Stealing Fire

Prometheus as a dubious hero of the Silicon Valley elite

Author: Johanna Schacht
Mankind considers Prometheus from the Greek myth actually a hero. They even admire him. Here now he appears in a different light, namely as a thief of knowledge and insight that he stole from Pandora, the Great Goddess – an unjust cultural appropriation and misuse of this knowledge for egomaniacal purposes.

Prometheus is a hero of Greek mythology. Numerous classical dramas celebrate him as a selfless benefactor who stole fire from the gods and thus brought civilization to humanity. Fire is not literally here, but symbolically stands for knowledge and power, for the divine spark. Since Zeus was the ruler in the Olympus of classical Greece, people naturally assumed that Prometheus won the fire from an unjust tyrannical father god in heroic rebellion and emancipation. He succeeded in doing so by cunning, that is, with the help of his intellect and strategic thinking.


This heroic narrative is still effective today; the leaders of digitization in Silicon Valley refer to him when they instrumentalize flow states to increase performance. The book “Stealing Fire. How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work” tells the story.

Psychoactive drugs are deliberately used for self-optimization. Unfortunately, people use these agents too often merely as a tool for egomaniacal purposes; many Silicon Valley neo-hippie CEOs seem to dream of transhumanism and digital world domination. The subtitle of the aforementioned bestseller should make you sit up and take notice: Is the divine fire misused for military purposes!!?


How do I get to that?

Well, for this I have consulted the ostracized brother of Prometheus, Epimetheus – not the forward thinker, the mastermind, the progress fanatic, but the prudent afterthinker. I would have to go far afield and provide an outline of cultural history from a critical patriarchal point of view that includes the findings of matriarchal studies. I’ve done that many times. I’m tired of it. That is because I get the impression women aren’t heard. This is also part of the Stealing Fire program:

Men punish uncomfortable women with ignorance and disregard, they siphon off their inspirations.

This is what the male would-be creator god does all too often with the creation – they adorn themselves with other people’s feathers and take the credit for it themselves. This is the method of the patrix that has been practiced and handed down for millennia: the spiritual and emotional dispossession of women. We live in an abusive society.


The mysterium tremendum et fascinans, the at once terrifying and attractive of the divine, formerly the Great Goddess, who was and always will be both the sacred creator, the sustainer, and the destroyer, has mutated in the patriarchal paradigm into egomaniacal male fascination with self, all too often culminating in ruthless violence.

When unconnected men play with fire, the result is exploitation – and abuse of women, children, and nature. And all too often, war.

To this day, the toxic hero myth of pure good fighting evil on the outside continues to shape our culture. The fatal thing is that in this simplifying and seductive dualism of good and evil, because it exonerates the individual, a shadow projection takes place that leads to scapegoat and enemy image constructions and, as a consequence, to violence, murder and war.

This toxic hero is ubiquitous in pop culture, but also in high culture and art, and people wrongly call it an archetype.

Real archetypes come from the depths of the soul.

From our earliest prenatal, natal, and postnatal experiences, while these images represent cultural conditioning of the infantile ego.


In pre-patriarchal shamanic cultures, birth-regressive initiation and healing ceremonies are central to cultural life. All high cultural arts evolved from ceremonial practices: music, dance, visual arts, theater, poetry, storytelling. They served community, healing, and the development of all individuals therein. Patriarchy suppressed and nearly eradicated by force all shamanic practices and traditions – or appropriated and abused them for their own purposes.

Until today bad cultural machinations brainwash us. It is like black magic. And it’s not some ominous evil elite that’s dispensing it. It is in the center of our culture, it has a life of its own. It is the traditions that we reproduce unthoughtfully, it is our entertainment industry, Star Wars, baller games and so on. And the creators of these things seem so progressive and innovative! But they move in the prison of a millennia-old vicious circle. It is loose masculinity that indulges in a rush for power – stealing fire, in other words.

Unsere Autorin Johanna SchachtAbout the author

Johanna Schacht, studied remedial education with a focus on art therapy at the University of Cologne. Topic of the diploma thesis: “The garden – designed paradise memory. Art therapeutic potentials of an archetypal topos” (2005), freelance work, art and nature educational projects, inclusion teacher at a private school. Board member of the International Society of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM) since 2010.

Publications available for free download: https://independent.academia.edu/JohannaSchacht

This article appeared originally on the German Homepage  Tattva Viveka: Stealing Fire

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