Multae Sententiae is Latin for "many thoughts". Free thinking leads to Enlightenment. Enlightenment leads to happiness...

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Sunday, February 05, 2006 CE

Where is the modern Prometheus? Who will bring us the fire of knowledge?


Prometheus, in Greek mythology, is the creator of man. He is not only the creator, but also the protector and mentor. He battled against Zeus, who was not interested in the development of human beings past the level of cavemen. In addition, Prometheus realized that man had a survival skill disadvantage compared to the rest of the animals, which had claws for defense; fur to protect them from cold and speed to hunt preys. In order to help humans, Prometheus did not hesitate in deceiving the greater gods. There are 2 stories that make him a famous mythological character. The one in which he makes Zeus believe that he will be getting a great meat meal and men end up getting it while Zeus got the bones and the one in which he steals the fire of the gods to bring light and warmth to humanity.

I relate the first story to social justice. Men, even being poor and hungry, had to offer sacrifices to the gods. Prometheus made them realize that they do not have to give everything, that they can keep sacrifices for themselves because they are products of their own effort. Nowadays, we live in the world of the few elites that concentrate power and wealth and the masses that work for them. Not only workers, but professionals also end up serving masters that decide on a salary, can fire them at will and do not hesitate in reducing benefits in the name of efficiency and productivity. This situation is especially bad in third world countries with capitalist economies, in which the law of free market becomes the “survival of the fittest”. The states with larger degrees of regulation of the economic activity have less unevenness and more social justice.

The second story has a more abstract meaning. In this case, fire and light represent knowledge. Dark are the places where ignorance, superstition and prejudice prevail. By stealing the fire that the gods wanted to keep from themselves, Prometheus gave humanity the best of the gifts, the gift of education. All humans have the potential to be enlightened, however, I see that education lags behind in the ranking of items in national budgets. Building a tank is more important than building a school for those states.

Now, we get to the point in which we can relate the 2 stories. It is easier for an elite, to preserve the present state of social injustice if the masses are uneducated. If you do not illuminate your surroundings with the fire of knowledge, how can you defend your rights? How can you be free of prejudice if you do not see more than your nose? How can you be free of superstition if you live in eternal fear? How can you protect yourself from the liars or the abusers?

The modern Prometheus is inside us. In some people, he is deeply buried below the weight of fear, ignorance and superstition, the triad of the unenlightened. Other people already possess the fire of the gods and they are doing the best they can to distribute it. What we need are more people committed for education and social justice to uncover those captive Prometheus that will assure us the freedom from that triad.

8 Comments:

Blogger CyberKitten said...

Well said. Knowledge is indeed power. What's more it's the gift that keeps on giving too.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Knowledge, in all is forms is power. Just listening to the news or surfing the web, makes a person more powerful.px

9:22 PM  
Blogger George Larson said...

Agreed Dr. Marco.

Based on that same idea I claim that surfing is superior to watching the box. Interactivity is (on some level) stimulating and encourages thought.

It takes more brainage to play a typing game than it does to watch 'Friends'.

P.S. Thanks for visiting my 'blog.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Surfing the web is really enlightening, however, one must overcome perosnal biases in order to get the most objetcive information.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Sherril said...

Hey Doc,
I just came by to see whqat was new on your blog. I haven't thought about Greek Mythology much since Jr. High, when I can remember using tracing paper to draw Zeus and the others.
I found Prometheus today in the form of a young man named jesse. Social justice and progress can be found in forming groups to make your mark in improving out world. I happened to write about this today in my blog: http://sherrilsmyriadofmusings.blogspot.com/2006/02/light-darkness-darkness-light.html
Sherril

11:12 PM  
Blogger KA said...

Dr. Marco:
You may be interested in Harlan Ellison's story, Deathbird.

Always have been a huge fan of Greek mythology, even from my pre-adolescent years.

The modern Prometheus is inside us.

Agreed. That each of us is capable of being more than we are.

Soft chains are hardest to break.

& the parable isn't lost, even to this day:
Beware offending the status quo.

Tantaene animis coelestibus irae? - Virgil.
In heavenly minds can such resentments dwell?

In earthly minds, I might add, it becomes more than resentment.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Asia:
Prometheus saw, and waked the legioned hopes
Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers,
Nepenthe, Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms;
That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings
The shape of Death; and Love he sent to bind
The disunited tendrils of that vine
Which bears the wine of life, the human heart;
And he tamed fire which, like some beast of prey,
Most terrible, but lovely, played beneath
The frown of man, and tortured to his will
Iron and gold, the slaves and signs of power,
And gems and poisons, and all subtlest forms,
Hidden beneath the mountains and the waves.
He gave man speech, and speech created though,
Which is the measure of the Universe.

Prometheus Unbound
Percy Bysshe Shelley

1:53 PM  
Blogger sybil said...

doc m, This blog is such a nice place to come to.Even including the black background. (I notice tht different black blogs affect me differently: from edgy, to mysterious, to your's, something like cozy. maybe cozy sounds belittling, but when I come to your space, i take a big breath, and relax into hanging-out mode.)

I love it that you're able to range from the sublime to the ridiculous, with appropriate literary refs, and on-going mainstream religious cult- busting.

12:08 AM  

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