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Category: Mythology

The Tree of Knowledge

The Tree of Knowledge

Philip Pullman’s usage of the myth of Adam and Eve had me revisiting the metaphors, symbols, and scenarios in that ancient garden. While there are many different interpretations of the myth, and a wide range of disagreements between Jewish and Christian exegesis, I thought Pullman was really onto something fundamentally important. Contrary to much of the received wisdom about that story, Adam and Eve did the right thing. They sought knowledge. In effect, consciousness. Had they stayed in the garden,…

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The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

I love this painting. It’s mystical, edgy, sharp, ethereal, and the stuff of dreams. Tennyson’s Elaine of Astolat. Elaine of the curse, something out of Plato’s cave, mixed strangely with the myth of Medusa, as if in reverse. Obliquely. Tangentially. She could never look at reality directly. Only through a mirror. Doomed to see reflections, doomed to observe others in love while locked away. An allegory for artists and writers and anyone who separates themselves from life, remains severed from…

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Cuchulain, The Irish Achilles

Cuchulain, The Irish Achilles

The character of Cuchulain has always fascinated me, ever since I first read his adventures at the age of nine. Discovering him along with the Iliad and the Odyssey proved to be one of the key formative events in my life. It led to a lifetime of reading mythology, of digging deeply into the sources for those myths, and how subsequent centuries of literature use myth to deepen and broaden fiction, poetry and drama. My chief source as a young…

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The Question

The Question

Humans have two choices. Well, we actually have millions of choices, but for the purpose of this post, we have two. Believe in a divinity that guides our lives and controls the universe, or in a universe that guides itself, leaving us basically on our own. Strike that. There may just be a third choice in there somewhere. Yes. At least for the purpose of this post. The belief in a divine entity that no organized religion has yet described,…

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