Wherever you are is the entry point – Kabir

Iphigenia and all those Hellenes….


Tuesday… Finally cooling off here.
Watched the “Troy” film again. **Sigh** I didn’t know that the Trojans had been to Peru, you get to see the Llamas that they brought back with them in the opening shots of the city. Who woulda known ?
Anyway, it got me thinking. We take such liberties with the old tales, though thankfully a thread of gold still runs through. But all of this modernizing to fit the audience, are we dilluting them to the point that the **point** dissapears? Yes and No. I think this has been an on going process for a long, long time.
I know the Illiad and the Oddessey shaped my consciousness in many ways early on, and I like to dip into them again occasionally.
What often is missed in these times are some of the attending tales. Iphigenia is one good example. I have included 2 tellings below in the poetry section…
Well, got to hop. There is a wall just waiting to be painted somewhere….

Oh the various ways…. With a Bang? With a Wimper?
Family, Doctor Say Rabbit Saved Woman
Unusual otter attack kills dog
Scientists’ Belief in God Varies Starkly by Discipline

The Quotes
“If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.”

“In order to preserve your self-respect, it is sometimes necessary to lie and cheat.”
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
“Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience.”
Plants Discriminate Between Self And Non Self
Montreal — Two peas in a pod may not be so friendly when planted in the ground and even two parts of the same plant, once separated may treat the former conjoined twin as an alien “enemy,” according to a Penn State researcher.
“We were looking at how plants determine who is a competitor when competing with other roots for limited resources,” said Omer Falik, postdoctoral researcher in plant ecology. “There is no reason for roots to fight if they belong to the same plant.”
The question was, do plants recognize their own roots and avoid competing with them and how do they do this? Working with common garden peas, Falik worked with Ariel Novoplansky at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. The researchers used plants that had two roots and planted them in a chamber that forced them to grow a specified distance from each other and from roots of a neighboring plant.
“We found that the roots grew significantly more and longer secondary roots on the non-self side,” Falik told attendees at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America on Tuesday (Aug. 8-) in Montreal, Canada.
The mechanism for this self/non-self discrimination could be based on either individually specific chemical recognition — such as that known from plant reproductive systems — or physiological coordination between roots that belong to the same plant. To test this, the researchers used plants that had two roots and two shoots and split them into two separate plants that were genetically identical, but physiologically separated. The plants acted as if their separated twin was a non-self plant, even though genetically it was identical.
“This eliminated the possibility that the mechanism was based on specific chemical recognition,” said Falik. “The results prove that at least in the studied plants, self/non-self root discrimination is based on physiological coordination between roots belonging to the same plant. Such coordination might be based on internal pulsing of hormonal or electrical signals which desynchronize when the plants are separated.”
Falik is currently working with David Eissenstat, professor of woody plant physiology, and Roger Koide, professor of horticultural ecology, on examining how the latitude of a plants origin affects the respiratory responses of plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil temperatures.
Aeschylus – The Sacrifice Of Iphigenia
Now long and long from wintry Strymon blew
The weary, hungry, anchor-straining blasts,
The winds that wandering seamen dearly rue,
Nor spared the cables worn and groaning masts;
And, lingering on, in indolent delay,
Slow wasted all the strength of Greece away.
But when the shrill-voiced prophet ‘gan proclaim
That remedy more dismal and more dread
Than the drear weather blackening overhead,
And spoke in Artemis’ most awful name,
The sons of Atreus, ‘mid their armed peers,
Their sceptres dashed to earth, and each broke out in tears,
And thus the elder king began to say:
“Dire doom! to disobey the gods’ commands!
More dire, my child, mine house’s pride, to slay,
Dabbling in virgin blood a father’s hands.
Alas! alas! which way to fly?
As base deserter quit the host,
The pride and strength of our great league all lost?
Should I the storm-appeasing rite deny,
Will not their wrathfullest wrath rage up and swell?
Exact the virgin’s blood?–oh, would ‘t were o’er and well!”
So, ‘neath Necessity’s stern yoke he passed,
And his lost soul, with impious impulse veering,
Surrendered to the accursed unholy blast,
Warped to the dire extreme of human daring.
The frenzy of affliction still
Maddens, dire counselor, man’s soul to ill.
So he endured to be the priest
In that child-slaughtering rite unblest,
The first full offering of that host
In fatal war for a bad woman lost.
The prayers, the mute appeal to her hard sire,
Her youth, her virgin beauty,
Naught heeded they, the chiefs for war on fire.
So to the ministers of that dire duty
(First having prayed) the father gave the sign,
Like some soft kid, to lift her to the shrine.
There lay she prone,
Her graceful garments round her thrown;
But first her beauteous mouth around
Their violent bonds they wound,
With their rude inarticulate might,
Lest her dread curse the fatal house should smite.
But she her saffron robe to earth let fall:
The shaft of pity from her eye
Transpierced that awful priesthood–one and all.
Lovely as in a picture stood she by
As she would speak. Thus at her father’s feasts
The virgin, ‘mid the reveling guests,
Was wont with her chaste voice to supplicate
For her dear father an auspicious fate.
I saw no more! to speak more is not mine;
Not unfulfilled was Calchas’ lore divine.
Eternal justice still will bring
Wisdom out of suffering.
So to the fond desire farewell,
The inevitable future to foretell;
‘Tis but our woe to antedate;
Joint knit with joint, expands the full-formed fate.
Yet at the end of these dark days
May prospering weal return at length;
Thus in his spirit prays
He of the Apian land the sole remaining strength.

Euripides: Iphigenia in Tauris

Iphigenia recalls the day of her sacrifice, blaming Helen and Menelaus
It was Helen’s fault,
And his, that Greek hands lifted me at Aulis
And led me like a beast where, at the altar,
My father held the sacrificial knife.
I live it all again. My fingers, groping,
Go out to him like this and clutch his beard
And cling about his knees. I cry to him:
“It is you yourself, yourself, who brought me here,
You who deceived my maidens and my mother!
They sing my marriage song at home, they fill
The house with happiness, while all the time
Here I am dying at my father’s hands!
You led me in your chariot to take
Achilles for my lord, but here is death
And the taste of blood, not kisses, on my lips!”
And I had left my home with my white veil
Drawn down. I had not taken in my arms
My brother – dead this day – nor kissed my sister.
I had saved all my kisses and embraces
For the man I was to marry. Even then
My heart was homesick and was faint with hope
That I should soon be back again in Argos.
Have a nice one!

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