Sunday, July 12, 2020

Myth Corner: Pandora - A Story For Our Time

In today's mythology corner we are talking about a story very relevant for our time period, and that is Pandora. Before we begin, it's relevant to mention that all myths are open to the interpretation of each reader. One belief or understanding is just as valid as another. There may even be a Hellenist who doesn't accept a given myth at all. 

Pandora, whose name means "all gifts," was the first mortal female human being created by Hephaistos, and with her came a sealed jar containing the evils and ailments of the world. Modern mistranslations have called it a box, hence the title Pandora's Box, but the Hellenes did not call it that. More accurately, it would be Pandora's Jar. Told not to open it, although some would probably think such action was inevitable, she does so anyway and all diseases and plagues are let out into the world. However, the last thing in her jar was Hope, otherwise known as the divinity Elpis (Spirit of Hope). It is from this event that the Hellenes justified the existence of evil and despair, with the understanding that Hope will enable us to get through it all. 

Perhaps this story was the reality of the life that the Gods gave us. They blessed us and this world and universe with abundant life and beauty, but they also told us that with life comes all forms of existence, that it's not possible for us to have life without dealing with things that can and do go wrong with it. For instance, the existence of life also makes an existence of viruses. Everything must run in cycles, and if we want to live, we have to live with that reality, and we need the Gods and our determination for the life we were given to make it. Sometimes we may even have to be challenged with the question, "How bad do you want to keep living?" We have to always progress. We can't stay in one place for too long. We have to move with the universe and the life around us. I would certainly say that humans have been doing a great job with such perseverance. Our species has been traced back over a time span of 300,000 years. We have never given up and laid down, we've always fought with the hope the Gods made sure we would have at the bottom of that jar called life.

Priest Christopher.