November 2013

* Marsyas and Apollo

"He leaned down, cut the electric wire. Stared into the flames and he snorted the fire, Peered through the darkness, caught a glimpse of the two. It was hard to tell for certain who was who."
(Bob Dylan)


The legend of Marsyas features a message that is important in Greek mythology. Indeed, the significance of the story can be summarized as follows: hubris, or excessive pride, will be punished by the gods. So let us now learn more about how - and why - Marsyas challenged an Olympian, and the consequences of this ill-advised action.

According to mythology, Marsyas was a satyr. Normally, satyrs are depicted as pleasure-loving creatures who haunt forests and other areas of natural beauty, and spend their time pursuing nymphs. However, this particular satyr was interested in entirely different diversions. It was said that Marsyas one day found a flute that the goddess Athena had discarded (Athena had herself invented the flute, but the lovely goddess decided that she looked ridiculous when she played it). Marsyas was intrigued by the flute. He soon learned to play the instrument, and in time became quite proficient.

Marsyas was so talented - not to mention proud of his musical abilities - that he felt compelled to challenge the god Apollo to a contest of skill. Now, remember that in Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of music. Apollo therefore represented the divine power of music, and challenging this god was, to say the least, a bit arrogant. But Marsyas was obviously overconfident.

The Muses judged this contest between a satyr and a god. Both Marsyas and Apollo played their respective instruments beautifully, but in the end, Apollo won. Because the rules of the challenge stated that the loser was at the mercy of the winner, Apollo was free to do whatever he liked to punish the poor satyr. And Apollo devised a gruesome punishment for the satyr's arrogance - he had Marsyas flayed alive. In his memory, the blood and tears of Marsyas and his friends formed a river that was named after him.

(Marsyas in Greek Mythology, Loggia)


She was troubled by the things he said about her and his upbringing in public, he told her that the fouler he was, the more the audience loved him. Fans would spit at his mother in supermarkets and stick gum in her hair, and their parents would sneer at her. She says the abuse mirrored what she endured in her own sad childhood and adulthood, which included physical abuse from her stepfather and mother, who also attempted suicide several times.
Eminem never knew his father, and I did all I could to make up for it. I wasn't happy when he made up a whole new life for himself - what mother wants to be known as a pill-popping alcoholic who lives on welfare? To tell the truth, I was heartbroken. The lies started coming thick and fast - and not just from Marshall....I think he's forgotten the good times we had.
Nelson also chronicles the love-hate relationship between Eminem and twice ex-wife Kim, who came to live with the family when she was just 13 and quickly established an antagonistic relationship with Nelson. Constantly cursing at Nelson, Kim would frequently belittle Eminem's writing talents, his mother says, and friends would tease him about the iron hold Kim had on his emotions.
(My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem, Debbie Nelson)



"How could you diss me, Everlast? I liked you. When I came up and sat beside you, I started Rhymin, then you left the room. You dickless piece of shit. I'm sorry man, I wasn't tryin to steal your light. What's up with you? I never fucked with you, why would you fuck with me? I'd hate me too if I was you. I want you to say my name in a song, and don't be subliminal about it. You wanna fuckin diss me, diss me you fuckin faggot You fuckin punk, pussy, you fuckin little bitch, fuckin cunt."
(I Remember, Eminem)

"There's a lot from the past that I am not able to put in perspective, because it's gone (from drugs). I can't remember it. I know that there are so many addicts in this world, and people who have problems like that, that don't make it. So I'm thankful for that."
(Eminem, with Zane Lowe)

"The criminal either defends everything he does before others, or he accuses himself before them (the slave), or else he convicts them in thought, accuses them, defeats them (the power-hungry). However, he is never alone; he is always functionally connected to things and to people. But on that account he is also never part of a couple or a group, because he neither can (nor will he) comprehend or understand other minds, but is dependent on them. That is also why he always lies (for one never deceives oneself, but always others). The criminal has taken on these dependencies. His whole inner life is a dissimulation before others, and higher life has died in him. He does not really feel guilty about this turning away from the highest life, from freedom, for he knows no real remorse.
(Otto Weininger, 1907)

"The mother of a Narcissist
could make her son feel
that he is
the center
of her universe.
He is the Golden Boy
who can do
no wrong."
(Shari Schreiber)


"You [Eminem] like talking about killing sprees, but you're not like that. You're making lots of enemies, but it's just to get attention. You're talking shit for shock value, and it's not real.
You went and sold your soul for popularity. I don't do this for the money, I do it for fun. You're disrespecting fags, but you're the one dying your hair blonde like Marilyn Monroe. You can't keep your woman from going astray. I take care of my mom, but you get sued by yours. You're a sucker."

"What is a good man? A teacher of a bad man. What is a bad man? A good man's charge. If the teacher is not respected, And the student not cared for, Confusion will arise, however clever one is. This is the crux of mystery."
(Twenty-seven, Tao Te Ching)

If a man is bad, do not abandon him. Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned, Or the three officers of state installed, Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses, But remain still and offer the Tao. Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first? Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin? Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.
(Sixty-two, Tao Te Ching)

A story about a farmer and his two sons: The father asked his sons to work the field for him while he was away. The younger son was in no mood to work and said, quite honestly, "No". The elder son said "Yes father, I'd love to do it," but had no intention of helping. The elder son lived in a selfish dream, wanting only to impress his father, and puff-up his own pride. The younger son later developed the mind to work and did his father's bidding. The elder son never will, as he believes he has no work to do.


Pride is giving yourself the credit for something that nature has accomplished. Pride is taking the glory that belongs to nature alone. You're lucky nature has given you the genetics and karma to work hard. Pride is essentially illusion-worship. Anything we accomplish in this world would not have been possible were it not for our karma enabling and sustaining us. That is why we give glory to causality. We are born with gifts that we can either use wisely, or use foolishly.