Ancient Greek mythology symbolized the existential considerations of the Hellenic Greek their origin and the nature of things. The Greek Pantheon consists of anthropomorphic beings with supernatural powers and desires. Much like humans, they are capricious, intolerant and bored. Therefore, these Olympians account for a frightening, unpredictable reality and the gratuitous suffering of mortals. Continue reading Ex Nihilo
In the beginning… there was Nothing.
Nothing at all. Our relationship with death has profoundly shaped Western culture. A pervasive death consciousness has created religions, nourished philosophies and eventually stimulated scientific investigation, as well as fueled fanaticism, a brooding and melancholic pessimism, which resulted in nihilistic conclusions. Such nihilistic sentiments are far more than merely isolated occurrences, pervasive although manifesting in various guises. Continue reading In the beginning… there was Nothing.
From the established trunk of Afrofuturism emerges a new branch I call Panfuturism. This isn’t some Ukranian offshoot of avant-garde Futurismo, for what it is worth. Where Afrofuturism is science fiction without the colonial mentality and othering, and reimagined with ancient African traditions with an unapologetic black identity, Panfuturism is also science fiction, but on a global scale, up to and including all our ancient mythologies re-imagined in a post-human future. Continue reading Panfuturism
True God of America
The true gods of America today demands ritualistic blood sacrifice. Interestingly, this cultural practice is entrenched in the land – dating back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations who sacrificed thousands per year – some were members of their own community, but most human sacrifices were prisoners of war. The Aztec preferred to capture prisoners instead of killing them in battle and return them to the capital in order to be offered to their gods. For the Mayans, they believed blood was a powerful source of nourishment for their gods, and by logical extension, human sacrifice was the most important Mayan ritual. Continue reading True God of America
Nihilism in the Iliad and Pantheon
It seems that our time is the most cynical and intensely pessimistic era ever in recorded history. Continue reading Nihilism in the Iliad and Pantheon
Criticism and Pop Culture
Educated Americans tend to confuse morality and art, and morality for them tends to mean social consciousness which usually equals bad art.
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) November 4, 2011
This quote illustrates the problem with criticism and art today, especially when it comes to pop culture critics.
The comic book critic Kelly Thompson dropped Wonder Woman after issue #7, and explained herself in her article “Is the Destruction of the Amazons The Destruction of Feminism in DC Comics?” Basically, the writer of Wonder Woman, Brian Azzarello, has returned the titular character Wonder Woman to ancient Greek mythological roots. However, Greek mythology is much more bloodthirsty and savage than their previous incarnations, notably expressed by George Perez in the mid 80s. The Olympians of Perez seemed closer to the stoic figures of Roman mythology: certainly noble but mostly detached from the affairs of mortals. Continue reading Criticism and Pop Culture
Pandora and Pantheon
The next volume of Pantheon will center on the artifact known as Pandora’s Box (or Jar), but in order to render the mythology properly, we need to assess its significance first. Continue reading Pandora and Pantheon
As things fell apart…
A Pantheonic dialogue
LAKSHMI: Can you tell me how everything went wrong?
GANESHA: I have gone through the events over and over and I remain at a loss how my plans crumbled, and I ended up 180 degrees from where I began.
LAKSHMI: Tell me.
GANESHA: After i acquired a Genesis planet, with the most advanced template I set out to create a race of sublime mortals. I learned from the mistakes of the elder gods and I intended to fulfill all the dreams of these mortals, satisfy their desires and ensure that happiness was a reality, not a mere ideal. My stratagems were put in effect to produce a perfect race that lives comfortably in utopia, and I would become the envy of all other pantheons.
LAKSHMI: That is why you created them as children – all the better to enjoy the world, live in the present and be carefree.
GANESHA: No matter how advanced my template was, these mortals were flawed . They did not remain idyllic for long. Much to my surprise, they grew… sophisticated.
LAKSHMI: They tired of being children?
GANESHA: Yes. They gained the ability to reason, and that caused a general mood of disappointment. Their childlike hopes disintegrated rather quickly.
LAKSHMI: But – the suicides?
GANESHA: That was my first sign. Through reasoning, they figured out how to kill off themselves. Once their hopes were dashed, they could no longer bear living. My ambitious project turned out to be a greater failure than any of the elder gods!
LAKSHMI: Weren’t you successful for several centuries of your rule?
GANESHA: Actually, I did try short-term solutions to solve this existential malady – I added more land to the world, and introduced more variety in nature with animals and plants. These changes did work for a while, and they distracted the mortals. As the years passed, the novelty faded, and they grew bored with life again. Even contemptuous! I could never return them to their original state as children.
LAKSHMI: Hmmm. Nothing new can outlast the invincible sequence of time.
GANESHA: I didn’t stop there. I tried introducing more obstacles in order to challenge them, force them to expand their reason and find solutions. I also proliferated the mortals into different factions, so they could not intermingle as easily and casually. They were strangers to one another, constantly misunderstanding each other, and that led to discord, violent conflict.
LAKSHMI: Wasn’t that Yahweh’s original error?
GANESHA: No, he did it too early, when the population on Earth was much smaller. Never mind that. Despite all the obstacles, and the increase in their intellectual activity, they lapsed back into boredom. Ennui seemed ineradicable.
LAKSHMI: Perhaps your template was not flawed.
GANESHA: Indeed, perhaps it was too advanced. Despite all their intellectual development, they are demanding for the presence of Truth!
LAKSHMI: No, it isn’t the template. It is time to abandon your original plan. Your problem is an excess of mercy, and that makes it easier for your mortals to take you for granted. I recommend you to answer their demands: Send them the Truth.
GANESHA: You’re mad. By doing so, won’t that turn them into gods?
LAKSHMI: Not exactly. Not even Truth could do that. In fact, she will pull off the opposite. She will destroy all their illusions, and become the Tyrant of the race.
GANESHA: Preposterous! Truth is Beauty. She reveals our beatitude.
LAKSHMI: Sure, but she shall reflect the mortals’ wretchedness instead. Not their beauty. For them the only truth is the falsity of all things, for they all are temporary, merely transient, and all their griefs are empty. These mortals will always remain dissatisfied, and their dissatisfaction continues to crucify them for all time…..
Mythos and Logos
There are two forms of knowledge: logos and mythos. From an old post of mine, based on Karen Armstrong’s division of knowledge:
Mythos: “myth”, from greek musteion – to close eyes or mouth. Myth as a mode of Knowledge was rooted in silence and intuitive insight, and gave meaning to life, human existence, but cannot be explained in rational terms. In the premodern world, mythical knowledge was complementary to logos.
Logos: “word” or rational, logical, scientific discourse
Both were essential and complementary ways of arriving at the truth for each had its area of competence. Myth was regarded as primary, for it dealt with the timeless or constant elements of human existence. Myth was about the origins of life, the very foundations of culture and the most essential nature of human mind. However, myth has little to do with practical stuff, or anything other than the meaning of life. If people cannot or do not find significance in their lives, despair is the result. The mythos of a society is the context that makes sense of the daily life, and points at the eternal and universal. Moreover, myth is rooted in unconscious. The various stories of myth, which were not meant to be taken literally, was ancient psychology. All these stories of heroes in the underworld, in labyrinths, and fighting monsters, was the premodern way of dealing with the obscure realm of unconscious, which is completely inaccessible to rational investigation, but had profound effects on experience and behavior. Since myth is absent in modern society we instead developed the science of psychoanalysis to deal with our inner world. Continue reading Mythos and Logos
Former member of the Heliopolitan Pantheon, Thoth is traditionally known as the scribe, or the custodian of all knowledge. He has now become a Consul, a prestigious position at Teotihuacan, in which he is Cartaphilus’ inside man. Where Cartaphilus works from the outside as the voice in the wilderness, Thoth is already working from within, inside the system. While Cartaphilus is more dramatic – he works from outside-in, while Thoth works from the inside out, behind the scenes – they both share the same sense for reform.
Witty, clever, constantly punctuating his remarks with a theatrical flourish, Thoth can make even the most routine events seem exciting. His attentive and elegant ways is necessary for traveling in such esteemed social circles, among the heads of pantheons and other ambassadors at Teotihuacan. He knows far too much about every god of repute, and has the knack of saying the right thing. Continue reading Thoth