DH Lawrence came very close to the primordial religion; he grasped that the Sun has a central importance—and, specifically, he observed the Hopi snake-dancers and saw them as caught in waves that emanated from the earth’s centre, the place where the black sun dwelt. The problem with Lawrence, as with CG Jung and many other vaguely esoteric writers in the last century, remains that he always wanted to go down. The earth became the centre of all things, and late in the century you saw ideas like “the Gaia hypothesis” that erected “Mother Earth” as biological god—being entirely rooted in environmental feedback loops, the carbon cycle and so on.
In Lawrence’s case this tendency to overvalue the feminine found expression in his wife—a German aristocrat related to the air ace von Richthofen. Lawrence induced her to leave her husband and children for him—yet she had had affairs before, and subsequently cheated on Lawrence. In fact, her replacement for Lawrence, an Italian, was later charged with recovering Lawrence’s ashes—he threw them in the sea before they could reach the New Mexico ranch they were destined for.
The slight working-class Lawrence was dominated by this huge German aristo who smoked and sat with her legs wide apart. His infatuation—despite the fact they liked to clobber each other—reflected his own yearning for a mother, but also spoke to the West’s feminisation. Hence Lawrence, in line with a general tendency, allowed himself to be dominated by a woman and situated everything powerful and live-giving underground, down in the Plutonian depths. He did acknowledge the Sun, but he grossly underestimated its significance—perhaps because he at one time consulted Theosophy books and then decided to stop, lest he should “go mad”. He wanted to be modern, worse luck. Yet he loved New Mexico most of all, strange state where Georgia O’Keeffe painted mysterious stars—and he claimed to experience things there, slept where Indians wouldn’t dare. It’s still UFO country today.