I have a new view of the Greek myths beginning to gel, and would like someday to bring this into full form by writing a story, perhaps about Hercules, who I have taken up for study of late, spinning out of my comparison of Barack Obama and Theseus, writ maybe a year ago now. I had to study Theseus in order to write on Shakespeare’s A midsummer Night’s Dream, and so on Independence Day last year I stayed home, reflecting on the heritage of our liberty from Theseus and Athens. Theseus is the founder of Athens as a city as distinct from Athens as a village, which is much older. Since there is no guarantee of getting to write more about this enthralling matter, I will state the stunning revelations that seem to be coming as Homer’s knowledge of the Trojan war came to him, by way of the muses. In some things, I have simply not studied enough, but at the risk of embarrassing myself with certain errors no real Greek scholar would make, I want to record the fundamental insights and hypotheses.
The Greek myths embody an amazing history, put together after their flood, after which Deucalion and Phyrrah re-peopled the Peloponnese. The gods are men, or ancestors, as Holinshed brilliantly noticed. These may have been men of a different sort, similar to Noah, men who lived a long long time, but that makes much more sense of Zeus descending on occasion from Mt. Olympus to pursue mortal women. Their flood is different and more recent than the flood of Noah (3500? B.C.), perhaps occurring about 1800 B.C. The three generations from Hercules through Odysseus occur about 900-1100, nearly contemporaneous with Israel’s David. So Zeus is quite a different thing from our God, the Yahweh of Israel, who is, was and will be, the Most High, the Good One. And the moderns will think what they will, till they have time and think it through, and see that I am indeed on the right track. But realizing that the Greek gods dwelling on Mount Olympus made sense in terms of a genealogy and flood is indeed one key: The Italian gods are Pelasgian, having come from Greece as with Hercules, even before Aeneas.
The Geeks were a very rude people, but the stories of their reception of the alphabet from Phoenicia, the founding first of Argos, Cadmus bringing the alphabet to the Athenians or Thessalians, and Minos coming from Greek relatives are all conveying genuine history.
I have just noticed, to my astonishment, that the early Greeks did not ride horses, but went straight from walking about to driving chariots. Hence, the centaurs are simply based upon the way horsemen were seen by very rude people. The Mongolians, from whence the original horse was domesticated, spent their entire lives riding, but according to the hypothesis, the Greeks of the two generations prior to the Trojan war did not ride. So they saw the horsemen as centaurs, and we have Chiron the centaur and Hercules various exploits with the centaurs getting drunk at weddings and Pholos, who died accidentally by a poisoned arrow of Hercules.
From Homer and Herodotus, I figured out that the Cyclopse described in the Odyssy are actually Neanderthal men, or something like these, seen from a distance, their heavy brow ridge appearing as one eye. All the rare examples are lost by archaeology, so these creatures, and many strange “dragons,” may well have survived long past when archaeology says they became extinct, and it is men who killed all the mega fauna, including giant apes. A tooth of a giant ape was found in a Chinese medicine collection, leading one to wonder about the “abominable snowman,” or our Sesquatch, and even Giant men: Mega fauna. Tiny men who are not Cro-Magnon were found recently in Java, hunting tiny elephants just 30,000 years ago. And we know for sure there never were any Leprechauns and Unicorns! Rubbish! These, like Pterodactyls, may have survived in stories based on examples as rare as the Loch Ness Monster. Giant Squids were once assumed never to have existed, but now have been discovered. Not that the mythic memory does not stretch it a bit, but science based upon nature can ferret out the truth. That the centaur is based upon how pedestrian men see horse men for the first time- how would they imagine what they are seeing?- is the prime example. Hence Herodotus writes of the “One eyed Arimaspu,” and everyone thought these writers were just spinning tales. The clue is that “each gave law to his own family,” noted by Homer in contrast with our kind of man, whom we call “Cro-Magnon,” and Aristotle callas the rational or political Animal. These domesticate, beginning with the dog from the wolf, on only 3 occasions,* the earliest about 120,000 B.C., though the Cyclopse may have picked up herding from the men. These, unlike every other primate, live in tribes, and these tribes settle into villages, and these villages become cites, which are the root of the nation and then the “empire.” From this, and the study of Freud and his questions in psychology, viewed scientifically, for those who can stand it, I realized that the riddle of the Sphynx is not the question but the answer: man. The riddle is the incest prohibition, which Neanderthal and other kinds of man apparently did not have. The families are joined into tribes, and corresponding changes occur for our kind of man in the soul and emotions as these relate to the family. The genetic mixing that results is superior, and would quickly demarcate the species called the rational animal. And wherever tribal man devolves into filial man, a degeneration, together with grave consequences for the soul, is obvious, if insufficiently understood.
So, Machiavelli does not know shit about centaurs! Chiron the centaur was the pupil of Asclepius, who invented or brought to mankind the first hospitals and the whole idea of the medical art of healing. He also seems to have established a university, centering around the teaching of medicine, riding and music. He is perhaps an Olympian, of the sort superior to the rude Pelopponnesian Greeks. One sees in this a higher culture that had developed and survived somehow on Mt. Olympus, perhaps even from Atlantis, if they sent Physicians into the world when they foresaw the doom of their Island, which was probably where the Azores are today. Hercules may have gone there on a labor, as the cattle of Geryon are on an island off the coast of Spain, though it is thought that the Apples of the Hesperides were in Africa. Aegyptus, incidentally, is in both the genealogy in Genesis and in the Greek myths, so one might here find a connection, if it is the same Aegyptos. or Egypt. Comprehensive world history takes a long time to comprehend in any stable way, and I am helped by the timeline on the wall of the British museum, to which I will return many times, and by Plato’s Timaeus. One must build in one’s understanding a timeline which relates the different timelines from archeology and history. Aesclepius saw a snake apply an herb that brought another snake back from the dead- probably smelling salts) and that is where the two snake emblem of the medical profession comes to this day (Thanks to W.H.D. Rouse, Gods, Heroes and Men of Ancient Greece). Watch the Hippocratic oath turn out to be Aesclepiadic. But Machiavelli is a fool because the study of the natural philosophy that preceded Socrates has its end and purpose not in tyranny, or how to acquire and maintain State or political power, but in medicine.
Chiron the pupil of Aesclepius taught medicine and horsemanship to Achilleus in the generation after Theseus, who was of the generation after Hecules. Hercules, the son of Zeus and Alcmena, is the origin of the martial arts. Rouse gives a nice account of how Hercules killed the Nemian Lion, and David too in the Bible is able to kill lions and bears with his bare hands. And you thought that was just myth! There is one sentence that tells how David found the martial arts, and that is all that need be said, because if one does not make the choice of Hercules to follow virtue, one cannot learn the martial arts. Hence Hercules went about destroying robbers and tyrants, making the world safer for civilization. But the arts were brought by Alexander (380-350 B.C) into India, and by the Buddhists first to China and then to Japan, kept in the temple for the aforesaid reason. There has been a man who killed a tiger, and a man who could drop a charging bull, both by the same method. These rare Japanese martial artists are both exceptional by nature and spend their lives doing it: the one who dropped the charging bull spent many years alone in the forest beating upon trees. Mr. Musashi entered the forest orphaned at age 5 and emerged from the forest at age 13 the best swordsman in Japan, about the 1650’s. But Hercules, before using his wrestling Jitsu, first shattered his club on the lion’s head, which does help a bit when trying to get inside on a Lion! David too was not adverse to weapons when it came time to fight Goliath. But do note: The undefeated Mr. Musashi- perhaps the greatest swordsman in history- defeated his last opponent, the otherwise greatest in all Japan, with a wooden sword which he carved out of an oar on his way over to the island where this man waited for the match. And Mitsushige superseded that, dropping his opponent with ki alone, without touching him at all, though this is “hidden by leaves.” If one never fights, he will not bruise his hand, and will die as did Musashi, undefeated, and having conquered himself! It is in fact a great dishonor and a sign of imperfection to ever need to fight, as the sage takes care of problems before they happen. Hercules may truly have met up with Prometheus! There are many deep psychological and historical mysteries waiting study in the Greek myths. But, as Nishyama teaches, “Mind like moon,” and “Heart controls Ki.” The good will never lose if they use the ancient Tao, which is like a bellows, according to Lao Tzu, and will never fail.
These then are the hypotheses, which I would not even write for publication without about a ten year study, but for fear that the points, important to philosophy, might be lost. I will work on them some more, and would greatly appreciate any help of the genuine sort in my attempt, following these masters, to follow the muses for the benefit of mankind.
*note: In evolution, certain things happen only on a very few occasions. Life began only once, as all living things on earth ore genetic descendants of the same line. Life crawled out of the ocean onto land not once a year or a thousand times, but once with plants, once with insects and once with salamanders! Only three times! Dogs are not drawn from wolves once a week, but only in three lines, your woofdog, your hound dog or floppy-eared type, and your lap dog, those Chinese toy dogs, roughly speaking. Creatures learned to fly, but only once with insects, once with dinosaurs, and once with flying fish and flying squirrels or bats, and once with men! That life is all related on earth, apparently, means that life is quite rare, and does not come in from outer space on every asteroid, growing like mold on bread everywhere the conditions are right, for example. Once in 4 Billion years? And we are direct genetic descendants?