Of Mentors, Gods, Muses & Monsters

How can the world have meaning when 99.99% of it is empty (at least according to the current, sanctioned principles of physics)? Not only can the answer be reduced to the existentialist-nihilist assertion that “we ought to give it value,” but the sum-total of that value can be broken down into essential pieces that make for a balanced spirit–anything else deforms and falls into the abyss of a deppressive existence.

Mentors – Everyone ought to have a direct teacher; a person that becomes the measure to be surparssed. Alexander would have hardly become the Great without an Aristotle to rear him.

Idols/Heroes –  These figures may or may not be more distant than the mentor, yet they serve both a similar role about measure and a different type of teaching–they ought to decline in one’s eyes, stripped of their apparent super-powers or superhuman virtues/qualities, thus revealing the non-perfect nature of the world and of humanity. Oedipus and Odysseus had to be crushed by their own virtues turned into vices, mostly due to an adjustment of the world.

Gods/the Divine – One ought to have a higher order, an authority that infuses a system to chaos, whether that be a dysfunctional divine family like the Olympians, an all-powerful single God, or just the immutable laws of science. The point of the Divine, its true power, resides in its standing as a refuge from the challenges of the world (or at least a justification for them) or, sometimes, as the power one ought to aspire to either defeat/surmount or defend and gain approval from in order to justify the world as whole. If one feels neither Athena’s support nor the urge to stab Zeus in the heart, then there might not be enough a drive to experiece the world.

Muses – Beyond the artistic, one’s muses are those who inspire to live and experience extraordinary things despite or because of the woes and wonders presented by life.

Monsters – All the fears and looming doom inherent to living–from external threats to inner demons.

An Afterlife – That place one desires to reach once and because “everthing has been said and done;” essentially, the echo one wants to leave in eternity, whether that be a Heaven, a Hell, or just some sort of legacy amidst fellow humans and kindred spirits.

A Sun – That which gives light to one’s life, and thus also provides guidance, but which can also disorient and burn as much as it can sustain life–Icarus and Daedalus would support that claim.

In short, Carl Jung had it right with his archetype theory: there exist (Greek: stand-out) certain figures in one’s life that leave an irreparable and damning void if not procured, and that list can be traced back to the Greeks, who, not surprisingly, had probably one of the most accurate understandings/readings of human nature–one useful for philosophizing and making sense of the world even today.

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