Three comments on the ephemeral

The gods’ fanfare. Shall we get back to the wisdom of Greek myths? Luc Ferry’s book left me wondering about the role of heroes in that mythology. From what I could understand, such semi-gods need to destroy any kind of force that potentially opposes cosmic balance. They exist for the sake of maintaining the harmony between the living and the inanimate, between divine eternity and chaotic time. In the absence of life – of impermanence – time becomes superfluous. There would be only boredom throughout all of eternity. On the other hand, were everything to be constantly changing in a chaotic frenzy, cosmos would be destroyed altogether.

This cosmos full of life was created merely for the amusement of the gods. Without the human beings, or of life in general, the Olympians would be simply bored in their immutable eternity. The gods are only using us to entertaining themselves.

Perseus needs to slay the Medusa because her petrifying gaze may put an end to life as we know it. Heracles (or Hercules) needed to clean the stables of king Augeas because otherwise the dirt might have made a whole region infertile. Theseus had to eliminate a series of monstrosities before the Minotaur came across him.

It is, in essence, the mission of any worker: to create some order in chaos. To change things that would otherwise be still on their own. However, why wouldn’t the almighty gods finish the chaotic forces off themselves given that they were able to create the whole cosmic order themselves in the first place? Why don’t they exterminate Medusa themselves, for instance?

Because, in spite of being immortal, the gods may also be petrified. And, if that were the case, it would be for the whole of eternity. Conversely, a mortal (even if a semi-god) will be there standing motionless only until he dies. Moreover, the loss of a god that is/controls the forces of nature is way more detrimental to cosmic balance than the loss of a human being who would eventually die anyway.

Therefore, the gods prefer to have children and have them do the chores. And the divine creatures may even help their offspring. However, we may never lose sight that this cosmos full of life was created merely for the amusement of the gods. Without the human beings, or of life in general, the Olympians would be simply bored in their immutable eternity. The gods are only using us to entertaining themselves. Even (or especially) the heroes. We had better not take ourselves that seriously.

***

Not that it is an easy task, this thing of not taking ourselves too seriously. We are there hanging out, in our efforts to just be someone else and… bang! We are faced with the impossibility of attaining the unreachable. We find ourselves wanting more, and more… More of what? Money? Fun?

Seriously?

Infallibility, maybe. Completeness, whatever it means… To aim to be complete is too ambitious.

I have this project, and this other one. And that other one as well. Eggs in different baskets. Among all of them, one should justify myself. However, one of them is not going so well. This one here, I point with my left hand, had a setback. And this other one, that I indicate with my right hand is not doing wonders either.

Hands that try to change the world, to protect me. And there I am, right in the middle of them – something that is not going to change. However, none of the projects has done well today.

It was a bad day. But just a bad day.

***

Go, Eleuterio, go! In one of those many afternoons, Eleuterio watched “Fala Comigo”, from the Brazilian director Felipe Sholl, in one of those cinemas at Augusta Street in Sao Paulo. Then he was reminded that we are all going to die. But how nice it is to, every now and then, live without remembering it!

Comfort and freedom. Is it always a trade-off? He attempted to philosophize.

He wondered if couples that decide to be together forever fear death to a lesser extent. Or do they feel more of death during their lives?

He was walking back home and saw this little girl, so happy with the noise her backpack made from being dragged on the floor! The sight of her made him smile. Would he have smiled if he were not aware of his finitude? He will never know.

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