The Shield of Achilles

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The reflection of the uncreated in the created necessarily presents itself under diverse aspects, and even under an indefinite variety of aspects, each of which has about it something whole and total, so that there are a multiplicity of visions of the cosmos, all equally possible and legitimate in so far as they spring from the universal and immutable principles. Titus Burkhardt. To every shield, there is another side, hidden. A. N. Whitehead. In the Hesiodic account of the world-ages, preserved in the ancient writing known to us as the Works and Days, the poet briefly describes the age of the heroes. He tells us that the heroes were “nobler far” than their immediate predecessors and in this they reversed for a time the…show more content…
The everliving fire centered in itself beyond all worlds lies at the heart of all worlds from it flow all movement, all life, all knowledge. It is the Eternal: “that which never sets”, that which at the end of each world-age destroys the old and kindles the new. It may be truthfully called by other names such as Zeus, justice, wisdom, logos. It is both willing and unwilling to be so called. Willing in that such names reflect qualities in its nature: unwilling in that in essence it lies beyond all such qualities. This divine fire forges into existence the structured cosmos. The cosmos is imaged by the Homeric warrior to himself as a sphere. Across the horizontal diametrical plane stretches the flat disc of the earth encircled by the vast streams of Oceanus—ever flowing back into itself. The earth is covered by the inverted bowl of the overworld —a bronze[1] dome across which the sun, moon, and stars move in their risings out of Oceanus in the east, to their settings into Oceanus in the west. Earth rests on the under-world of Erebos and Hades rooted at its greatest depth in the gulfs of Tartarus. About the upper hemisphere of the overworld glitters the threefold light of the Empyrean. The brazen walls of Tartarus are enclosed by threefold darkening layers of night. The cosmic sphere is held in an outer wheel of darkness and light which in its rotations reflects into the cosmos the
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