The Promethean hero is an archetypal figure expressing the birth, growth, and integration of man's creative élan--and urge for individuation. In his early stages of development, he is solipsistic--that is, he struggles for himself and his ideas are mainly focused on his own destiny. He is ego-conscious. The growing awareness of his individual identity leads to his theft of fire and overt antagonism toward the Godhead. His act allows him to evolve--to pass into a more mature phase: that of Self- consciousness and a growing awareness of the world about him. During this transitional period, the Promethean hero becomes a complexio oppositorum. Duality, conflict, and chaos are his. His struggle against divinity, which culminates in the theft of fire and the acceptance of his punishment, points to a serious preoccupation with divinity. For the Promethean hero, God exists as a vital and living power within him. Enfolded in divinity's embrace, as a child in his parents' hold, the Promethean experiences the security of the Godhead's presence in a participation mystique with Him. God is holding the world together, so to speak. But there are forces causing disruptive and chaotic malaise within the Promethean that account for his ambivalences toward himself and the cosmos. He seeks to liberate himself from the Godhead and to carve out his own destiny.
Albertus Magnus, Paracelsus, and Rabbi Loew--paradigms of the first stage of Prometheanism--experienced the beneficient factors involved in a state of participation mystique: a oneness with the world and an inner harmony with the Godhead as an active and positive force. Like Enoch, they were men of faith ( Hebrews 11:5); and when their time came, they "walked with God" ( Genesis 5:24). Their perseverance and their courage resulted from feelings of their own worth as ego-conscious individuals working in harmony with the world about them.
Prometheus had given man "mind and reason." Descartes,