Am I looking for perfection or is it wisdom I seek?
Visiting Athens for two days I learn that this is a place to study wisdom, history and democracy of old. A city where gods, nobles, great poets, sculptures’, painters, and philosophers flocked to in days of old, and still do although most as tourists I would think.
The beautiful archaeological sites and ruins tell us of a history stemming back 1000’s of years ago. It is of course the home of philosophers Socrates, Plato, and the birthplace of democracy, where all decisions were made on the basis of popular vote…interesting I think especially when I link it to hearing the Myths that follow.
When in Athens you climb the Acropolis and so we did. The Parthenon and Temple of Athena are a perfect place to visit with a guide. I listened fascinated to my guide as she tells us of the myth of Athena and Zeus…there were twelve Gods at that time six female, six male (sensible I think to myself). The Parthenon built and dedicated to Athena the God of Wisdom, Craft & Harmony. Poseidon the God of the Sea contested Athena for domination of the City of Athens. Striking his trident into the rock of the Acropolis Poseidon created a well of seawater in the rock. Athena struck her trident into the rock and created the Olive Tree. A vote was taken between the 12 Gods of Olympus and Athena was declared victor and so gave her name to Athens.
I remember that our historian on board ship telling us to remember that every Myth has an element of truth to it…just like the stories we here from our forefathers, oracles, elders and storytellers.
Next our guide makes a sweeping statement that the current Parthenon is not perfect in it’s construction…. what but it looks it? Architects concerned with the re-build of it took the advice of Pythagoras and his knowledge of perception. I am astounded to see the prime example of his theory of 5/4/9 and even more the understanding that the Parthenon could not be created in perfection. It needed to be imperfect so that when the human eye saw the Parthenon the mind perceived perfection. Listening intently, my jaw drops and tears well up in my eyes how fascinating, how wonderful, why didn’t someone at school explain this to me, it would have made Math so much more interesting? Any wow six gods female, six gods male, the birth place of democracy…no wonder there is a Temple for Athena the God of Harmony and Wisdom.