Those Insightful Greeks/Self Help Mythology

Those Insightful Greeks
    The Greek mythology has many facets. It
entertains us with its picturesque details. It
inspires our poets and story tellers. It explains the
mysteries of the universe through the beautiful
stories. But most importantly, the Greek myths give us
an insight into our own nature. They teach us how to
act, and not to act, in order to be happy. The
following series of articles purports to analyze, from
an unconventional, and at times humorous, standing
point, several Greek ideas which are still relevant in
the modern times.
Breaking the Patterns
    Uranus, Zeus’ grandfather was a very bad parent.
He put his personal happiness above that of his family
and incarcerated all of his children in his body. He
was afraid to allow them any autonomy, so that he
wouldn’t be deposed from his lofty position of a
ruler.
    Chronos, which many sources mention as Zeus’
father, and Uranus’ offspring, became a tyrant in his
own right. He, who suffered from parental abuse and
should have known better, repeated the mistake of his
sire.  Worried about his continuing leadership he
chose to meticulously control his own children. He ate
all of his sons, and was planning to keep them inside
for all eternity.
    Zeus, a son of an abusive father, and a
grandchild of a tyrant, broke the chain. A few
unflattering comments can be made about his character,
but one thing was clear. Among the uncountable numbers
of children he had, he loved everyone. Not once has it
crossed his mind to limit their freedom out of fear
for his own leadership. Even though his male side of
the family trained him in the tradition of abuse, Zeus
found inside the courage to rise above the
circumstances. He judged his children according to
their behavior, rather than the perceived threat. His
relationship with the two godly children sufficiently
illustrates this assertion. The ruler of gods disliked
his son Ares for his militant character, and favored
his daughter Athena, even though she objectively posed
a greater threat to Zeus’ own dominion aided by her
unfathomable wisdom.
    From a numerological point of view then, Zeus’
primary number is 6. He in many ways represents the
ideal parent, who gives his children exactly what they
need, rather than what they want. Ares, the god of
aggressiveness, always demanded some kind of war from
his father. Most parents would be too worried to
refuse the requests of their beloved offspring. To
them, denial of the child’s desire might indicate
their failure in the parental duty. The case is
different for those who have a 6 in their number. They
wisely conclude that sometimes temperance is the best
method of education. Zeus came to this conclusion
during the Trojan War, when his blood thirsty son
required more and more casualties to satisfy his
enormous hunger for pain. The elder god knew that
total freedom would ruin Ares, encouraging him in the
unhealthy appetite until it was too late to turn back,
and so he refused his request. Even while concerned
about the tension between himself and Ares, the
greatest of gods still made the right choice, as the
‘6’ archetype of parent often does.
    In his actions, Zeus hence exemplifies the most
balanced approach to breaking the patterns. He went
away from the automatically negative attitude towards
his children, but he equally rejected the temptation
of overindulgence. Many a parent, raised in strict
families themselves, will compensate for it by extreme
lenience towards their children. Not so the master of
the gods. He escaped the tyranny in himself, and the
possible weakness. He didn’t have any role models
among the elder gods, and yet, managed to develop a
well rounded and utterly balanced personality.
    None of us, regular mortals, can ever hope to
match the divine entity with its numerous powers. But
his most significant, emotional strength is in our
hands. If we choose to use it. This is indeed the
crucial factor. While we yearn for the freedom of
choice and are willing to fight for it, we are often
afraid to make the really important choices, if they
differ from the familiar.
    The choice doesn’t have to imply any physical
action. It might be just an inward decision to change.
A simple resolution to act differently would do, if it
is likely to improve the situation. It is an
incredibly great feeling to believe that we can change
our own position. Why wouldn’t we do then just about
anything to bring an improvement?
    Possibly, because the deviation from the standard
is emotionally uncomfortable. That is the reason we
would rather perpetuate the bad habits and pass them
from generation to generation, than stop and
objectively consider them. In fact, many of us use our
upbringing as an excuse to keep making the mistakes.
We are only humans, so it is understandable, we claim
to our inner critic and to others. We are right too,
on both accounts. But wouldn’t it be better, in spite
of our mortality, to embrace the greatest power of an
immortal god, and change ourselves for the better?
After all, our greatest right is not provided on a
golden platter by our heavenly or earthly father, our
government, or the United Nations. It is the right to
be happy. We have this right from birth,
unconditionally, no matter who we are, and only we
ourselves can exercise that greatest of rights.
    In the long run, Zeus’ emotional discomfort at
getting away from the tradition was only momentary.
His happy relationship with his children lasted
forever and it was the direct result of his actions.
He made sure, all by himself, to satisfy the strongest
of his needs. His greatness, therefore, didn’t depend
on any supernatural, undeserved powers. Essentially,
he is as strong as we are, or as weak as we are, for
he represents the human ideal. And if he broke away
from the negative patterns, so can we.
*****
Our fascination with mythology inspired, in part, an extensive acquisition of mythological items, if interested, you could share our passion for mythology with the following mythological haul:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn3ueMyDFWA&t=558s
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