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Posts Tagged ‘Zeus’

I think Hercules would qualify for the Working Class hero. When his life hung on balance he chose to find work than go under. You see he lived before Freud. He knew how to get the most out of self-analysis- work. He hit upon the wonderful idea: work is a therapy. Hercules must have come through a wringer to conclude work made him sane. In these days work made you sick with the high expectations of your boss. If out of work you made yourself ill by the least expectations your loved ones build up about you. Hercules must have been through a rough patch till he realized a way forward.
Did he not kill his whole family? It was too late get them back to life. May be work will keep him sane and alive.
Work was like arc lamps, beamed at your eyes. Either you worked your butt off or you felt like a chump.
He pored over Classified Ads which in those days meant consulting oracle at Delphi and found an ideal employer. He did not have to read ‘How to find a boss and work your way up!’or ‘ Be your Boss!’ The priestess found the ideal boss for him. The priestess didn’t warn him though the office culture was far out and the poor slobs in workplace dumped all their filth around the cooler and coffee dispenser. The Priestess was doing him a favor, for Zeus sake!
Hercules was not deterred by the issues of hygiene of the office or personal habits of his boss. He was there strictly on work. Nothing else would matter. I find he would not miss any trick if he were alive now.
Now for the legend.
Hercules, (or Herakles as he is known in Greek Mythology,) was the son of Zeus and Alcmene [Alk-ME-ne]. Zeus disguised himself to look like Alcmenes husband, Amphitryon [Am-FIT-ri-on] and tricked her into an amorous tryst. She realized that she had been deceived when her husband returned home on the day after this liaison. Alcmene bore a second son at the time of Hercules birth. His name was Iphicles and he was the son of Amphitryon. He accompanied his brother on several of his adventures, but was killed during one of Hercules labors. In an attempt to dispel the wrath of Zeus wife, Alcmene named her first son Herakles (which means glorious gift of Hera in Greek) in her honor. Unfortunately, this only served to further infuriate Hera.
The greatest dangers to Hercules came from Hera’s wrath, not from -Hades as the Disney version implies. She was jealous of her husbands many infidelities with mortals and immortals, alike. She was particularly vengeful toward this handsome son of her husband, perhaps because of his strength, prowess and good looks. She tried throughout his life to do away with him. In his infancy, she sent two snakes to strangle him in his cradle. The baby Hercules was able to take the two snakes and squeeze them to death. In his youth, he learned to sing and play the lyre. When his teacher, Linus, scolded him for playing out of tune, Hercules hit him on the head with the lyre and killed him. His family realized that he was too strong to live at the palace so he was sent to the mountains to serve as a shepherd. While tending his flocks, he killed all of the lions and wolves that menaced the area. As a reward, the King of Thebes gave his daughter Megara in marriage to Hercules. Together, they had several children and settled in for a peaceful life.

This good fortune further infuriated the goddess Hera and she sought vengeance by making him mad. In his insanity, he killed his wife, Megara, as well as their children, swatting them down as though they were wild animals. When he recovered his sanity and realized what he had done, he was filled with remorse. He went to Delphi and asked the oracle there how he could atone for his sins. He was told to serve his cousin Eurystheus [You-RISS-theus], King of Mycenae and perform ten labors for him. Hera was pleased with this penance, for Eurystheus was a weak man who was jealous of Hercules great strength and noble birth. Hera knew that he would choose only the most difficult tasks he could devise.
(to be continued)ack:Hercules (http://yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum)

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Sorry, the story continues in Almost Aesop, Fables available through Amazon.com-b

 

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Sorry, the story continues in Almost Aesop, Fables available through Amazon.com-b

 

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Beauty is in the beholder’ eyes it is said. This implies personal preference and it is evident from various cultural artifacts left to us. Evolutionary Aesthetics is a hold- all for such preferences where some have tended to see a conflict of nature versus nurture.
Aesthetic preference is something that ultimately varies from person to person. Whether it is culturally taught or branded into our genetic makeup, preferences for beauty, style, and other characteristics of aesthetics can all be linked back to preferences. Broadly, scholars define aesthetics as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature.”(Zangwill Nick-1998/Aesthetic judgment) and in this short essay I shall keep my focus on the core value that must give all that philosophical ideas expressed from Aristotle down to James Joyce a basis. Truth is one world much maligned and yet as human beings we cannot swear by any thing else. For a simple illustration when a President takes office the oath is administerd to him on a Bible wherein he is required to uphold truth. But if he told truth away will he not jeopardize the national security? As a statesman said truth must be protected by a tissue of lies. Nations managing their fortunes not having the foggiest notions about their bearings sail through the mists of uncertainty and must steer clear of others. They cannot afford to tell truth. Instead their captains signal to one another hoping to gain some advantage. They emphazise on relative truth, which is fit neither here, above nor below. Yet it somehow works. Why? Our middle state cannot handle Truth the absolute quality that we ascribe to God.
Betwixt and Between

Zeus was once traveling accompanied by his daughter Athena. He was struck by the beauty of a sculpture and asked whose work it was. The goddess of Wisdom said,” Phidias.” Admiring it for a while he asked his daughter,” You are perfection in wisdom. Why can’t you then do some thing like that- a work of beauty?”
Athena laughed,” I, a goddess- work? Why waste my time?” The eagle which always accompanied the goddess whispered in Zeus’ ear, “ If she were to work it would mean her godly wisdom lacked something.”
“ Oh?”
“ That means she wouldn’t be perfect. Would it not?” the winged bird asked. Zeus could understand.
The sculptor was after all a mortal trying to achieve perfection in some area as best as he could. The bird looked at the sculpture with a critical eye and said,” Look at that index finger of the discuss-thrower. Shorter by a hairbreadth, – it would have been just perfect!”
Zeus snapped,” Phidias made it for his kind and for the praise of gods!”
benny

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Leda and the Swan-W.B Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,

So mastered by the brute blood of the air
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

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