Labyrinth

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Labyrinth

Postby mirjana » Tue May 17, 2011 10:31 pm

According to Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was a mystical structure designed and built by legendary Daedalus. The labyrinth is connected with many mythical names, such as Minotaur, Ariadne, Queen Pashipae and King Minos, and Theseus. Let us see all aspects of this deep myth and how it is connected with the labyrinth.

King Minos, Queen Pasiphaë, Minotaur

In Greek mythology, Minos was a King of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa, who was a Phoenician woman of high lineage, from whom the name of the continent Europe has ultimately been taken.
His wife was Pasiphaë , "wide-shining" , a daughter of Helios, the Sun and the eldest of the Oceanids, Perse.
After his father, a King Asterion of Crete died, Minos was struggling with his brothers Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys for the right to rule. In order to becoming a king of Crete, he prayed Poseidon to send him snow-white bull as a sign of approval. He had to sacrifice the bull in honor to Poseidon. Instead, he kept it captured by its beauty. For that he was punished by Aphrodite who made his wife Pasiphaë fall madly in love with the snow-white bull. The offspring of that love was the monstrous Minotaur. His given name was Asterius, meaning "star-being", as he was of divine origin. He became a source of shame for King Minos who couldn't bear that his wife had conceived without him. The fact that Asterius was a divine being was not comforting. He was scared to kill him because of his origin, but he found another way to house him from his sight. That is how Daedalus, who was a refugee from Athens got his job to build a prison for Minotaur. Near Minos' palace in Knossos he made built the subterranean structure, the labyrinth, what made him becoming a master builder. The secret of the labyrinth was that once one was inside, it was impossible to find the way out. The Minotaur demanded in return to get seven boys and seven girls each nine years as a sacrifice.

Ariadne and Theseus

Among their human children, King Minos and Queen Pasiphaë had lovely princess Ariadne, famous for her beauty and known as being pure spirit and heart.
When King Minos had lost his only son Androgeus in the war with Athens, he declared a terror on Athens in revenge so that they had to sacrifice their children for the Minotaur. But, the youngest son of the Athenian king, called Theseus, who was very brave, realized that such a monstrous habit can be stopped. He volunteered himself to go as a first with Athenian children with hope to defeat Minotaur.
According to the myth, Ariadne saw him when the ship from Athens landed with victims. She immediately fell in love with him, recognizing his beauty and his courage. She arranged a secret meeting with him offering him her aid in return for his promise to marry her and take her away with him. She wanted to escape her marriage with god Dionysus , to whom she was promised by her father in exchange for victories over the Athenians. Ariadne was humiliated by that decision, as for her the only reason for the marriage could be only love. It is said that Theseus and Ariadne joined in love and passion the night before him visiting Labyrinth. She gave to Theseus her secret knowledge about labyrinth . She wove her own hair into a skein of yarn, creating a magical thread, a clue that would help Theseus to escape labyrinth. She also gave him a miraculous sword , made of silver and gold to represent the light of the sun and the moon when reflecting off the sea. That sword was primary forged for the sea god Poseidon. She knew that this sword will help Theseus to kill Minotaur without causing him suffering.
Said, done. Theseus met and defeated Minotaur and found the way out by the help of Ariadne´s thread. Two of them took other Athenian children and sailed to Athens. Their joy was stopped by their landing to over night on the island of Dia. There they met Dionysus who started fighting for Ariadne. He convinced Theseus to leave her as by marrying him as a god, she will also become immortal. Because of that argument and also having fear that the jealous god will kill young Athens, Theseus left Ariadne , who was devastated by losing Theseus and full of fear what will be with her and angry Dionysus. But, her beauty and innocence touched him so deeply that he changed promising her that she will be his only by her choice. His transformation showed her that he had fight for her believing that she is his only beloved, what Theseus didn't do. And she agreed to become the wife of Dionysus.

Labyrinth as a symbol

It can be regard as a symbol of shame, a symbol of prison, a symbol of wisdom, a symbol of love, a symbol of the searching for the divine source, a symbol for choice, a symbol of unification of human and divine aspects in us.
It symbolizes also connection with death and a triumphant return.
Some suggests that labyrinths on the floors of cathedrals serve as substitutes for pilgrimage paths.
Labyrinths are also mystical helper for achieving a contemplative state of mind, as losing the track and direction with an outside world helps one to quite the mind. Therefore, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the labyrinth symbol, as a meditative place that helps to find the way to the center of being free from the influences of the outside world.
This is a symbol for intuitive, practical and rational exploration.
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Rachel » Fri May 20, 2011 4:42 pm

'Labyrinth' is also a very cheesy 1980s movie starring a very young David Bowie wearing very tight pants ;0)
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby amandrea » Sat May 21, 2011 1:02 am

A labyrinth is a maze, a place through which it is hard to find one’s way. In ancient times it was also the name for a government office building. Somewhere inside is the minotaur, the angry, evil bureaucrat who must be sought out and whose cooperation must be obtained.
The earliest writing ever found is on clay tablets in what is now Iraq and are the records of “crats”. In ancient Egyptian tomb paintings depicting everyday life can be seen activities such as a group of men reaping wheat. Right behind them are the scribes, in equal numbers, writing everything down. The purpose of crats then, regardless of the type, bureau-, educ-, or some other kind is to gather and record information and to a lesser degree, disseminate information.
In the 90’s I read that because of the computer, by the year 2000 forty percent of the work force would be working in information processing. This means, for instance, for every three men on forklifts there are two people processing the information they create. This seems like quite an extravagant use of labor with much of the information being unnecessary and even redundant. Because of the large numbers involved in these jobs they would have to be low paying and the first to go when there are layoffs. If this information processing system were available in ancient Egyptian times it would have changed the ratio of wheat cutters to scribes from one-to-one to three to two.
It is the bureaucrats, the scribes, who run the institutions of government. What controls the bureaucrats are the forms they fill out. These daubers of mud turned paper pushers now button pushers follow intellectual paths clearly marked out for them; their work well defined by ridged and specific rules. The way to change government then is to change the forms the bureaucrats use.
One historian I read said institutions, staffed by crats are the depository of culture. Another historian said in the demise of civilizations he could detect the dead hand of the bureaucrat. These two statements are not contradictory because they have a separation. At the head of these institutions is an appointed director. These positions can become plum jobs handed out as rewards to a politician’s supporters regardless of ability or qualification. The assumption is that the lower level bureaucrats will efficiently perform their jobs with little supervision. These low-level functionaries, seeing the antics of their superiors, begin to see not merit but social and political networking skills as the means of advancement. The office building then becomes a place of intrigue with corruption and incompetence working its way from the top down.
Once the bureaucrats become politicrats, government institutions become dysfunctional and fail in their purpose. This politicization of workers is well documented in how the eunuchs came to run the Forbidden City, a butler became Caliph and governments fall.
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Sabina » Mon May 30, 2011 9:16 pm

Iitoi.png
Iitoi.png (32.53 KiB) Viewed 13554 times
"Man in the Maze", popular design
in petroglyphs and basketry of the Pima
It's almost like a game of associations we are playing here. Nice! Here is an additional piece of information in regards to mazes...

    According to the Pima (or Akimel O'odham - a group of American Indians living in the area of today's Arizona) there is this mischievous personality, who is also the creator god, who lives in a cave. Visiting that cave one had to bring gifts in order to be able to return from it.

    The image to the left shows the depiction of this god, called Iʼitoi, standing at the cave entrance.
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Sabina » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:45 pm

A playful side note, for those entranced with mazes and labyrinths:
Amaze game


PS: Is there a word for people who like mazes or puzzles in general?


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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Rachel » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:50 pm

Would not a cryptology enthusiast fall under the category of people who enjoy mazes or puzzles?
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Sabina » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:28 am

I guess so. I suppose "puzzle lover" would also fit, but I kind of hoped that there is some fancy one-word term for such a predicament.
Maybe?

If not, then maybe we should come up with one. B0)
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Rachel » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:59 am

Hmm I suppose there would be, somewhere.

Cryptographic linguist, cryptology et al. are all variants on the theme.

Perhaps words for one who loves to be on endless labyrinthine journeys might be tortured,masochistic, or have simply too much time on their hands ?
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby mirjana » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:08 am

Chessa wrote:Hmm I suppose there would be, somewhere.

Cryptographic linguist, cryptology et al. are all variants on the theme.

Perhaps words for one who loves to be on endless labyrinthine journeys might be tortured,masochistic, or have simply too much time on their hands ?


Hmm...interesting thoughts.
I like both words, cryptology enthusiast and puzzle lover.
As about additional words, I think that we are all in this masochistic and torturing labyrinthine journeys, because our lives are puzzles and each day is a new peace of the whole helping us to form so called life experience. I do not think that there is ever too much time for that.
If we put all that only into the connotation of puzzle games, there are those who create them and those who plays them. I am thankful to those who create them as I like to play them as passionately as I do everything else in my life what becomes my choice even for the certain amount of time. Actually I have never had too much time on my hands and considered myself more as a person who always needed more time for all that I have been doing. Still, puzzle game became one of my exercises.
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Re: Labyrinth

Postby Rachel » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:43 pm

Yes, indeed, mirjana, I apologise if my last sentence sounded like I was being disrespectful - I wasn't. Puzzles, labyrinthine life journeys and the like are very intruiging and worthy.

I was merely making a wee joke about a person wanting to live their life as a maze - life is hard enough without having to navigate ambiguities and crypticism.

Again, sincere apologies. I wasn't making a mockery of your thoughts at all. <3
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