The Quest for Immortality: Giants…

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It was during one of our meetings…

Traditionally, the first three gatherings of the new year are given over to a read through of the first three ritual dramas of the April Workshop.

Unlike some of our stories Lord of the Deep was based on a traditional text, the oldest written epic currently known to humankind.

Though ‘written’ may be stretching it…

Given that the cuneiform text is preserved in baked clay tablets, ‘chiselled’ would, perhaps be more accurate.

And this being the case, the text is not whole but fragmentary.

Roughly twenty percent of the neatly transcribed columns consist of lacunae.

But there is something else missing.

Even were all the tablets intact the epic gives no motivations for the trajectory of its plot.

The story is so familiar, so well known, that it is assumed by the story-teller that the motivations are also second nature to the audience and really all that remains is a series of vignettes or snap-shots which move the story along to its inevitable conclusion.

For a modern audience this will never do.

Not only do the motivations have to be made plain they also have to be made dramatic in order to dynamically and meaningfully drive the story forward.

So when our Trapper enters the throne room of Gilgamesh with his incredible tale of a terrifying Giant wandering the wilderness we are quite justified in pointing out, as one of our companions did, that Gilgamesh too is a Giant so the trapper’s story should not be quite so incredible.

But only if the tale is expected to be taken literally!

If it is not then it means that the civilisation responsible for producing it were more advanced than the best part of Christendom, who to this day regard the story of the life and death of Christ as an actual historical occurance, accurate in all its details.

So, is there any evidence in the text itself that the Gigantism is not meant to be taken literally?

There is!

When Gilgamesh returns to Uruk after overcoming the ‘Forest Demon’, Hum-Ba-Ba, his people do not recognise him.

This is hardly credible if his Gigantism is supposed to be read literally.

But if Gilgamesh’s and Enkidu’s Gigantism is not literal what can it represent?

Try, the two most important aspects of the human psyche, the Ego and the Id…

The Quest for Immortality: Seeds…

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“And in their bed chambers at night…

The young-folk of Uruk cry themselves to sleep…”

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“When the wild-man succumbs,

the animals will leave him forever.

He will no longer be a part of the herd…”

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“Where Hu-Wa-Wa comes and goes

are tracks whose ways are well trodden…”

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‘This desperate wanderer must be a killer’,

thought Shiduri, ‘Why else would he

be heading straight for me?’

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“When Aruru came, she held up in the air

her necklace of lapis lazuli,

Anu’s gift to her when their love was young…”

 

Lord of the Deep: Memento Mori…

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‘Among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person’ – Rainer Maria Rilke

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We are bound to ask, ‘Why did Rilke hold the Epic of Gilgamesh in such high regard?’

The answer may be uncomfortable…

In a letter to a friend he confided that he regarded the story an Epic on The Fear of Death.

The first written story known to humanity deals with last things!

And why shouldn’t it?

Part of who we are and why we are here is intimately caught up with precisely this psychological crisis.

There may be as many answers to such a crisis as there are individuals attempting to overcome it, or the crisis may resolve itself into a straight choice between two psychological movements:

The movement out into projection with its attendant horrors or the movement within to contemplation and its subsequent wisdoms.

The clues for the successful resolution to the dilemma are scattered liberally throughout the dramatic adaptation which you will be performing this weekend, like soul gems primed for garnering.

One such: ‘For six days and seven nights I mourned for my beloved, Enkidu, and then a maggot fell out of his nose….’

Once discovered these gems may still need much polishing…

Gilgamesh, our initially wayward hero for the weekend, starts as one thing and ends as another.

This thing and its other will be crucial to our quest for understanding.

As a later savant, echoing some of the nuances of our story, once put it, ‘No one has lived as long as a dead child, and the old man dies young.’

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Which Doctor?…

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“Look, it’s Doctor Who!”

“That’s not Doctor Who.”

“I thought you liked Doctor Who?”

“I do, but that’s not him, it’s just an actor!”

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The actor in question was John Pertwee,

who played The Doctor between January 1970 and June 1974.

The little brat was somewhere between the ages of five and nine years old.

The occasion was some sort of parade, perhaps seasonal, along Blackpool Promenade in which the esteemed Doctor took part in his Vintage Yellow Automobile, along with his ‘assistant’, wearing a white trouser suit, waving to the massed crowds.

Although, doubtless, for our little brat it would not have been the Doctor’s real assistant, ‘just an actress’.

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The psychology of all this is interesting.

That same actor and actress playing their roles on the weekly series broadcast on Saturday evening and watched by millions, would, for our little brat, unquestionably, have been the Doctor and his assistant!

So, why not on a Saturday afternoon parade?

Well, let us ask the little brat shall we?

“‘Cos the Doctor doesn’t do stuff like that. The Doctor travels through time and battles evil beings from other star systems, that’s why…”

Clearly, then, it is a question of worlds and their authenticity.

A ‘magic world’ where magic stuff happens and the ‘real world’ where it does not.

The biggest mistake one can make is to confuse those two worlds.

Because that way the magic is lost.

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Costumes…

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“So what’s it all about, then?”

“Oh, lots of things, like, duty and service, and honour, and love, and friendship, and devotion and good government, and bad…”

“But ultimately?”

“Ulitmately it’s about the need to balance polarity.”

“Is that an individual polarity or a collective polarity?”

“Somewhat inevitably, it is both the polarity of an individual psyche and the polarity of a collective state.”

“And erm, do we touch upon Matriarchy and Patriarchy at all?”

“Given that brief it would be very difficult not to.”

“And we seek balance in this sphere too?”

“But of course…”

“So, how come Aruru, the Mother-Goddess, gets to wear a delicate tiara of jewelled flowers,

while Anu, the Father-God, gets a plant pot plonked on his head?”

“It’s just the nature of things.”

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Lord of the Deep – Workshop April 2019

The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

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The glories above were unamed.

The word for that world beneath, unuttered.

Source and time, unfettered, merged…

From the mingling waves-of-water came mud and slime.

Enshar and Kishar, twin halves of the globe, shone out of them.

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A DRAMATIC ADAPTATION OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on the quest of a life-time, this month, to find out…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download the Booking Form

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

Lord of the Deep: The quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

Deluge…

https://silenteyeblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/silent-eye-master-n9-soul-devpt-smaller.jpg

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“You know Shuruppak, the ancient city?

I was its king, long ago, when the Great Gods sent a flood.

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Ea informed me and I built a big boat.

I loaded up the boat with everything that was valuable.

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Soon after, the flood burst forth…

For six days and seven nights the storm raged, swamping the earth.

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On the seventh day it stopped raining.

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No land could be seen, no life at all.

The human race was turned to clay.

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When the waters dried the Great Gods assembled.

Enlil blessed us: ‘Utnapishtim and Shiduri shall live forever!’

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We were taken to a distant place at the source of two rivers.

This is where we live.”…

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Lord of the Deep – Workshop April 2019

The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop 2019

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The glories above were unamed.

The word for that world beneath, unuttered.

Source and time, unfettered, merged…

From the mingling waves-of-water came mud and slime.

Enshar and Kishar, twin halves of the globe, shone out of them.

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A DRAMATIC ADAPTATION BASED ON THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on the quest of a life-time, this April, to find out…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download the Booking Form

The Keys of Heaven

Sun in Gemini

Whitby Montage2AAA

The Keys of Heaven – The last journey of St Cedd

It is the year AD 664. The coastal town of Whitby and its Abbey, under the control of the abbess who became St Hilda, are the setting for a Christian Synod – a court of doctrine established, on the face of it, to unify how priests cut their religious tonsure (gap in the hair) and what should be the correct basis of the calculation of Easter.

Trivial things? Perhaps to our distant eyes; but the Synod of 664 had a brutal undertone: its decision would determine a single Christianity for Britain – and would condemn the alternative to a slow but inevitable death.

King Oswiu was the host. His family typified the multiplicity of ‘faiths’ that predominated in those times. The Kingdom of Northumbria was the most powerful of the Saxon lands. Oswiu followed the Celtic Christian faith, whose…

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Into the Deep…

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…Shiduri, the tavern keeper, sat,

at the edge of the Great Ocean,

her golden brewing-vat resting by her side.

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Gilgamesh, whose heart was still full of anguish,

strode toward her…

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‘This desperate man must be a murderer,’ thought Shiduri,

‘Why else would he be heading straight for me?’

She locked the lid of her brewing-vat and stood in front of it.

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Gilgamesh heard the lock click and looked up.

There stood Shiduri staring at him, “Who are you,

and where are you going?” she said.

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“I am the king of Wall-Girt Uruk,” said Gilgamesh, “I am

going to find Utnapishtim, so that I can ask him about the Herb of Immortality.”

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“Why is there so much grief in your heart?” said Shiduri.

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“My beloved friend, Enkidu, is turned to clay,” said Gilgamesh,

“Won’t I too, one day, lie down in the dirt like him

and never again rise?”

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“There are none who can cross the Great Ocean

to Utnapishtim,” said Shiduri,

“Only Shamash, who traverses the sky, is brave enough!”

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“But I am the man who slew the tree demon, Humbaba.

And it was I who tore the Bull of Heaven limb from limb.

There must be a way!” cried Gilgamesh, drawing his knife…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

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The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

A Dramatic adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh…

Full details, cost and booking form are available by clicking HERE

 

The Round Ark?

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The story of Noah’s Ark is one of the first Biblical Tales that people in the western world hear.

Yet the story far pre-dates the compilation of that venerable book.

A tablet recently came to light dating back to Ancient Babylonia, that threw the Bilblical account into question.

Not only was the story of the flood far older than the Bible but it appears the Ark was round!…

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Many of the tales we know from the Bible have more ancient counterparts,

including this one which in its earliest known form comprises a part of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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In this epic, the character we now know as Noah is named Utnapishtim

and it is he who holds the key to immortal life….

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

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The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

Full details, cost and booking form are available by clicking HERE