Posted by StarDrifter from adsl-67-36-189-217.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 11:47PM :
In Reply to: Wisdom In Gilgamesh Epic posted by farid from customer-148-233-78-77.uninet.net.mx (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 1:19PM :
I have read your posts with a deep fascination and admiration for your unique style of writing. The manner in which you sculpt sentences, down to (or up from?) each word intrigues me as a reverent devotee of the art of writing. But, if that was all there was to it, then, the fascination would soon fade away for lack of substance. Happily, you seem discontented to merely roam about on the surface of the subjects you tackle. The determination you continually exhibit to dig ever deeper and deeper, not merely to find answers as most of us do, but to explore, in the great tradition of the daring explorers of old, cannot help but draw attention from those, like myself, who love an element of danger and risk in their own penchant for exploration.
I have hesitated before, to comment on these wonderful posts, because I don’t think I have mastered, as yet, all the nuances you use and more importantly, I lack your courage to tread the same crevices and rugged terrain. There is one aspect of this recent post of yours that I would like to comment on though, because I thoroughly agree with it and I believe it is one of those important points that most of us continually overlook. With your permission, I quote the following paragraph from your post:
“To me, the quintessence of Mesopotamian wisdom, at polar opposites to our other cousins, lies in the figure of the Divine Barmaid who gives Gilgamesh the answer he didn't go looking for, the one which calms his restless and fearful soul. Simply put she tells him that immortality was reserved by the gods for themselves, death they gave to mankind...and that's the long and the short of it. Roam where you will, pester whom you will, there is no escaping that fact. And the beauty of her advice, which follows, is that it does indeed calm the overheated spirit, soothes the arrogant mind and focuses one's attention on the beauty of a life well lived, here on earth...as we can see in the Gilgamesh who returns to his kingdom...a better man and king. Not for finding any answers to those Big Questions which his earlier wilder and irresponsible character made him liable to go seeking...just the sort of scatterbrained egotist you'll find storming about in the Old Testicle...but because he realizes there are no answers, that there can be no answers and therefore a man has to be a fool and a potentially dangerous one to those around him, if he persists in trying to play, or play up to, God. “
Well said! Especially, the point that Gilgamesh returned to his kingdom, “a better man and king,” not because he had penetrated the occult wisdom of the Divine Mysteries, “but because he realizes there are no answers, that there can be no answers and therefore a man has to be a fool and a potentially dangerous one to those around him, if he persists in trying to play, or play up to, God. “
I cannot add or detract from all that you have said. I can only say that reflecting on your post, I realized the following: I have often thought that we are too close to the objective world to fully appreciate its worth and estimate its true value. It seems to meet us right at the surface of our eyeballs. Whenever I am led to believe that I have seen something as it is, I am immediately confounded and realize I either have not seen it at all or have seen it wrong. When I meet objects in the external world at the surface of my eyeballs, then I miss their size and quality in relation to everything else. If I truly wish to see the significance of the material world then I have to take ten paces backward to view it in terms of its setting. This applies no less, in my estimation, to the world of ideas as it does to objects. But, just as I am unable to get out of my skin, in this life I am living, I am also unable to escape the setting I am in, until I part with it forever. So, though I do not have to live life to the full (I can retreat from it in “fear and ignorance,”) as you have pointed out, it is foolish to do so. There are indeed, as you indicated, no end to fools and fanatics today, with a never-ending repertoire of “big answers to big questions,” all of whom demand our allegiance and devotion. These naysayers though, take the joy out of living and turn us inward against ourselves. Above all, then, let us have life and let us have it more abundantly!
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