Aeschylus Bound

2:43am - I just realized that I’m not like my dad at all. I’m a totally different species of animal. I picture myself walking in the church door to be greeted by Pastor’s “Good morning, Robert.” Could that ever have happened to my dad? Would he or Mom ever have set foot in a church? No. So that I suspect the operation of something beyond my parents and their parenting. It’s the unraveling of my genotype, which is kind of like fate. They say nature and nurture are 50:50, and tho my parents are gone, both my heredity and my environment continue to influence my development. It’s true of everybody in the human and natural world. Some people believe in the influence of “the stars” as well, and tho astrology seems arbitrarily devised, even I have found my birth chart to be at least 50:50 accurate. If it were greater than this ratio, a greater number than suggested by chance, then astrology would be a “science” to reckon with. Sometimes, going out late at night, I get the sense that the “imponderable stars” have arranged a meeting for me with someone special somewhere. It’s just a poetic sentiment, but suppose that “as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods: they kill us for their sport.” That’s Shakespeare, but the feeling of fate has been with us since ancient Greeks watched tragedies. Imagine Aeschylus letting go his conscious self and writing the mad tale of Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humankind. For punishment, he was chained to a rock on a mountaintop. An eagle was sent to feed on his liver at intervals. How in the world did Aeschylus’s imagination come up with this story? He abandoned himself to the pull and swing of something greater than himself. It was something in the astral night, the stars and the ether between them; in the play of the breakers, waves ordained by the moon; in the heart of the sunrise and sunset, marking off day from day. It was a story he found in his heart informing his brain. The tale was beautiful, something worth preserving, but it didn’t belong to him. Aeschylus stole the tale from the gods and gave it to humankind.

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