Muses, Mythology

Alexander’s Conundrum

Alexander_and_Aristotle

Alexander seeks the Hellenic wisdom of the philosophers and the Gods. He is not a haughty King and he does not fear the advice of his betters, mortal and immortal. He inquires as to how to be a warrior worthy of respect and love

Alexander: What is required of a mans spirit if he is to become a successful man of war?

Aristotle: In his spirit he must seek the kindness inherent in the conqueror. He must fail in the attempt at ruthless dispassion.

Alexander: Why must the man of war attempt dispassion at all if he is to fail? What an exercise in futility!

Aristotle: There is no futility in failure if the endeavor is undertaken with a simple purity. The only failure I can contemplate is the failure to act upon our spiritual drives. We feel as men in a world of eunuchs do when we exercise our power over others. We further strive for that power by ignoring the instinct endowed in us for moderation in action.

Alexander: But why Master? Why must we fail at dispassion? Is it not healthy for us to distance ourselves from those we conquer?

Aristotle: How would that be healthy? To eliminate the humanity of those we destroy we eliminate the humanity, and the divine imperative, of the mission we set out upon; to unite the factions of the world under a singular banner and a singular rhythm, through the act of war we seek to forge an everlasting peace. Dispassion is the enemy of action, and action is the only route to power.

Alexander: But you evade my question: why must we attempt dispassion at all?

Aristotle: We attempt dispassion because we can never understand the wickedness of that state of mind until we see what it does to our own mind and soul. I repeat because it is worth repeating: Dispassion towards our enemies eliminates the humanity of our actions in favor of peace and unity.

Alexander: But how does a wolf whelp a lamb? How does peace come from war?

Aristotle: Grow to become a wolf and find out the truth for yourself.

Alexander: I tire of your riddles.

Aristotle: I tire of your willfulness, but  alas it is that feature of yours that keeps me well fed.

Alexander: So eat your fill old man, and I will think over your lessens while I wrestle with my friends.

Aristotle: Hark! Do not forget to treat your opponents with the passion befitting your rank.

Alexander: And what rank is that?

Aristotle: Youth, Prince, Philosopher, and Brazen hearted bull.

 

The modern youth turns to his drugs and to his modern philosophy when in mental turmoil.

In desperation the ancient youth turns to his gods, the resplendent Apollo and the deviously wise Dionysus

 

Alexander: Oh gods his is a foolish genius! Truly a blessed curse.

Apollo: The son of the gods in all but deed. He will return to us a star brilliant in a constellation of his own Creation. Nothing can be more true then this truth.

Alexander: A truth! An immodest declaration of opinion as fact! I live for these moments where I can frustrate the certainties of an honorable but simple mind. Where is the truth in the realization of Alexander as a god? How a god if he cannot even succeed as a man?

Apollo: There is no perfect man. Perfection is the nature of the gods, and to be a god one must be perfect. In     the act of attaining, reaching, perfection one invariable must have the immortal spark in his very     nature. Alexander is ours in nature and in potential. That is truth.

Alexander: But! But! I proclaim however and as a reminder: you stated that he will return to you a “star brilliant” as any and beyond what a mortal can hope to achieve. If that spark is indeed extant in him  then why trap his brilliance in this infernal flesh you so despised and only reluctantly deign to robe yourselves in? Why not plant the star yourself in the sky of your own sovereignty? Why waste a star? Why waste your time in games of fallible and inevitably fetid flesh?

Dionysus: Why waste a star? Indeed why waste a god? Haven’t we enough of those to last us the day and longer? A day is a day enough for me, and a hero is enough of a god for the men who fart most of their libations skyward anyway.

Apollo: Figh! A day with you is indeed a day enough. Sooth that ardent vine of yours brother and leave the     business of heaven to those who do no ruminate under the sway of mortal poisons.

Alexander: Oh how I must have pleased Olympus! They have sent me a quarrel worthy of my prayers and sacrifices. To obfuscate my own troubles with the quibbles and rivalry of greater beings is indeed a treat that I will not pass up.

Apollo: Great beings my eye! Look upon this fool I must call a brother. He is as much a god as I, and yet I fail to see the glory in gross inebriation.

Dionysus: The glory is not becoming drunk; the glory is in being drunk. Drunkenness can bring me to the post profound realizations about the nature of my existence… and in the nature of a fine woman’s ass.

Apollo: I need no wine to enjoy a beautiful woman!

Dionysus: Aye, but you might need a bit to enjoy a homely one.

Alexander: There are no homely women; only sober men.

Apollo: Do not encourage his crassness my son… He takes to concord like a babe to a teat.

Dionysus: I never left my teat… what is the point in that? As a babe it brings succor and milk, and as an adult succor and… a more joyous brew.

Alexander: I took in much more than sustenance from my mothers breast. I was, from my earliest days, fed the words and deeds of men great and proud. Stories of warriors, demigods, and yea, even gods like thee. I was brought up to be their equal, and in the case of mortals, their betters. Such a tiresome chore being a prince of man; no length run is long enough, no leap skyward high enough, and no foe fierce enough for the man who would be a new Achilles. And nothing less than Achilles is expected for the noble, mystic wife of Philip. I must be a man if men, but a man above from one moment to the next. Tell me O Lords… How does one live as a god and a man?

Apollo: You cannot. There is no god made man. You must live as a man to become a god, or be born a god  from the beginning of things. A man can reach immortality through domination of his fellow man, and through the mastering of his human emotions and thoughts. There is no immortality in man that can grow in a garden of earthly delights.

Dionysus: Why is it that you look at me when screeching your platitudes? The vine is not born of any “earthly” garden; it sprung from the rich and immortal slopes of Olympus. To drink is to live as a god. To engage in the fruits of drink is to live an Olympian existence! Men live in anticipation of immortality, a fate that most will never have. Here I find myself in partial agreement with my more stoical brother; Man at his best is indeed a god, for only a god can be the best among men. And as this is nigh impossible for a man to become god, then it is nigh impossible for a man to be at his best in the mortal world. Be as a man among men Alexander. Lead them as a cunning wolf would a flock of sheep. When you lead them to the pen, sup at you own pleasure.

Alexander: You vex me! I am wholly split in my admiration for both of your arguments. I see the wisdom of both points of view. How am I, a mortal man despite all my airs, to choose of these two paths? Must I live as a two-faced worshiper of duty and deviousness?

There is no God of final moral arbitration. There is no sage that can choose your path. Alexander must be an Oracle unto himself

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Mythology, Philosophy of Art, poetry

A Scale

scale

You can feel the moment when you leave

The scale and

you jumped for joy and you denied the gods their

Toll

You can fool them once

Perhaps even twice

But you must decide

If you are a man or if want to

Fraternize with mice

You refuse to notice the bloody

sound that issues forth from

Deep under ground

And you know

Oh you know

The blessed grass will

break your fall

Before the earth can consume you

Through and through

Echo the pall that you can smell at dawn

Taste the sunrise and demand another

Bite

Spiritual men will always take your coin

But the only holy beggar you can trust

is the boatman

Water still until

The currency of mortality is spent

Taetricus!

Feel the lowly stain of your birth

And wash yourself with a moon baked jug

Of Iberian wine

You are clean

You are clean

But now you smell of grapes

 

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Fiction, Literature, Muses, Mythology

The Birth of Callidora

pan

Sing to me muse a tale of Pan and his ebullient and motley melodies. The shepherd prince was sleeping in the mint green fields in the Olympian hills. The flocks of a thousand nations lay bellow, all chewing the grass sprouts and lulling quietly and contentedly like flocks are want to do when the wolves are away and the sun is high in the sky. Pan lays upon a goatskin on a rock in the shade of an oak tree. He is the very picture of self-indulgent relaxation and coy passion. Beauty: his haunches solid as the marble of the quarry. His hair stolen from the storied stock of golden fleece. His swats at a fly with hands that could paint an eggshell with a lambs tears while the other is choking the life from a great she-wolf. He looks down upon his flock with eyes that could cause the moon to look away for their brilliance.

            Even exquisite and self-possessed Aphrodite has been known to fall for his charms… one winter day they met in a Thracian garden and made love for three nights and three days without end… Their ecstasy brought forth an early bloom of flowers in the winter months and Pan proudly renamed the site “The Garden of Winter Passion”, so it is still known to this day by the mortal inhabitants who come to admire its early flourishing blossoms. He was Pan. Pan of the Fields. Pan of music pure. And what music! The flock would sway to the melodies, and the lambs would skip to every honey sweetened note. There were five that he was especially fond of playing. One note brought to the sky the birds of all the world. Sparrows, jays, gulls, swifts, swallows, even the ferocious hawks, ravens, buzzards and eagles could not resist the enigmatic note. The doves would land about him and add their voices to the sharp whisper of his breath dancing upon the edge of the pipes. What so sharp a note can all but tame the wildest birds of the four winds? Pan has found it and Pan will hold fast its secrets ‘til the end of ages.

            Pan stirs from his perch upon the rock. He thinks he sees a creature prowling on the edges of the pasture. Dark and leering the shadow of this beast. ‘Tis a mountain lion looking for an easy lunch. Pan shows no fear in his handsome face. On the contrary! He smiles at the fun that will come for him. He lives for the times he can fight to protect his flock. He grabs his club, throws his goatskin onto his broad shoulders and runs like a spring breeze down the side of the steadily sloping hill. He puts his pipes to his lips and sounds a note of warning to his flock. The loud whistle resounds through the  valley and the sheep, goats, and cattle all take note. They turn towards their master and they run like Cerberus himself were on their tails.

            Pan continues to blow his note as he finally reaches the plain. He sees the lion pouncing upon one of his prized rams. Pan throws off his goat skin and charges at the growling creature, whose teeth are as long and sharp as daggers and whose hide is as strong as a soldiers shield. Pan grabs the beast by its muscled neck and throws it with all his might off of the ram. The lion roars in rage and swings its mighty paws, narrowly missing the God. Pan merely laughs and smashes home his mighty ash limb club. The skull of the mighty lion is crushed like an over ripened olive between the fingers of a young boy. The lion fell limp against the ground and Pan felt a thrill dance along his spine. He pulled forth his pipes and sounded a note of triumph to his flock. So proud the Lord of all nature! He plays his note for all the hear! As loud as a war drum, sharp as the tip of a spear. The flock was comforted by this martial note and came with heads held high back to their protector.

            Pan walked amongst the animals, looking for any more threats to their well being. Finding none he was able to rest once more upon the honor and the laurels of battle. He skinned the lion on the spot and used the pelt as another layer of comfort for his recumbent frame. The chief pursuit of the immortal is always comfort and pleasure, but on occasion even the perpetually blessed must tend to his duties. Tend to his duties… and to his needs. There was a sudden stirring in the loins of the god. The rush of war had given way to the rush of lust. Thus was the way of all immortal flesh. Man is truly a model of the gods, but where man composes poems, odes, and songs to celebrate the eternal yearning for flesh. The gods have the advantage in the pursuit however; the immortal hand may forge from the dust a greater art then any to soothe the burning passion of their desire.

            And so Pan in the misty thrall of delight did deign to make an opus worthy of his companionship. From the flock that in eternal trust and love did stand close upon his every step, Pan did seek the fairest lamb, the bravest and the most playful. It did not take long to find a little lamb that skipped and cried with unyielding abandon. He looked into its lively eyes and  saw an inner life a life that seemed by its very nature to be striving for a greater expression of itself. When found he took the little beast and pressed it to his sun kissed skin, and lifting hence from his breast did present the offering to the sky. At once the metamorphosis was done, and Pan let fall to earth the most nubile form that that ever blessed the fertile plains of earth. Her hair the richest russet, alike the deepest womblike dirt of the valley. When she stood unsteady upon her grass stained feet Pan could see his composition for the masterwork she was. Her frame was enveloped in the most splendidly dark skin, dark like the ripened olive. Her hands, now searching her own form in wonder at its constitution, oh her hands forged of mercury bleeding from arms that so sweetly frame the most succulent bosom that ever did grace the eyes and fancy of a fruitful being. With buds alike the rose in winters thaw placed upon the softest fleshly hill, a neck did rise like an oak to stand twixt to sloping peaks, the proudest shoulders ever seen upon a woman. Her eyes finally turn from the task of admiring her own new born form to survey the world around her. They flash the gayest green when they fall upon the person of her creature.

            For the first time the woman found the use of her tongue. It was a strange sensation to her newly minted mouth, but she spoke with the eloquence bequeathed to her by Pan. “My creator, I am humble in thy presence. I am most pleased by my creation, and to you I pledge my honor, my mind, my body, and my eternal gratitude. I am free from the flock that kept me safe, but also kept me estranged from the world. A flock is a warm, safe place, but therein lies the poisonous comfort that makes it a warm, safe prison for a form such as mine waiting to be made free. You looked into my eyes and saw the transformation within me lacked only the act to be made a full expression of life. I thank you so much God of all nature and living things, God of inescapable beauty, God of song that transcends all mortal melody, God who sang to me when I was but a lamb amongst lambs, who sang to me in a voice of mighty Olympus high above in the clouds, who protected me from the scourge of thunder, drought, and ravenous beasts. I salute your splendor and I confirm to you my eternal debt.” With reverence born of the bond between artist and creation the maiden fell to her knee. Pan laughed and immediately bid her stand.

            “Do not bow to me! For it is I who is enthralled, indebted to you.; your beauty is a gift I will never be able to match again. Do not worship me! You are forged of the sturdy, breathing stuff of earth, out of life and all its beneficial color. I am born of chaos, of harmony betrayed, of lost and ill framed emotion flung into a forge of fearful imagination. I am a haphazard concoction of eternal rage and incestuous starlit meanderings. You my dear are made of much more human stuff. Do not praise me! I am nothing more then the sum of creations, and you my dear confirm that in my finest moments I can reach true transcendence. I am reborn in you my dear! I am reborn anew! Into sunlight! Into a dawn of elation that should not ever see a dusk of fervor. You are my pinnacle… what is the use of being an immortal if one cannot use that divinity to create a beauty that needs no immortal justification? Take my hand and I will give you a gift worthy of your splendor.”

            And she looked at him, and he looked at her, and she knew what this gift would be.

Pan placed his hands upon her warm face, cooling her mortal fever with a divine chill that soothed her newborn frame. “I brought you forth, but I cannot truly claim you as a creation. I was given a gift by the earth that I so humbly tend. Allow me this loving indulgence though: allow me to give to you a name. You are Callidora. You are a gift of beauty to this world. I treasure you, do me the honor of treasuring yourself.”

Callidora did take a step into his arms. She felt her heart sing and her body move to its deep music. Twas the melody of passion playing upon her emotions and her form. Art met artist, expression met act. They met in the embrace that all lovers practice. A kiss to be remembered in poem, caresses to soften the most mordant heart. Between her legs a cloven fig, red and ready for the worshipful tongue of her god, her creator, her playmate. The nectar spread upon his lips as he brought her to the brink of possible bliss. To the heavens it sounded! To the air! To the clouds! What can ever feel so true as the truth that a man feels in a woman? Lust fully consummated, passions fully cooled, they lay together like to children caught up in some foolish game.

            With their caper complete Pan rejoiced at his new companion and played for her a song of love upon his pipes:

I sing a song of Callidora

Of pleasant fields and verdant flowers

In bloom

Alive

In spring a birth of ecstasy

A nymph as soft as the purest wool

Anointed with my kisses

You are spirited towards the sky

To Olympus

To the very vault of heaven

My heart a soundless song upon your lips

So did Pan bring the world Callidora, and so did Callidora first feel the pulse of the living world.

 

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Existentialism, Mythology, Philosophy, Philosophy of Art, poetry

I Worship a Mirror

Narcissus Caravaggio

If we are to live as men without god

Then we must first realize that we are the deity

We are the invisible hand we revere

We are washed clean of sin with our own blood don’t you see?

Haven’t you always found it to be odd

That god always seemed to be free

From scruples and blame and the mere

Doubt that afflicts and affects humanity?

I never saw fit to spare the rod

When came to that child of folly

Called variously faith or fear

I spoiled the lie when I realized that I was God and God was me

Though I cannot help but applaud

The shear brilliance of the self-delusion and stupidity

Inherent in looking in the mirror

And seeing not a reflection but a deity

 

The Song of the Hedonist

Sing me a song of temptation

And I’ll dance like a Dionysian child

For if there’s a hint of elation

In your voice well then my spirit will go wild

Everything is partaken of freely

Though nothing is taken for granted

The aroma of salvation is deadly

But its dangerous reputation is vaunted

Tethered to the immortal credo

A tin-pot lie sold to us as the golden truth

Don’t the prophet’s realize what we do?

Theodicy is getting a bit long in the tooth

For once let us gain from our progress

Instead of fleeing from change in all forms

For faith is an infinite regress

That feeds upon long discredited norms

Religion is naught but a draught

Taken by the platonic to sooth their wavering consciences

Sobriety is what we have sought

So that we can finally enjoy our corporeal senses

We live for our dreams and our pleasures

We die when our bodies have been run down

We enjoy the earth’s Hedonistic treasures

And we waste not a moment on fear or penitent frowns

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Ancient Greece, art, Muses, Mythology, Philosophy, poetry

The Hesperides

Auburn haired guardians of the golden crop

I yearn for you and your splendid valley

Where the winds sing and the crickets hop

Where the sun does shine lackadaisically

 

The farthest brink of the mortal panoply

That is where your astounding garden grows

In the arms of Atlas most tenderly

And at whose mighty feet you softly doze

 

Your locks are as red as the blooming rose

That grows about you in the fertile sun

You seem intoxicated by passions’ throes

By the ecstasy that  in streams here run

 

The beauty and the sunlight do not yield

Let me walk evermore in this blissful field

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