P H I L O S O P H Y P A T H W A Y S ISSN 2043-0728
Issue number 81
4th April 2004
I. 'The Dynamics of Love as Fertility, Formity, and Formality in Ancient
Mythologies: A Critico-Structural Excursion into the Classics' by Ruel F. Pepa
II. 'Philosophy and Logic in Croatian High School' by Bruno Curko
III. 'Tom Albertsson on Wilber and Pre- vs. Trans-Rational Thinking' by
Professor Ruel F. Pepa from the Philippines is part of growing group of ISFP
philosophers based at Trinity College, Quezon City. Here we reproduce the
unabridged text of his paper read at a recent colloquium on Love in
Bruno Curko brings information about the teaching of philosophy and logic in
his homeland Croatia. I wonder whether English speaking academic philosophers
might be persuaded to follow the Croatian example of holding National Olympiads
in Philosophy and Logic?
Hubertus Fremerey writes a friendly response to Tom Albertsson's comments in
Issue 80 on D.R. Kashaba's article on Kant and the Enlightenment, published in
I. 'THE DYNAMICS OF LOVE AS FERTILITY, FORMITY AND FORMALITY IN ANCIENT
MYTHOLOGIES: A CRITICO-STRUCTURAL EXCURSION INTO THE CLASSICS' BY RUEL F. PEPA
1 March 2004
Dear Prof. Klempner,
Greetings from the Philippines!
I hope you are doing fine as well as your loved ones. Last
20 February, we had a colloquium in Trinity College of
Quezon City (TCQC) on Love in Mythological Traditions. It
was co-sponsored by the Society of Philosophy Advocates
(SOPHIA), the philosophical organization of undergrad
students of TCQC and the local representations of the
International Society for Philosophers (ISFP) - there are
three (3) of us Philosophy faculty members of TCQC who are
members of ISFP.
I delivered the lecture based on my paper entitled "The
Dynamics of Love as Fertility, Formity, and Formality in
Ancient Mythologies: A Critico-Structural Excursion into
the Classics". Attached herewith is a copy of the said
paper for ISFP's file and evaluation.
Thank you so much.
Ruel F. Pepa
The Dynamics of Love as Fertility, Formity, and Formality in Ancient
Mythologies: A Critico-Structural Excursion into the Classics
The mythology of a people is a serious and conscious presentation of stories
that reflect culture. It is the collective memory that heightens a people's
sense of cultural identity, social dignity and national pride. Myths are a
cultural "road map" that takes us to the socio-existential terrains of the
human soul. Myths reflect the uniqueness of the culture of a people as well as
the frame of mind of each individual denizen in that cultural context. They are
actually "dramatic stories that form a sacred charter either authorizing the
continuance of ancient institutions, customs, rites and beliefs in the area
where they are current, or approving alterations."
However, there is something technical about "myth" or "mythology": It is
fundamentally ancient Greek (i.e., Hellenic) in origin. And so, the question
being triggered now is: Does it therefore mean that the terms "myth" and
"mythology" do not have significant bearing outside of the ancient Greek
civilization? The French scholar Jean-Pierre Vernant says otherwise:
To be understood themselves, the Hellenic legends must be
compared to the traditional stories of other peoples from
very diverse cultures and periods, whether ancient China,
India, the Middle East, the Pre-Columbian Americas, or
Africa. The comparison is necessary because those narrative
traditions, however they differ, display enough common
elements, both with one another and with the Greek example,
to establish kinship among them.
These so-called common elements discovered in various mythologies are
structural milestones that speak of a universal anthropological reality
critically affirmed and put forward in the scholarly works of the proponents of
the philosophico-anthropological school of thought called Structuralism or the
Structuralist Theory in the academic orbit. One of its renowned patrons was the
French intellectual and scholar Claude Levi-Strauss who
can declare [such commonality] as indisputable observation
that no matter where it comes from, myth is instantly
recognizable as such with no risk of confusion with other
kinds of story. It bears a marked distinction from the
historical story, which in Greece grew up somewhat in
contrast to myth, insofar as it was meant to be the
accurate account of events recent enough to be confirmed by
trustworthy witnesses. As for the literary story, it is pure
fiction presented frankly as such, whose value derives
primarily from the talent and skill of the person who made
it. These two types of story are normally attributed to an
author, who answers for them and who offers them under his
name, as written texts, to an audience of readers.
Structurally, we can thus say that the terms "myth" and "mythology" have a
wider - even universal - scope of meaningfulness farther beyond its parochial
II. Scope and Limits
This paper specifically focuses on the issue of the dynamics of love in ancient
mythologies in both Near Eastern - particularly Mesopotamian and Egyptian - and
Indo-European - particularly Greek - traditions.
Love in these mythologies - more pronounced in the Mesopotamian tradition - is
viewed as a primal life-force characterized by 1) fertility
(possibilizing-of-being); 2) formity (molding-into-being); and 3) formality
In the Greek tradition, it is a primeval energy that cyclically flows from a
universal timeless ocean - the Primordial EROS - to the "lakes" of
gods/goddesses-in-time-and-space - Aphrodite and Eros - to the "rivers" of
human passion and back to the universal timeless ocean.
Egyptian mythology dramatizes that in the "rivers" of human passion, love
expresses itself as 1) physical desire (ka love); 2) sharing of the soul (ba
love); and 3) commitment of the spirit (akh love).
Ontologically, the love portrayed in ancient classical mythologies cannot be
boldly signified if not viewed as the spirit that "inspires" the embracing arms
of creation and destruction, order and chaos, peace and violence. In Greek
mythology, love (Eros) is the intensifying passion that calls into being the
sting of destruction/violence (Eris).
Love is, hence, an ancient wave that vibrates, interpenetrates, and
interconnects the divine and the human in an eternal cosmic dance that makes
life dangerously exciting, poignantly challenging and desperately imminent in
its expression of a "longing for itself".
III. Love as Primal Life-Force in Mesopotamian Myths
Mesopotamian religion and culture span a very long period of four millennia.
Materials of both archeological and literary significance may be generally
availed of from almost every era of this ancient past. The Sumerian gods and
goddesses were embraced and enshrined by the dominant Semitic races - the
Akkadians, the Amorites, and the Assyrians - in the area.
Dumuzi-abzu is a Sumerian god of the marshes in the earliest Mesopotamian
mythology. Generally, he is viewed as a fertility deity whose sister,
Geshtinanna, is the power in the grape, and whose companion, Inanna,
symbolizes the "storehouse of dates." Dumuzi (in Semitic, Tammuz) is the
central figure of a myth and cult whose manifestation of fertility is in the
power of the date palm that appears in the spring. A fertility deity in an
ancient myth is a well-spring of the creative energy of love that possibilizes
being. Everything in the world springs naturally from the creative power of
love represented in the activities of a fertility deity. The sexual expressions
of Dumuzi's covenanting with and marriage to Inanna, the occurrence of his
tragic and lamented death, as well as the effort of his sister and mother to
venerate him and look for him in the underworld, are within the corpus of this
myth. The myth and cult of Dumuzi in the Mesopotamian religion reveals the
typical weaknesses of humanity in its encounter with the appearance of holiness
in the forms of nature.
There is a sustained, though subdued, stability of the fertility motifs in the
myths of Mesopotamia's middle period (ca. 2500 - ca. 1900 BCE). Fertility's
symbolism from the simplicity of sexual intercourse is transformed now to one of
cosmic significance - the powerful aggressiveness of the thunderstorm that
pushes the river's course. The god Enlil - "lord wind" - is the cause of the
storm. As wind-power, he leads over and controls actions intended to benefit
humanity. The supreme deity in the pantheon is Anu, the sky-power. His
relationship with his wife, Ki - the earth - has produced trees, reeds, and the
rest of nature's vegetation. Anu is the father of Enki - "lord of the soil" -
who epitomizes the sacred character of the waters of rivers (the Tigris and the
Euphrates), rain and marshes. As lord of the soil, Enki symbolizes the necessary
intention of fresh water to bless the soil.
There has been more written about Enki than any other
Sumero-Akkadian deity. The importance of water in a
particularly arid climate may explain why Enki, the
water-god, played such a prominent role in the creation
myths of Sumer (Kramer & Maier).
In addition to being the water-god, Enki was the god of
wisdom and craftiness. It's possible that wisdom and
craftiness spawned from his designation as water-god. The
building of irrigation canals on the otherwise arid plains
of southern Mesopotamia are what allowed Sumer to bourgeon
into humankind's first known urban civilization. For this
very reason, it is possible that water was associated with
the genius of harnessing it - through the use of
irrigation - thus the supreme god of water would also be
envisioned as wise and crafty.
Hence, Enki, whose activity leads to the formation of clay out of water and
soil, likewise represents the human semen. Enki, being a deity who forms and
gives shape - formity deity - is a molder. He is typically understood as the
archetype - the original form.
Also during the middle period, the form of Inanna (Isthar in Semitic) changes.
Added to her fertility symbolism is that of a war goddess, the rain-power, the
evening and morning star, and the harlot. This period is also characterized the
display of dynamic energies that excitingly inspire brisk interactions between
humans and divines. The myth aims for cosmic order and the gods and goddesses -
formality deities - projects themselves as intrinsic participants in the context.
The Goddess Inanna ruled the people of Sumer, and under Her
rule the people and their communities prospered and thrived.
The urban culture, though agriculturally dependent, centered
upon the reverence of the Goddess - a cella, or shrine, in
her honour was the centerpiece of the cities. Inanna was
the queen of seven temples throughout Sumer. Probably the
most important Sumerian contribution to civilization was
the invention and creation of a standard writing and
literature; the Sumerians even had libraries. Their
literary works reveal religious beliefs, ethical ideas, and
the spiritual aspirations of the Sumerians. Among these
works are the hymns and stories of Inanna - important here
because they were recorded at a time when the patriarchy was
beginning to take hold, and the position of the Goddess,
although strong, was changing.
IV. The Egyptian Mythological Vehicle of The Same Primal Life-Force called Love
The identification of love as a primal life-force in the forms of fertility,
formity, and formality are likewise structurally conveyed in ancient Egyptian
mythology. The element of love as fertility is present in the Old Kingdom
mythology through the sun-god Atum (a.k.a. Aten or Ra) who appears as the first
creator. The deities Shu and Tefnut (air and moisture) come out of Atum. Later,
Shu and Tefnut produce Geb and Nut (earth and sky). From the latter couple
emerge Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nepthys. The cosmos is established from the first
four deities and the later four take the role of mediators between humans and
Love as formity and as formality is most pronounced in the theology of Memphis
which is recorded on the Shabaka Stone. In the Memphite theological
tradition, all local and former mythological traditions converge in the god
Ptah. The text presents a cosmology wherein creation of the world (love as
formation) and the unity of the land of Egypt constitute a process in the
eternal ordering of the world (love as formalization). From ideas in his heart
pronounced by his tongue, Ptah creates everything: the universe; all living
things; virtues like, justice, beauty, honesty, honor, dignity, etc. Even the
gods are created in this manner. They initially come forth as ideas in the mind
of Ptah. Then, they take the form of this world's materiality which have also
been equally created out of Ptah.
V. The Developmental Flow of Love from Primordial Divinity to Its Humanized
Form in Ancient Greek Mythology
The movement of events that projects love in the structural vehicles of
fertility, formity, and formality seen in the ancient Greek mythological
tradition undergoes the process of revelation that flows from the primordial
eternity of divine presence to the temporal orbit of human reality. Love as
fertility is solely of divine prerogative and responsibility. Love as formity
is characterized by interactions among gods/goddesses and humanity in space and
time where the former enjoy power advantage (being divine) over the latter. Love
as formality brings us to the exciting drama of human passion and aggression
that characterize the signification of socio-existential events in human terms.
In the beginning, there is only the Void and Chaos until Gaia (Earth) comes
into being. The seed of love that is not yet conscious of itself (non-thematic
Love) appears as Gaia. It is love-fertility whose appearance is actually a
"possibilizing-of-being". Gaia, in other words, is "pregnant" with being.
The earth appears. The Greek call it Gaia. Earth rises up
in the very heart of the Void. And here it is: born after
Chaos, and in some respects its opposite. Earth is not the
realm of falling, dark and boundless and undefined; Earth
has a distinct, separate, precise form. Against the
confusion and shadowy vagueness of Chaos stand Gaia's
sharpness, firmness, stability. On Earth everything is
outlined, visible, solid. Gaia can be defined as the entity
upon which the gods, men, and beasts can walk with
confidence. It is the floor of the world.
After Chaos and Gaia comes Eros - Old/ Primordial Love (thematic Love).
Primordial Eros is love that is not located within a sexual framework
because in the most ancient times, there was no gender yet. Primordial Eros
being the original love is not the one who will later appear in the era of
The original Eros expresses a new thrust in the universe:
In the same way that Erath emerged from Void, from out of
Earth there springs what she contains within her own
depths. What was in her, as part of her essence, comes
forth and out: She gives birth to it with no need for
sexual congress with anyone. What Earth delivers and
reveals is precisely the thing that had dwelled darkly
Now that love has become thematic in Primordial Eros, Gaia gives birth to
Uranus whose place in Greek mythology is especially important. Uranus
inaugurates a dramatic phase in Greek mythology that flows from fertility to
formity. Uranus (Sky) is born out of Gaia and is originally the same dimension
as she is. Gaia is covered by Uranus in full entirety. The Uranus that Gaia
produces precisely corresponds and symmetrically duplicates her. Now, a pair of
opposites - male and female - is present. In Uranus, we have the Male Sky and
the Female Earth in Gaia. Love is now at the transition point between fertility
and formity. From the union of these two forces emerge beings distinct from both
But Gaia can no longer bear the difficulty of being closely attached with
Uranus. So she comes up with a cunning scheme. She carries it out by shaping a
sickle inside her womb where one of her offspring, Cronus, is trapped. Cronus
will use the sickle to castrate his father, Uranus, while having intercourse
with Gaia. While Uranus is emptying his seed in Gaia, Cronus grabs his father's
sexual organ and slices it off. Upon its occurrence, Uranus instantly separates
from Gaia and his severed sex organ is thrown by Cronus and lands into the sea.
In castrating Uranus, on his mother's advice and through
her shrewd tactics, Cronus brings about a fundamental stage
in the birth of the cosmos: He separates the earth from the
sky. Between sky and earth he creates open space:
Everything the earth produces, everything living beings
engender, will now have room to breathe, to live. Space is
liberated - but time is transformed as well.
The blood spilled out of Uranus upon his castration produces three distinct
types of beings that personify violence, retribution, war, and slaughter: Eris.
Eris is the opposite of Eros and he signifies all types and forms of hostility
and disorder. Eris, on the one hand, is the internal turmoil in a single unit
of relationship. Eros, on the other hand, is harmony and mutual agreement
between two beings as distinct: masculine and feminine.
Now the sex organ that Cronus threw into the sea does not just sink into the
water of the ocean; it drifts about and the sperm in it mixes with the sea.
From there emerges a magnificent woman: Aphrodite. Now the phase of love as
formity has come.
As she walks on the sand, the most fragrant and beautiful
flowers spring up beneath her steps. In Aphrodite's wake,
hard on her heels, come Eros and Himeros, love and desire.
This is not the original Eros, but a later one who demands
that there be a masculine and feminine in the world from
then on: he is sometimes said to be Aphrodite's son. This
Eros has a different task; it is no longer what it was at
the very beginning of the cosmos - drawing forth what lay
contained in the dark interior of the primordial powers.
As Uranus moves away from Gaia, he inaugurates the way to a non-stop sequence
of generations. In each generation, as gods are seen in a situation of constant
war, it is predicted that there will be no relenting of conflicts in the world.
It is therefore hoped that the war of the gods must stop to establish once and
for all world order. This is love's expression of the need for formality (order
and harmony). The need is, in fact, perennial as the movement of the story goes
to the realm of humanity that is generally characterized by war, disorder,
hatred, treachery, violence and crime. And so the focus now moves to the level
of individual humanity where the concrete existentiality of love becomes
VI. The Existentiality of Love in the Individual Person: Ancient Egyptian
Individual human love is understood in ancient Egyptian mythology in reference
to the three components of the individual human person: the Ka, the Ba, and the
Our selves consist of several parts which experience life
as well as death in different ways:
A. The Akh (or Khu) is our exalted divine self, the spark
of divine matter which knows only gradually deepening
awareness as our series of lives progresses. It is almost
unaware of life and death. The ancients visualized it as a
star, or as a high soaring white bird.
B. The Ba, or astral body, is our dream self, which carries
life experience to the Akh. This body can become a ghost,
and lives for some time after the body dies. (Some seers
describe a Sahu, or magical body, similar to and in
addition to the Ba).
C. The Ka, or conscious/sexual body. This generally dies at
the same time as the body, although in, for instance,
Alzheimer's disease, it dies before the body. It embodies
our alertness, logical mind, our desires, our fears, and
our lusts, our prides; it is the part by which we deal with
everyday life. It perceives the experiences and transactions
which the Ba reports to the Akh.
Love may be understood in these three perspectives. Ka-love is physical
engagement expressed in sexual desire, ownership, capitulation or ascendancy.
Ba-love is soul-encounter where facilitation stands face-to-face with distress
and need. It offers a vision of eternal sharing of human existence. Akh-love
is a spiritual embracing that attends to the fulfillment of certain virtues
that elevate humanity to the level of the divine. Akh-love aims for the eternal
unity of all existence and of our very own individual divine spark.
VII. A Reluctant Conclusion
This paper is by no means exhaustive and complete. It is a simple introduction
to prime the intellectual's interest to seriously pursue the search for
invaluable wealth that still needs to be discovered in mythological traditions
of the ancient world. We have barely scratched the surface.
It is therefore unlikely at this point to end this study.
1. Robert Graves & Raphael Patai, Hebrew Myths (New York: Doubleday,1964), p.
2. Jean-Pierre Vernant, The Universe, the Gods, and Men: Ancient Greek Myths
(New York: Perennial, 2002), p. ix.
4. Among the earliest civilizations were the diverse peoples living in the
fertile valleys lying between the Tigris and Euphrates valley, or Mesopotamia,
which in Greek means, "between the rivers." In the south of this region, in an
area now in Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, a mysterious group of people,
speaking a language unrelated to any other human language we know of, began to
live in cities, which were ruled by some sort of monarch, and began to write.
These were the Sumerians, and around 3000 BC they began to form large
city-states in southern Mesopotamia that controlled areas of several hundred
square miles. The names of these cities speak from a distant and foggy past:
Ur, Lagash, Eridu. These Sumerians were constantly at war with one another and
other peoples, for water was a scarce and valuable resource. The result over
time of these wars was the growth of larger city-states as the more powerful
swallowed up the smaller city-states. Eventually, the Sumerians would have to
battle another peoples, the Akkadians, who migrated up from the Arabian
5. The Akkadians were a Semitic people living on the Arabic peninsula during
the great flourishing period of the Sumerian city-states. Although we don't
know much about early Akkadian history and culture, we do know that as the
Akkadians migrated north, they came in increasing conflict with the Sumerian
city-states, and in 2340 BC, the great Akkadian military leader, Sargon,
conquered Sumer and built an Akkadian empire stretching over most of the
Sumerian city-states and extending as far away as Lebanon. Sargon based his
empire in the city of Akkad, which became the basis of the name of his people.
This great capital of the largest empire humans had ever seen up until that
point later became the city of Babylon, which was the commercial and cultural
center of the middle east for almost two thousand years.
6. After the last Sumerian dynasty fell around 2000 BC, Mesopotamia drifted
into conflict and chaos for almost a century. Around 1900 BC, a group of
Semites - Canaanites - called the Amorites - had managed to gain control of
most of the Mesopotamian region. Like the Akkadians, the Amorites centralized
the government over the individual city-states and based their capital in the
city of Babylon, which was originally called Akkad and served as the center of
the Amorite empire. For this reason, the Amorites are called the Old
Babylonians and the period of their ascendancy over the region, which lasted
from 1900-1600 BC, is called the Old Babylonian period. The Amorites were an
ancient tribe of Canaanites - but who were technically not of Canaanite
ethnicity - who inhabited the region northeast of the Jordan River as far as
7. The Assyrians were Semitic people living in the northern reaches of
Mesopotamia; they have a long history in the area, but for most of that history
they are subjugated to the more powerful kingdoms and peoples to the south.
Under the monarch, Shamshi-Adad, the Assyrians attempted to build their own
empire, but Hammurabi soon crushed the attempt and the Assyrians disappear from
the historical stage. Eventually the Semitic peoples living in northern
Mesopotamia were invaded by another Asiatic people, the Hurrians, who migrated
into the area and began to build an empire of their own. But the Hurrian dream
of empire was soon swallowed up in the dramatic growth of the Hittite empire,
and the young Hurrian nation was swamped. After centuries of attempts at
independence, the Assyrians finally had an independent state of their own since
the Hittites did not annex Assyrian cities. For the next several hundred years,
the balance of power would shift from the north to the south.
8. Dumuzi - the shepherd king of Uruk who came to be known as the first ruler
to wed the goddess Inanna in the Sacred Marriage Rite. Literally translated as
'Faithful Son' Dumuzi-Abzu - literally Dumuzi of the deep.
9. Geshtinanna, a daughter of Duttur, was Dumuzi's sister. Geshtinanna, was a
spinster, living alone in the Arali Desert in southern Eden. In Dumuzi's
flight from the galla, when Inanna told them to carry away her husband and take
him down to the Netherworld, he ran to Geshtinanna for help. She tried to hide
her brother but her efforts did little good. Dumuzi was found by the galla.
It was then that Geshtinanna learned her brother had been sentenced by Inanna,
his wife, to the Netherworld, never to return again to the Great Above.
10. Related to Inanna's identification with growth, abundance and fertility is
her association with sex. Her presence is revealed in the attraction between
the sexes. In her absence, sexual desire is non-existent. [refer Descent Saga]
Many songs and hymns describe Inanna herself as eager for sex and is sexually
active. In a hymn entitled 'The Sister's Message', Dumuzi's sister,
Geshtinanna, tells of meeting Inanna and of how Inanna invited Geshtinanna to
her house and in her bedroom confessed of her longing for Geshtinanna's
11. Appearance of the Sumerians: the oldest cities in Sumer were founded around
3000 BC. By the third millennium (2800-2370), Sumerian dynastic city-states had
appeared; they fought a lot. Eventually they were consolidated by war into a
unified kingdom, and then conquered by the people upstream from them.
The Assyrians, a Semitic people (their language group), absorbed Sumerian
culture, and established their capital at Akkad - near the later site of
Babylon. They were henceforth known as the Akkadians. The Akkadians were
powerful warriors, and conquered in every direction under the command of their
greatest king, Sargon.
14. While the unification of Egypt in the Archaic period was the single most
important event in Egyptian history, it was a long and drawn-out affair.
Although Narmer is credited with unifying the country, all the kings of the
first two dynasties had to fight constant wars against considerable opponents
all along the Nile. But the third dynasty of Egyptian kings began powerfully;
the second king of that dynasty, a man named Netcheriche or Djoser (or Zoser)
became powerful enough to control the whole of the country. Egypt had,
meanwhile, prospered and grown beyond everyone's wildest dreams. Agricultural
production had been revolutionized by the building of massive irrigation
projects; trade had ballooned to super-human proportions; the population had
swelled exponentially. Suddenly Egypt found itself wealthy; the country
literally exploded with creativity for the next several generations. This
period,from 2650-2134, the Old Kingdom, was the richest and most creative
period in Egyptian history. All the pyramids were built at this time; the
growth in population and wealth allowed the kings to apportion vast amounts of
labor and materials to these monuments to themselves.
15. The Memphis theology is based around Ptah (equivalent to the Greek
Hephaistos, the divine blacksmith), (shown above on the left), who himself
becomes the primordial fire and gives it substance. This cosmological system
was developed at Memphis, when it became the capital city of the kings of
Egypt. Ptah is the creator-god of Memphis, and during the long period the city
served as the capital of Egypt it was known as Het-ka-Ptah or "House of the Soul
of Ptah". Ptah is one of several Egyptian deities attributed with a myth about
fashioning creation. Ptah, as the god Ta-tenen (the primordial mound), creates
in the so-called "Memphite Theology" the world, its inhabitants, and the kas of
the other gods. Reference is again made to the Ennead, this time with Ptah at
16. Jean-Pierre Vernant, The Universe, the Gods, and Men: Ancient Greek Myths,
17. The early arrival of Eros in the origin myth not only offsets the other
rather gloomy siblings of Tartarus, but also establishes his function for
further creation. Eros is the cause of love and creation and thence, all life.
From the origins of consciousness, humanity has sought to understand the
mystery of creation - in myths the cosmic creator takes fantastical forms, but
that we still use the term 'eros' in our language means we must look back at
Eros' original intent.
18. Vernant, p.5.
19. Uranus, also known as Ouranos, was the embodiment of the sky or heavens,
and known as the god of the sky. He was the first son of Gaia (the earth) and
he also became her husband. According to Hesiod, their children included the
Titans: six sons (Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus and Cronus) and six
daughters (Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe and Tethys). There were other
offspring: the Cyclopes, (who were named Brontes, Steropes and Arges and were
later known as "one eyed giants"), and also the three monsters known as the
Hecatonchires, who each had one hundred hands and fifty heads. Their names were
Briareus, Cottus and Gyes. Other offspring of Uranus and Gaia were the Erinyes,
who were spirits of punishment and goddesses of vengeance. The Erinyes avenged
wrongs which were done to family, especially murder within a family. After
Uranus had been castrated, his blood fell to earth (Gaia) and conceived the
Giants. These were of monstrous appearance and had great strength . Similarly,
in some versions Aphrodite is believed to have risen from the foam created by
the sex organs of Uranus after they were thrown into the sea by his son Cronus.
20. Vernant, p.9.
21. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty and sexual
rapture. According to Hesiod, she was born when Uranus (the father of the gods)
was castrated by his son Cronus. Cronus threw the severed genitals into the
ocean which began to churn and foam about them. From the aphros ("sea foam")
arose Aphrodite, and the sea carried her to either Cyprus or Cythera. Hence she
is often referred to as Kypris and Cytherea. Homer calls her a daughter of Zeus
22. Vernant, p. 12.
(c) Ruel F. Pepa 2004
Ruel F. Pepa
Faculty of Philosophy
Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Trinity College of Quezon City
II. 'PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC IN CROATIAN HIGH SCHOOL' BY BRUNO CURKO
Croatia is a small European country with long and rich history. Philosophical
tradition in Croatia led the way in the XII century with the first Croatian
philosopher Herman Dalmatin. In the Renaissance Croatia had many well known
and influential philosophers: Franjo Petric, Matija Vlachic, Juraj Dragisic.
 From the Renaissance until today Croatia also had many famous
philosophers. The most important is Rugerius Boscovich. Today we have four
Universities where students can study philosophy.
Logic in high school
Today Croatian high school lasts four years. According to the school syllabus,
in the third year scholars learn logic, one lesson per week (35 lessons through
a school year). Until 1991 we had one schoolbook of logic, Gajo Petrovic Logic.
Today we have new and modern schoolbooks: Dr. Mirko Jakic Logic and Dr. Srecko
Kovac Logic. Through this school subject scholars learn the basis of formal
logic starting with Aristotle's terms, proposition, conclusion, categorical,
hypothetical and disjunctive syllogism, Venn diagrams, definition, division and
argument. They continue with modern formal symbolic logic and mathematical
logic. The program is concluded with predicate logic. In this way high school
students are facing basic logical problems.
Philosophy in high school
In the fourth year of high school students have 64 lessons of philosophy (2
lessons per week). Today teachers have a dilemma, namely we have two different
ways to teach philosophy. The first is the historical approach. Through this
entrance students learn history of philosophy, from Milesians Thales,
Anaximander and Anaximenes (6th century B.C.) until Jacques Derrida (born in
1930). The second is is problem approach. Here we can base on the concrete
philosophical problems like ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics. Today we have
two different schoolbooks of philosophy by domestic authors:
B. Kalin History of Philosophy. Historical entrance. This
schoolbook has been in use since 1973, but practically
every year there is addition of new chapters. In this book
we can find basic information of every significant
philosopher from 6th century until today. In the second
part of the book there are original texts by these
philosophers. In the beginning of the book there is the
introduction in basic philosophical disciplines
(metaphysics, ontology, ethics, philosophy of history). At
the end we have a philosophy dictionary with 500 philosophy
terms. A special part is dedicated to Croatian philosophy.
Every high school student in the last thirty years has this
book in his library.
I. Cehok and F. Grgic Philosophy. Problem entrance. This
school book gives basic information about, and
philosophical interpretations of the following philosophical
problems: man, knowledge, language and the world, causes,
mind and body, good and value, politics, infinite Being and
art. This is a modern schoolbook adapted for modern students.
National Olympiad in philosophy and logic
Since 1998 the Institute for Education of Croatia has organized the National
Tournament in logic. First we have a County Tournament. The best results lead
to the National Olympiad. Examination in this contest consists of assignments
based on the logic syllabus. But, mostly assignments are based on mathematical
Every paper has ten to five problems (proposition, conclusion, categorical,
hypothetical and disjunctive syllogism, Venn diagrams, definition, division and
argument, symbolic, mathematical logic). The student with the best results
receives a kind of relief at admission to the University.
Since 2001 we have held a National Olympiad in philosophy, maintained at the
same time and with the same rules as the tournament in logic. This tournament
has three levels. The first is interrogation of proficiency with philosophical
terms. Students receive ten philosophical terms and they must write everything
they know about them in ten minutes. These terms can be: a priori, a
posteriori, metaphysics, logos, natura naturans, natura naturata, idea, telos,
epistemology, scepticism, and realism.
Then they write an essay. Every year there is a new theme. Last year the theme
was "Kant's aesthetics".
The third part is for the five best students from first two parts. This
examination is viva voce, an analysis of a philosophical theme (for example,
1. Herman Dalmatin (1110-1154) was our first world famous scientist and
philosopher. His teacher was the famous Thierry de Chartres. Dalmatin wrote
about 20 translations (Euclid's "Elements", Al-Khwarizmi's "Tables", Sahl ibn
Bishr's "Sextus astronomicae liber", Abu-Ma'ashar's "Introduction to
Astronomy", Ptolemy's Planisphere) and the original astrological-cosmological
book "De essentiis".
2. Matija Vlachic - Flacius Illyricus (1520-1575). Voluminous promoter of
Protestantism in XVI century. He wrote more than 200 theology booklets. His
most known work is "Clavis Scripturae Sacrae" (The key to the Sacred Script)
analyzing lexicographically the content of the Bible. Some considered him a
founder of hermeneutic philosophy.
3. Georgius Benignus de Salvatis - philosopher, theologian, grey friar, from
Srebrnica (medieval name Argentina) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He worked in
Florence, Dubrovnik and Rome. In Florence he become part of the well-known
Platonic academy in Florence There he become a portage of Leonardo Medicheiski
and become a teacher of his sons, one of them Giovanni afterward commenced Pope
Leon X. He wrote a lot of books about philosophy and theology: "Mirabilia septem
et septuaginta", "De communicatione divine naturae Fredericus", "Ae animi regni
principe", "De natura angelica", "Propthicae solutiones".
4. In the Renaissance we have more noted philosophers like: Augustin Kazotic,
Frederik Grisogono, Mark Antun de Dominis, Jannus Pannonius, Antun Vrancic.
5. Philosophy can be studied at undergraduate level at the University of
Zagreb, University of Zadar, University of Rijeka or in Studia Croatica.
(c) Bruno Curko 2004
III. 'TOM ALBERTSSON ON WILBER AND PRE- VS. TRANS-RATIONAL THINKING' BY
I greatly esteem your essay on Wilber and pre- vs. trans-rational thinking and
those "three eyes" of Bonaventura - physical eye, rational eye, and spiritual
eye. This pre-trans-rational difference was an important point to be stressed
But let me defend "rationality" a bit. Those medieval philosophers like
Bonaventura or his contemporary Thomas were not at all unaware of spirituality
- as you implicitly seem to concede. They surely knew as much of spirituality
as does Wilber. They surely were not only "mythicists" but even "mysticists" -
many of them. Meister Eckhart (ca. 1260-1327), one generation younger than
Bonaventura, generally is called a mystic. And Newton is said to have been very
much influenced by the mystic Boehme (1575-1624). When Kepler and Newton did
"natural science" they did so as theologians interested in the ways of God
showing in His creation. This was the same attitude as that of Spinoza, ten
years older than Newton. Only during Enlightenment this spiritual origin of
modern science got lost. So much so, that Laplace (1749-1827, cf. Kant-Laplace
model of solar-system), when asked by Napoleon why God did not appear in his
"Celestial Mechanics" could answer "Sir, I didn't need this hypothesis."
BUT - and this is my objection to your praise of Wilber: While "Western"
mathematics has its origins in the religion of the Orphics and Pythagoreans,
and began its rise during 17th century in the context of "theologia naturalis"
and Neo-Platonism, it was a "rational" endeavour, not a "spiritual" one. The
same applies with Socratic-Platonic dialogues. They trusted in the "reasonable
argument" as did Kant.
There has always been much spirituality around not only in the Western world
but even more so in the eastern world. Wilber was not needed to introduce it,
and neither was "New Age" and "Guruism". But this dominant spirituality in my
opinion explains why the Orient never got at modern science or democracy: The
Orient was so indulged in "spirituality", that it simply was not interested in
understanding nature or society. But the "philosophes" of Enlightenment were!
This caused a general rise of liberty and well-being in the Western world
To use your picture: We should learn in the long run "to dance the Tango", but
we should not forget that for everyday movement "going" is the more natural
form of movement. Or would you enjoy a world were people are dancing all the
day like on Mardi Gras in New Orleans or dancing the "time warp" as in "Rocky
Horror Picture Show" ? Even Nietzsche's Zarathustra came from the hills
dancing. To be sure: I like this and I like the Tango, but as Kant had it we
should first try to learn the upright walking of free persons. [...]
It is not that I am alien to the concepts of spirituality. 40 years ago I read
Ramakrishna and Sri Aurobindo and the Pali Kanon and the New Testament and much
of similar stuff. But there is still a long way to go till we arrive at the
Beatles' "Pepperland" and drive off the Blue Meanies. Think of how "Easy Rider"
ended. There remains much to do.
But keep on. Yours was a good and important essay.
All the best from Hubertus
(c) Hubertus Fremerey 2004
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