The Greeks, the Christians and Women: We are a tragic species.


In Greek myth, humankind started out as exclusively male.  The gods created men, mortal beings, but in the age of gold, their mortality was scarcely given any thought because men always died peacefully, in their sleep, with no pain and suffering and it didn’t end there for them.  After death they became pure spirit ‘daemons’ who are essentially given the task of ‘dispensing wealth to men according to individual merit.’ (Ferry 2014, 146)  That’s not a bad gig, really, not unlike how classical economists see the ‘invisible hand’ of the market.  These were invisible daemons doing the same job.

Pandora is the first woman.  She is Zeus’ creation and is given something by every god.  Of course, she’s drop-dead gorgeous but she also comes with a lot of, let us say, unsavory characteristics.  Without going into detail, Prometheus, the creator of men (males only at this point) has pissed off Zeus because he’s been trying to help his creation with getting on with the job of creating civilization. (What really pissed Zeus off was that Prometheus had stolen fire from Olympus and given it to man so that he could now cook his food…a very civilized thing indeed).  Up to this point, still in the golden age, men are living a pretty cool, decent life.  But because of the internecine pissing contests between the gods, things start going sideways for humans.  It comes to pass that Pandora seduces Epimetheus, Prometheus’ hapless brother at which point all hell breaks loose (which is what Zeus wanted in the first place).  Mankind is cast from the golden age into the age of iron, forced to feed himself, etc., and because of the nasty contents of Pandora’s box (pain, fear, old age, death) doomed to lead a miserable life with nothing but hope for succor. (Hope being the only thing not to escape from Pandora’s box.)

So, the point of all of this is that it’s at this stage in the development of the cosmos that men are now born from sexual intercourse between men and women.  Pandora gives birth to other women and that’s it for man.  Sex is where it’s at now.  We come to be born, as it were, between shit and piss and the rest is history.

What I find interesting here as much as anything is the similarity of this account of the origins of people on this planet with the one offered by Christianity.  The details are obviously very different, but the principles are the same and so are the results. As the story goes, God creates man who is pure and spiritual, living in the Garden of Eden, the golden age.  Almost as an afterthought, God creates woman and she seduces the pretty dumb male and is punished for his stupidity by having to work for a living and by having to put up with woman who is never satisfied and reminds him of death every day.

Because this is the whole point and the tragedy of the relations between the sexes since forever.  Woman is associated with the body, temptation and death.  Men are associated with purity, spirit and life.  Women successfully seduced the stupid men and now we all pay the price of mortality.  How’s that for blaming half the world’s population for what came out of Pandora’s box.  Unfortunately, our world is still driven by these old stupid ideas.   Are we ever going to get over this crap and actually start real human history?  Of course, it’s much more complicated than this, but this is an important dimension of the issue especially when laid next to our incessant warlike behaviour and our drive for puffing ourselves up and smiting our ‘enemies.’  Dumb species we are.  Just plain dumb.  This is not to say that every man is a stupid mysogenist.  The fact is that our cultures are fundamentally mysogenistic.  Individuals can be better than that, but our lives are governed to a great extent by mysogenistic principles and practices. Hard to escape. I know some men and women who have.  For me, that’s grounds for optimism and for what little there is left in Pandora’s Box.  More later (of course).

5 thoughts on “The Greeks, the Christians and Women: We are a tragic species.

  1. In Genesis it says that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent (personification of Satan) came into the garden and seduced Eve, challenging God’s command to not eat of that one tree, although they were given all other plants and trees to eat from freely. This reminds me of a parent telling a child that he/she can play in the safe backyard the parent has provided, but to stay off the street. The child’s friend comes along and says, your dad won’t let you come out of the street to play with me? Are you sure? Oh, come on, a little fun on the street won’t hurt you. Come on out and play with me. Along comes a car and hits the child.The child is hurt, but still alive and recovers, but is never the same after that.

    My main point is, it was not sex that Eve “seduced” Adam with, but it was the forbidden fruit, as we say, of the knowledge of good and evil.

    I think this is about all I have to say on this article. Thanks for the opportunity to make a comment.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marilyn. You seem to be the only one inclined to post comments or who is willing to challenge me. I appreciate that. My only questions for you would be: What does Satan represent? and Where do ‘good’ and ‘evil’ reside. Maybe one more: Is it not true that most ‘sin’ has something to do with succumbing to the pleasures of the flesh? I know the big one is turning one’s back on God, but what is the way most people turn their backs on God?

  2. On these issues, although I wouldn’t call myself a “fundamentalist” in the general sense of the word, there are certain fundamentals that are taught in the Bible that are the basis of the Christian faith. First of all, you need to decide you believe that the God described in the Bible did indeed, create mankind. I don’t get too hung up about the literal 24-hour days in the account given, as some have evidence that is it metaphorical to say six days, as in other places a day is said to be “as a thousand years” to God. I have grown weary of arguments and attempts to prove or disprove how long it took for the earth to form. Some Christians seem to enjoy focussing on this topic. I prefer to concentrate on practical Christian living, because Corinthians says, if you have faith to remove mountains and have not love, or if you give your body to be burned, etc. and have not love, you are nothing. Love (agape love) which is the highest form of love based on forgiveness and concern for the wellbeing of your fellow man (generic man, which includes woman).

    The Oxford Scholar, C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia etc. has written some readable scholarly works. One is called “Mere Christianity” and is likely available through a library or second-hand bookstore. He wrote a good book called “The Four Loves” that elaborates on Agape, Philadelphia, Eros, and Storge. Wikipedia has a brief explanation of this.

    I think in this modern day most of us realize that there is a resurgence of interest in the spiritual realm. People are turning to tarot cards for readings and seeking guidance from clairvoyants etc, like they would not be doing for many generations. People are once again seeking something outside science for meaning and answers for life. It is my understanding that the source of these insight is coming from invisible beings not commonly seen by the human eye, but they are creatures that are very real and do torment people even today. Some present themselves as “angels of slight” – note the recurrence of people looking to angels as their helpers and having angel decorations around their homes as symbolic guardians.

    My son, who was using crack cocaine told me of some trips where he saw little beings on the shoulder a few of his friends should and they were hideous. My sister said she say similar things when she tried certain drugs. I have been total my some of my Alert Bay First Nations friends from the churches there that when they were doing drugs and alcoholic, they had really bad frightening visions of gargoyle-like creatures. They became Christians and quit drinking and no longer have these problems. (This was quite a while ago).

    Satan is the spiritual personification of Lucifer, the fallen Angel. Lucifer, as you likely remember, elevated himself to be equal with God (arrogance and a desire to presume to be beyond his station). He is actually referred to the Prince of this World and is the one who has been let loose by God to do what he can to mankind and the earth to manage it by convincing men through influencing their thoughts to do evil. The decisions to do evil begin in our minds, n’est-ce pas, and from there we made a decision to do it or not to do it.

    When Christian’s pray for another person’s well-being, God sends His Holy Spirit, who is an invisible spiritual person (the third person in the trinity) to influence that person’s thoughts to not do the evil thing. This is why in tricky moral situations we, as humans, have a war going on in our head. “Should we or shouldn’t we do this deed?” (Cheat on our wives with this sexy flirt who thinks we are Mr. Wonderful, sneak money from the company as “no one is going to know the difference, they have so much money, etc etc. murder the person who has tormented us for years….)

    I believe that good resides in our creator God comprised of the trinity – God The Father, Jesus, the Sun, and the Holy Spirit. God in these three elements chose to guide the men who had chosen to obey him and have a relationship with him though conversation (which is what prayer is) to pen the Books of the Bible.

    Have you ever felt inspired to write something and had the words just flow off your pen and feel that those words didn’t come from your brain, but from someone deeper within yourself or even from outside yourself? I believe that’s how the Bible inspiration came to the likes of Apostle Paul, John, and the prophets who penned the books of the Bible. It came from God though their minds and they sat down and wrote what they knew God wanted them to write for guidance for humans as to how to live.

    I don’t think most sin is succumbing to the pleasures of the flesh. Enjoying “creature comforts” I believe they are called – enjoying sex (as long as it’s with your own wife), enjoying a nice hot soak in a tub, enjoying a good meal, enjoying a glass of wine (yes, wine etc) in moderation is relaxing and some blends really are quite tasty, aren’t they? Enjoying yummy sweet treats is one of the joys of life, but we soon realize that “pigging out” on chocolates or whipping cream, etc. makes us fill sick and bloated.

    The words we speak (perhaps that is tied with a perverted please of the flesh) if they are nasty and unkind and target a person, rather than a problem, can be unfair, since we don’t know if the person we are yelling at over a rip-off with a bill or something just lost their mother the day before, or if they are going through a painful divorce etc. We may be over-the-top with our anger toward them. This is a sin. Jesus had a lot to say about cruel words that wound people – he took this very seriously.

    So, the thing is, I believe there has to be a creator this wonderful earth and planets, animals, and all that is beautiful (as well as the ugly, which I don’t give a lot of thought to). The Bible makes a lot of sense to me. I suppose it does, because I witnessed my father, (The RCMP, first aid attendant) read his Bible in a studious manner and the results of his lifestyle an the way he treated us, showed me keep in my heart that here is someone whose Christianity makes sense. Then I started to read the bible and follow topical Bible studies I bought from Camp Homewood bookstore on Quadra Island with which my pastor, Len Perry, worked at every summer. I sure missed him and his wife in the summer. I felt they should have stayed in Sointula, rather than getting in locum American pastors, but at least we did have someone to turn to in time of trouble.

    I think one problem with churches is that they don’t study the Bible enough – too much singing, socializing, ritualizing (which I really hated and still do) and too little real Bible study. I did most of my studying on my own.

    I’m going to stop here now. Roger, as its almost 1p.m. and my brain is starting to slow down for the night.

  3. Turn back on God? Just ignoring the Bible altogether. Not giving it an honest read and not trying to understand it. Not being open to a loving God that just might really exist and might truly care about his creation – us (as well as the animal kingdom, plant kingdom, the earth, the universe….). Hardening your heard and saying, “There is no God”. Resenting God for the bad things done in the name of Christianity by others. There are probably others with better thoughts, but this is off the cuff.

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