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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Epic Stories

The Plots tell us nothing about the Story, but they are necessary to it. It is comforting, in an uncomfortable epic, to know there is a Plot. For examples....

GILGAMESH. Warrior-king of Uruk, terrorizes his own people, battles monsters, seeks immortality. Recorded in cuneiform by a Babylonian scribe named Sin-leqi-unninni on tablets found in the ruins of Ninevah, near Mosul.

ABRAHAM. Rises up with his gods (plural) out of the land of Ur to settle the Sinai and the Levant with his Semitic descendants. The migrants lived peaceably with each other and began worshiping One God -- under various names (Astarte, Jehovah, Yahweh, Baal, Zoroaster) -- for centuries. [Note: Occasionally outsiders persuade his children to fight each other, and indeed they do so intermittently and without any conviction -- most often only threatening to do their worst.] There were giants, chimera, child-slayers, and angels encountered in the land.

BEOWULF. A heroic youth saves a neighboring people from a monster, Grendel, eventually becomes the king of his own people, and dies defending them from a dragon.

HIAWATHA. Choctaw/Huron origins, rejected by his own tribe, accepted by Iroquiois as a great leader-warrior after defeating WitchDoctor.

YELLOW EMPEROR. Both the Taoists and the later Confucians strongly believed that the exemplars of earlier ages were wiser, more powerful and righteous.

LORD OF THE RINGS/ HOBBIT. Many critics now consider Lord of the Ringsto be one of the greatest fantasy novels ever written. It's the story of Bilbo Baggins, a lowly hobbit who sets out on a quest to destroy a magic ring so that it cannot fall into the hands of the evil Sauron. {Description clipped from Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac}


NARNIA. Aslan. In these stories, brotherly Love is woven into the adventures of children. The agape includes the talking animals, centaurs, and oddly revenant spirits.

HARRY POTTER.