Archive for the ‘Myth & Mind’ Category

  • Myth & Mind: The drinking horn full of the oceans

    Jan 30, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard What is myth? Raven stealing the light, Athena bursting fully-armored from Zeus’ forehead, and so on? Where did these stories come from and why? Well — once upon a time — our primate ancestors lived, ate, loved, and died just like other animals and needed nothing more. Like wolves and chimpanzees, we hunted cooperatively and communicated using indicative vocalizations. Then language happened, and from thinking largely in concrete facts we started thinking in symbols. We made the cognitive leaps from grunting when we saw antelope, to having a specific sound that meant “antelope,” to using it when there were none around. Suddenly we had more to think about apart from whether or not we could run the antelope down; now we were concerned with meaning, and lo, through one of evolution’s stranger vicissitudes the human consciousness was born. Language and the super-complex brains it built gave our sorry, furless ancestors the cooperative and imaginative edge they needed to survive. But now, those complex brains found equal complexity in otherwise straightforward struggles to get food, mate, fight, and resolve fights. Life had a new dimension for which meat and copulation alone were not enough (well, for some of us). We needed to find a working truce with the loneliness and fear that go hand-in-hand with speculative thought; we needed not just physical but psychological strength to outwit death

  • The sweet fruit of the dead: A consideration of life after death before birth

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard The girl was called Kore, “maiden,” and Neotera, “younger.” She was full to bursting with youth, life, and beauty, and all adored her. One day the ground yawned under her feet, and Hades, lord of the dead, carried Kore down from the fields of grain and poppies to his realm deep within the earth. Without the maiden, seeds did not sprout, buds withered before they could turn to fruits or flowers, and crops died in the fields. There could be no new life, no food. Only age and wintry barrenness were on the grieving earth. Under the earth, grapes and persimmons, apples and pomegranates throve, perfumed and plump. Kore was hungry but dared not eat, for to eat the fruit of the realm of the dead would bind her to it. A beautiful pomegranate in Hades’ garden caught her eye. Its rind flushed like a dancer’s cheeks, and it swelled as tautly round as a belly about to give birth, so rich with ripe life it seemed to sing to her. Such a fruit could do her no harm. She reached out and plucked it, and hesitated, feeling its weight in her palm. Then with her nails she tore through the thick skin and bit a mouthful of slippery crimson seeds. Nothing in all the world was ever so sweet, so fulfilling, so good. The blood-red juice

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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