Orpheus and Eurydice

So the email response from Craig about my final paper, he mentioned the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in regards to the land of Berkeley and the path of the musician. This myth for me has resonated on many different levels. In this ancient Greek story, Orpheus is a musician whose tunes please the ears of most gods, goddesses, demi-gods, and creatures. On his wedding day, his bride Eurydice steps on a serpent and is killed by it. In grief, Orpheus descends to the underworld to appeal to Hades and Persephone for the release of Eurydice back to the world of the living. The King and Queen of the Underworld are so moved by Orpheus' music that they do release her. However, one condition is laid out for the successful return of Eurydice to the land of the living: that Orpheus not look back on his ascent back out of the Underworld. Orpheus is unable to heed the instructions given to him, and just as they begin approaching the gates to the Overworld, he looks over his shoulder to check if Eurydice is still following him out. Her soul is then returned to the Underworld and Orpheus fails in his mission.

So here's where it connects to my current life experience... I've had a falling out with my girlfriend during the unfoldment of this course. A large part of our split resides in the fact that she clings to mechanism and does not want to see the Terrapocalypse aspect of Earthrise. It's ironic because she's studying Ecological Evolutionary Biology and works at the Oakland Zoo, and she knows at a deep level that the current status quo and the mechanist agenda are highly destructive to the environment. She still clings to these systems as they give structure and meaning to her life, and because she feels like she has to be part of that system to get ahead in academia. She's terrified of the idea that society is on the verge of collapse, so much that she can't even entertain the notion without breaking into tears and becoming depressed. So, she totally blocks it out and gets upset when I bring it up. My enthusiasm and involvement in this course became a strain on our relationship because it concretized something that she really didn't want to look at. 

The whole span of the relationship, I've felt as if I've been trying to go into Hades to save her from her death-machine-worship and inclinations to defend corrupted institutions, only to find that I've embodied the self-righteous Shadow aspect of "the Activist" archetype, and that I cannot save her from herself. We've taken a break from our relationship until January. She's requested that we not be in contact until then so that she can do her own healing work, and to reset the vicious cycles that have become a reoccurring theme in our relationship. So now, I am climbing back up out of Hades, and I am very tempted to look back. 
It's also interesting to note that my most recent album centers thematically around the descent to the underworld, summed up in the alchemical proverb V.I.T.R.I.O.L.: "visita interiora terra, rectificando invenies occultum lapidem". So, the myth of Orpheus/Eurydice resonates with me on many levels. And it has been very difficult for me lately to "not look back". 

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  • Heavy stuff, Travis. Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like your lady could use some grief work Macy style. Might help you get to a better place. Or maybe she's just not able to internalize the message. Either way, sorry to hear about it. Breaking up is always tough. I send you a hug from Costa Rica.

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