Monday, April 05, 2004

Who are your parents, really?

Well, anyone who has spoken to me knows how proud I am of my parents, even though they didn't apparently do much of what is expected of parents in our culture...

My dad's theosophical interests are the most obviously unusual - and led me to being a vegetarian from birth, and (rather than an atheist/agnostic) never contaminated by odd religious beliefs - just because they were traditional, simply encouraged in that natural pantheism/animism of the child - I still apologise to snails if I step on them, I say good morning to all the sparrows who sing me to work - yup, I am crazy.

Anyway - when I talk about my humanist/agnostic mum I usually explain about how her most valued beliefs came from her deep study of Shakepeare and The Greeks. She wasn't wrong in pointing out that (say) Freud was just interpreting their insights, more a literary critic than a scientist, and that there was 'nothing new under the sun'. (Think Oedipius, Dionysus, Hamlet, etc). And Jung mined astrology and alchemy and such for his insights. Of course, Sheila (being a Stoic) was a bit disappointed when she found out I was from the Cynic school, and Diogenes was my hero, but hey...

I remembered a book I'd inherited (lost in the great flood) and despaired of tracking it down - it was one she had received as a prize when at school. It suggested that Shakespeare's "The Tempest" was a model of Initiation. I had told someone about it the other day. I put the Tempest and Initiation in Google and was ASTOUNDED that it found a review of it in one go! Even better, there is a copy in the library I work in!

You may find other relevant material about the Perennial Philosophy in this ebook.


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