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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. 

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Myth as a Source...of What?

Now in this flowering node of time and space, at the Zwischenstufe or "between-ness" which all spans of consciousness inhabit, we continue to enjoy the story-telling of our elders, the scheming tales of our sachems, the comprehensive collections of the Brothers Grimm, the recent soupcon of the late Campbell on Heroes, and the "new" myths of Mohammed, Huehuemoxtezuma, Dante, Smith, and Mao woven into values, with appreciation for the breadth of our breathless chronicles, the invoked pastiche, the onion that flavors both the boil and the cooling broth of our bodies over which Odin's ravens -- memory and thought -- constantly circle, invisible, flying, emanating as they do, from a brain which is buried alive. Ultimately, of course, what we discover in Myth is not wisdom, but the cruelty and gratification of the hunting story. And the hunt continues....

The leitmotif of all myth is predation. The hunt is for a future. We hunt for our future, and we are greatly relieved to see that it resembles the past. But as we kill it, and our sustenance always involves death, we necessarily soak it in myth to disguise the act, to quiet the keening of the dying, the loss. Myth is our great In-source of Evil, the occupied land we are destined to call our hunting ground.

When we feed, we kill. To live, we must destroy something. We worry it to ground. For this, not for the task but for the consequences, we must find a redeemer. Redemption only comes from “feeling better” after our stomach is full. Redeemers rarely hunt, never bring wood or prey to our fire, but they eat our food, and then offer to make us "feel better" about what we had to do. It works. Because all the effective Redeemers – all our “authorities”– those we worship, respect, adore, and follow toward the promised Golden Age which is our perpetual myth – offer vengence, and revenge is the secret key to our relief. Consider this, that the hunt is about Taking life, and it is blaming or re-directing blame, which enables us to digest and keeps us alive. Vengence is the counterpoise. It is our only relief from the “sense” of justice which cries out. It muffles the screams, makes the killing humdrum. Vengence is normalcy restored.

We are trapped in Evil – on both sides of the coin, a bicameral guilt: We kill, and then we find redemption by calling the death revenge. We are deeply enamored of Evil. We are grateful to Evil. It buries our dead. The victim is always blameworthy, or worthy of killing, in an Evil homeland. Our Nibelungen hand-wringing cycle is met with a song. Myth is the marinade in which we soak our meat. Myth is our Memory working with its ravenous twin, Imagination, so that we can forget enough to successfully hunt again.

This is the badly-kept secret of all "homelands", hierarchies, “cultures”, and egos.

And now that Science has enabled as to utterly annihilate our prey, and has brought us Death on a platter, on a planetary scale, and we ourselves are hunted by "suicide bombers" with no appreciation for irony but only for Myth, for Evil, we can now clearly see what we die for. Now we arrive at the point were we require more of our Redeemers than we have in the past. We can no longer be content with vengence.