Macbeth vs Oedipus

The witches tell Macbeth he’ll be king: he and his wife see a shortcut: kill the king! She goes nuts, but he’s king.

Macbeth & Lady Macbeth
thanx mullen

Now: anybody wants to know how the old King Duncan died, don’t ask Macbeth! Don’t hint that you’re wondering.

Very different was King Oedipus. Oedipus establishes a commission to find out who murdered the old king. As evidence gathers the evidence suggests that the old king was killed on the road by a younger noble. Gee, well Oedipus once killed somebody on the road: after all, he was in the way!
So Oedipus realizes that he’s the regicide! the target of his investigations is himself. But the hair ball of what’s wrong has only just started to unravel: he’s also married his mother, had children with her … not to mention that his parents had tried to kill him! that’s how it all came about!

Oedipus & Antigone
Oedipus & Antigone
thanx artsforge

… gotten the people to trust him! … and suffering ripples outward, and downward, through the generations. (That’s his daughter there in a pieta.)

The gods sit on Olympus, laughing: Stupid mortal, thinks he’s in charge: When we‘re in charge, Or no one is in charge: Thinks the universe makes sense, When it does not make sense …

The gods don’t understand it either, gave up trying; but they can laugh.

It isn’t that Macbeth doesn’t know the answer: who killed Duncan; the problem is that Macbeth does know the answer!
(Don’t let his bureaucracy hear you wondering either!)
Ask Oedipus and he’ll bend your ear confessing, he’ll grab you and hold you, helpless like Coleridge’s wedding guest.

Ancient Mariner
thanx writinghorrorfiction

I’d just said “the same thing,” a little differently, in the previous post:
… Share my conception of the world as complex: multiply experienced:
Every one of us has a unique set of experiences: the eldest is treated well by his father, the fourth daughter is used as a slave, Bob loves his mother, Betsy takes her for granted, Judas is looking for an angle …

Pipa lives in a world where God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world: she has Christmas morning to herself, works in a factory every other night and day. Pipa’s world is simple, innocent, happy; Browning’s world, the alert reader’s world, is complex! ironic, contradictory, outrageous, bewildering …

Now, implications:
One day you’re sucking on the breast, then you’re eating your cereal, then you can cross the street … One day you see Star Wars! The day before you hadn’t, now you have! It’s a different world! One day you never heard of Darwin, then you do, then a decade or two later maybe you understand some percentage of it!

One day you’re in the world, the next day God is telling you to build an ark, then, the next day you’re Adam and Eve, all over again. But then Moses tells the Jews this, but God makes them understand that … Then Jesus comes … and how do we know what he said or who he was, we’re such nincompoops, such liars: illiterates clogging reading classes, making learning impossible …

thanx howstuffworks

Once upon a time the king was the king, then the king was a murderer, or the king was a well of weeping …
or the king was a convicted felon, nailed to a cross.
(Neither was he convicted very fairly.)

1969, your mother thinks the US killed a few Vietnamese, by accident, with the best intentions; then the article estimating that the US killed 4,000,000 more or less — not counting the little girls just burned alive with napalm — isn’t published! no one wants to see it, not even if it’s correctable …

Who are we? Adam and Eve? Noah and Mrs.?
Peter? Judas?

Do we understand Darwin? or not?

Do we have a single fact straight? Could we prove to God that there are facts and that we command them? that we’re worthy of them, that truth isn’t a joke.

It’s 2012 08 28, 1 in the afternoon: do you live in the same world I do? Can you show me, rationally, that my world is wrong? Can I show you, rationally, that my world is right?

Do I understand Darwin? Could I explain it to you?
(I’ve tried.)

Ask Macbeth.

2012 09 01 Group consciousness is not the same as individual consciousness. At some point in history no human group conceived of a god. At some other point the belief is simple: the group and the god are on the same page: that is, the group wants to fare well, the god wants the group to fare well.

Somewhere along the line Jews emerge: and tell stories where Jews and God are not on the same page: Noah, Sodom …
That consciousness, Jewish consciousness is at least one level of orthogonality more complex than the group that thinks that throwing babies into Moloch’s maw will stave off disaster. But then along comes Christianity and the complexity increases by at least one additional meta-level: the people and the god are not on the same page and the people’s representatives sabotage the god! Communications isn’t just clogged, it’s sabotaged.

Communications isn’t just clogged, it’s sabotaged.

Now, ponder this: Christians in the first century or two AD are at the complexity just mentioned: now, along comes Constantine, and Christianity is no longer (officially) persecuted … !
But we’re not finished: by the end of the Fourth Century Christianity is now compulsory!!!

The state will make you pay if you don’t willingly move into that cosmos!

How many levels additionally complex is that?

I’m not smart enough to figure it out: especially not after my society has persecuted me, denied me resources, denied me normalcy, since childhood. But: I can see that’s it’s hairy. multi-leveled; and not what we’re told!

2012 09 02 I’ve already inserted far more wrinkles into this (once simple in intention) post than I’d planned, foreseen. But they keep mutating, need separate additional development:
Simultaneous Complexity:

The majority of men understand the world with caveman physics: gravity: what goes up must come down. But then Newton conceives Newtonian gravity: all matter is attracted to all matter. Then Einstein conveives warped space gravity … Most men are still thinking what goes up must come down: some men come to think, ah, all matter is attracted to all matter, some very few think Einsteinian and post Einsteinian gravity …
The schools command all. The schools are supervised, with monopolistic powers, by the cavemen, one or two Newtonians gradually get tenure, but never hold the reins …

So: in any “Christian” church, the majority will be pagans, one of two may be post-Moses Jews, one may be Christian: a tenth of a one may be Illichian Christian.
We pray to God, but will torture him all over again if he tries to teach us anything halfway Newtonian …

Road Rage
2013 06 20 A lyric came into my head an hour ago reminding me of Oedipus:

If you see me comin’
better step aside
A lot of men didn’t,
and a lot of men died,
One fist of iron,
the other of steel,
If the right one don’t get you,
then the left one will!
You load sixteen tons,
what do you get?
Another day older
and deeper in debt …

Jeez, when I was a teen we loved that song: Sixteen tons. Kill who ever is in your way, whoever pisses you off, brag about it.
Except that it obviously doesn’t work: the macho schmuck is a wage slave in a coal mine: working for the company store!

2015 12 22 This morning I’m again stewing and delectating about Macbeth and his populace. At one level of complexity we have one level of deception: the king is king because he’s killed the king but the peole believe that the kind is king because the gods made him the king: the deception is of divine origin. Then along comes another level of complexity: the king is king by fraud but the people are innocent of the fraud, the guilt is all the king’s; and the king gets away with the fraud because of public complicity in the fraud. The stock is corrupt but the people insist that corruption remain uncorrected. All their wealth requires that lies be ratified. Now the king’s guilt, however guilty, pales compared to the people’s guilt.

So, what are we left with? The idea of Original Sin! and the faith that it isn’t so! we can’t really be that bad!

that wrong. Et cetera.

Cosmology Etc.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in cosmo, pk Teaching, social epistemology, society. Bookmark the permalink.

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