk with mechanical legs or the deaf hearing with cochlear implants: healings, becoming whole, a more integrated participant in the environment. When my wife and I were on vacation a few years ago, we saw an otherwise traditional, Pennsylvania Dutch man with a hearing aide. Why not? We do not necessarily lose the past by embracing what comes. Like Yeats himself, though, his poem is ambivalent. To Leda, Zeus' love, he is "indifferent," a word that raises the possibility he acts selfishly and carelessly. On the one hand, Yeats is saying: Life is painful; How can God (i.e., Zeus) be kind? However, "indifferent" also means not different--so Leda, the poem's representative human, and God may have become one through more than their physical union. Thus Yeats asks if Leda has shared His omnipotence and omniscience. There is risk in any joining but also promise and in the long run--the run of centuries-- --resistance probably is not only futile, but silly. Even in the short run we can hurt ourselves by trying to keep the "good old days." And those probably never were as good as our idealized memories make them sound--though Yeats himself always remained caught between a paralyzing nostalgia (including his predilection for Greek myth)and the courage to welcome a dangerous future.