Jul

14

OedipusI am ignorant of whether the young mother’s oracular pronouncements truly moved the thundering herds to ride roughshod over the bears, or mayhap it had just been time for some bear-ish self-flagellation (it was already the eighth day of the recent downtrend).

But the post above does bring together in the mind several images: of august — but usually doomed for an early death — kingly father figures, universal all-powerful and eternally youthful mothers, and the painful castigation of an assortment of beatific animals.

Athanasius Kircher, in his Oedipus Aegyptiacus, sees himself as the enlightened Oedipus who fends off the man-eating sphinx-creature and sends it on a death fall over a cliff. Central to Kircher’s herculean efforts to translate the Egyptian hieroglyphs was the Bembine Tablet; in the centre of which sits the Universal Mother, Isis — regarded as “she is both wise, and a lover of wisdom […] knowing and knowledge belong to her.”

Unfortunately, far from being the Rosetta Stone of its time, the Bembine Tablet and its glyphs turned out to be more a roman “neo-Egypt” tribute; thus rendering Kircher’s translations spurious. Kircher’s all-knowing goddess/mother Isis, rather than bestowing enlightenment, led him to a tragic mistake.

I wonder if the young mother from yesterday’s news, may likewise be leading eager bulls (or bears), to a headlong dash to the edge.


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