Dear All by Elena Tsara - HTML preview

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Cover: In the foothills of Parnassos mountain, in that evocative natural scenery there is Delphi, the ancient Panhellenic centre, where the renowned oracle was operating. The oracle of Delphi was established already by the 8th cen. B.c. and maintained its importance until the end of the 4th century, when the Roman emperor, Theodosius, prohibited the free exercise of the ancient Greek religion, writing the sad epilogue of Delphi.

In the centre of Delphi, in the most prominent position, was the Doric temple of Apollo. In the deeper level of the temple was the inner sanctum ‘adyton’, where the process of divination was taking place and to which only the priests, who would interpret the predictions of Pythia, had access. Pythia was the highest priestess, who was widely credited for her equivocal prophecies uttered in an ecstatic state under divine possession by the god Apollo. The sculptures of the pediment were crafted in Parian marble by the Athenians Praxias and Androsthenes and they were depicting Apollo and Dionysus. On the top of the east pediment opposite to anyone, who was approaching the central gate, there was the letter ‘E’, while on the bottom left corner was carved the statement ‘Know thyself’ and on the bottom right corner the statement ‘Nothing in excess’. These were known as ‘Delphic Maxims’ and they were part of a long list of 147 moral rules and principles inscribed on the portico of the temple, a valuable legacy of knowledge and wisdom bequeathed to posterity by the ancient Greek wise men.

The letter E second in the alphabet, that has voice, ergo vowel, denotes the god Apollo, second in command after Zeus. It expresses in that way the Pythagorean thesis, that number is the cause of everything and god always geometrises. The philosopher and biographer Plutarch contributed further, that the numbers are divided in even and odd, while the monad (1) is common in both, as when it is added to a number, makes the even one odd and the odd even. The number 2 is the first even number, symbol of the female principle and the number 3 the first odd, symbol of the male. (number 1 was not considered to be a number, but rather it symbolised a unity and the origins of all things, since all numbers can be created from it, just adding enough copies of it, for instance 6 = 1+1+1+1+1+1). Their sum (2+3) gives a number of high honour, as it is the first number, which consists of prime numbers and it was called ‘Marriage’ by the Pythagoreans, as it was representing the union of the female with the male. And precise the letter E, the 5th in the alphabet, depicts that marriage with its shape as a half-moon symbolising the fertile uterus - mother Earth, where the father Sun - seminal celestial force casts his ray, which is represented by the middle line of the letter E. Furthermore, number 5 is also called ‘nature’ because, when it is multiplied with itself, it always ends in itself, like the nature, that from seed through various metamorphoses gives seed again, and when it is added to itself it gives indefinitely either itself or the ten, the perfect number. There are 5 cosmogonic elements, earth, wind, water, fire and ether, the quintessence, there are also 5 senses, 5 regular solids, 5 extremities of the human body and so on.

Furthermore, Apollo was the god of Light, thus the letter E as a symbol is associated directly with the Delphic rituals, i.e. the initiation of the man to the Light, the perfection and therefore indicates the illuminated. Apollo with his ambiguous messages incites people to use their reasoning and the Dialectic method to perceive, to realise the truth. He is not just a diviner, but rather an educator.

The Greek language is not just a language of communication. It is the derivative of a cosmic, universal geometrical matrix of codified conseptualisations. The Greek language is Logos, reason, and Logos is primarily an analogy, a ratio. And it is expressed in a polysemous way and in infinite levels from the most earthly to the most cosmic ones. For example, the letter ‘Λ’ is Logos and when it acquires a basis, it becomes ‘Δ’ it gains dimensions and gets activated. The ‘O’ represents the whole ‘Όλον’ and with its centre in the middle becomes ‘Θ’ the creator and the creation indivisibly together, ‘Θείον’- divine. So, the letter ‘E’ depicts also a union of its three parallel lines symbolising the triune human, who comprises body, mind and soul. Together with the two statements ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Nothing in excess’ proclaims the belief of the ancient Greeks, that the human being can not achieve enlightenment without the deep, cognitive knowledge of the self, nor can he approach it through diffractive actions of hyperbole.

‘When the life of the man on earth is a despicable fear crushed by the weight of the religion, whose face is hanging in all the heavenly places emitting hatred for the humanity, for the first time one Greek dared to stand up to it, fighting every day against it. He didn’t submit himself to the noise of gods, neither to the thunders, nor to the roar of the angry sky, but rather these encouraged his noble mind, which wanted to break the gate of the depraved prison, of the fate of man…’

Titus Lucretius Carus, Roman poet and philosopher, 1st cen. B.c. ‘De Rerum Natura’