Sunday April 28th at 5PM, around the deep kiva at the Ojai Foundation, the Joseph Campbell Mythological RoundTable of Ojai will entertain “Prometheus: The Progenitor of Human Craft.” After last month’s talk on the Mythology of Trees with Dr. Evans Lansing Smith, a number of PhD students in Pacifica’s Mythology program have begun preparing for future RoundTables. Until then, I’ll be keeping the fire going with a talk on the Greek myth of knowledge.Prometheus told Zeus how to trap the Titans in Tartarus, and taught Heracles how to obtain the Golden Apples. Medea’s potion of immortality was made from the flowers that grow in his blood. And while Plato, Sappho and Aesop wrote about him as the creator of humanity; Hesiod and Ovid described him as the father of all flood-surviving humans. His offenses are responsible for mortality and suffering, but through his gifts of art and science, we engage life’s uncertainty with Hope. For establishing a link between mortals and the gods and for sharing divine knowledge with humans, Prometheus was chained to a stone at the edge of the world—at the site of the sun rise—where an eagle eats at his liver.Beyond his progenitorial centrality to Greek and Roman mythology, the figure of Prometheus offers hints and clues to the riddles of life and death, the origins of knowledge, the suppression of titanic forces and the liberty deserved by every human spirit. Since overthrowing the tyranny of the titans and challenging the dominance of Zeus, we continue to call on him as a defender of human freedom from tyrants of church and state.
As usual, we will entertain mythological parallels of comparable myths. Progenitors, knowledge thieves, potions and fruits of (im)mortality, flood survivors and self sacrificing deities will all be on the table Sunday the 28th as we discuss the hard earned art of mortality, the scientific suppression of myth, and the mythical suppression of this first scientist.
Sincere wishes of Hope and Foresight, Will Linn
JCF.orgWill: The presenter and host majored in Philosophy at the University of the South, Sewanee, and has completed his PhD coursework in mythological studies with an emphasis in depth psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. His working dissertation includes a chapter on Prometheus.
— at The Ojai Foundation.