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Discussion Post – unicorp essays

14Jan 2022 by

The discussion post is about the below text. It’s also require around 500 words.


Living in a world that is so dependent on empirical science, we tend to dismiss mythology as an inaccurate understanding of the world. We assume it was an attempt to explain the unknown by ignorant or primitive humans. But when you look at the creation myths of the past, you discover that they are made up of complex systems. They may have more to do with explaining what people DO understand than it does with explaining what they DONT.
For example, the ancient Greek myth of Gaia and Uranus does not attempt to provide an explanation of the physical universe, it tries to explain how non-tangible forces came into being. It attempts to explain how we came to be capable of understanding the world around us.
In the castration of Uranus, we are getting a symbolic representation of how separationscuts, division, schism, edges, boundaries, and definitionscome into being. They are not so much offering the answer to WHY things are divided, but rather they are simply explaining that they BECAME separated.
I used to have an obsession with the notion of boundary-less-ness. I wanted to break down boundaries everywhere. I wanted to push psychological limits and experiential limits. I think it was born from some rebellious you cant hold me back mentality. But I would get all metaphysical with it. I would try to imagine what the world would look like if we didnt make distinction between each other, if we didnt see the edges.
Like the infinity symbol. Or this picture of an Uroboros (sometimes spelled Ouroboros)a serpent or other animal that eats its own tail. This, by the way, is the precursor to the modern infinity symbol.  

This Uroboros was drawn by an alchemist in the middle ages. It was supposed to show how opposites (like head and tail) blend into one another to create the infinite, or eternal, flow of the universe. I was so into this idea, that I have a tattoo of an Uroboros that I had done a couple of years ago in Austin, Texas. I was completely mesmerized with the idea of edgelessness.
Then one day, I realized that the edges and divisions and separations are what make humans capable of finding meaning in the world. Without those separations, everything would blend together in a kind of chaos. If everything is connected, there is nothing at all. In other words, in order to have THINGS, we need to define them. They need definite edges.
In that way, separation and division is the move from meaninglessness into meaning. This is what I think the ancient Greek creation story is all about. I also think this is what Genesis is all aboutafter all, in the beginning, God divides the world into categories: dark and light, day and night, earth and water, etc.
When I think about these stories in that way, they get more interesting to me.
See, the thing is, they may start out just trying to explain the origins of human consciousnessbut in the process ancient people created stories that had much wider ramifications than they ever imagined. These things end up impacting social structures, and the psychological understanding of the human self.
By the time we get to Darwin, hes only trying to explain the genetic narrative of complex organisms. In the process, he introduces a kind of economic determinism that shakes the world to its core. Were still feeling that impact. Just as creation becomes about survival of the fittest, so does everything else become a story of economic survival. He changes not only our view of creation but our view everything.
Sometimes I want to go back to the ancient Greek world view. I mean think about it. Nowadays, we think copulation (sex, intercourse) is essentially about reproduction. That we do it for fun is just a puzzling evolutionary accident. Whats more, evolutionary biologists tell us that we are attracted to lovers because of unconscious desire to preserve our own DNA, our genetic code. We want to spread seeds and cells. We want to birth offspring. We unconsciously pick partners that are, for a variety of reasons, the healthiest accomplices for our reproductive project.
The Greeks didnt believe it was JUST about reproduction, nor so rational, nor simply economic. For them, we have passionate sex because Aphrodite cast a beautiful and nonsensical spell on our lives. Often, Aphrodites spells are destructive and dont serve our own individual best interests. Maybe because she has a logic of her own that we cant understand.
The actions in the world remain constantsex hasnt changed. People mate and swap genetic code either way. But theres a qualitative differencethe two versions have different feelings. I think the Aphrodite version sounds more fun, its poetic, its more of turn on.
The key point is that it is impossible to separate our creation stories, our cosmologies, from the psychological, political, and social systems within which they exist. And in that way, dont you think that these stories, narratives, and theories may say way more about the world humans create than they do about the world humans respond to?

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