Long ago, Ben Rolnik stumbled onto my website in search for the famous Aaron Atsma, of www.theoi.com. He emailed me and we wrote a bit. He ended up asking me to instruct him in the esoterica of Greek mythology. Both with busy work and travel schedules, we still attempted a weekly one hour Google Hangouts. Busy lives like ours make it difficult to study together and frustrating. I was whipping up a Hesiodic whine about the situation, when my wife dismissed my rising storm with a glance and quick, “You love it.” She’s right. I’ve spent half a century studying Greek mythology and someone came to me as a fount of knowledge! Heady stuff.
Carl Sagan at one point seemed to believe that life, itself was the end product of all cosmological processes. What we have seen here is that life, herself is the initiator of all cosmological processes. We have seen Gaea arise from the Abyss and Aphrodite arise from the Sea; both manifestations of life; fertile, vibrant, chaotic, loving and alive. We have seen life burst forth from the grave; like Persephone. We have seen life return from Hades and Tartarus. We have seen life struggle towards Paradise and Heaven. We have seen life crowned with immortality and eternal youth.
We have seen the hybrids, the monsters, the ones that did not look like the gods (and us) struggle with their place in the universe. And we’ve seen the theomorphic hubristic heroes not know their place and struggle towards divinity.[i] We all know these struggles; for we are all Achilles, we are all Greek. We know what it means to grasp a golden apple and that when it comes to the gods we know; it’s Once and For Always.
Without students to ask questions and guide the conversation, I can add no more to this curriculum. I offer below the links to all the sections. Plus one more blog-post.
I once made and exhaustive study of the Kabbalah. Since I’ve been studying mythology since I was ten years old, my interpretation of the Kabbalah is tinted by “the glory that was Greece / and the grandeur that was Rome.” When I finished my study of the Kabbalah I typed up my notes in a rambling document called, “To Limn the Sacred”. It might have more of what Ben (and I) sought in our study.
I’d also like to take this opporunity to thank Maya M, Dr. Maciej Paprocki and friends at Hour 25 who have encouraged my research.