IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD II
~ In the Court of the Crimson King ~
- chapter 11 index -
pg. 1 - Moonchild
pg. 2 - The Dream The Illusion
pg. 3 - The Court of the Crimson King
pg. 4 - The Purple Piper
pg. 5 - Three Lullabies
pg. 6 - Orpheus
pg. 7 - The Keeper of the City Keys
pg. 8 - The Pilgrim's Door
pg. 9 - The Gardener
pg. 10 - The Yellow Jester
pg. 11 - The Dance of the Puppets
pg. 12 - Dionysus
pg. 13 - The Fool
pg. 14 - Logos
pg. 15 - The Magician
| pg. 16 - Finis
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The Sudden Ending of The Court of the Crimson King
"Otto calls Dionysus "the god who comes, the god of epiphany, whose appearance is far more urgent, far more compelling than that of any other god. He had disappeared and now he will suddenly be here again." That is, both gods appear mysteriously from the watery or chthonic depths in disguise to Shatter the conventional social order and to fill with terror and wonder the hearts of those who behold them before incomprehensibly disappearing again."
- Dionysus and Kataragama: Parallel Mystery Cults by Patrick Harrigan
"On the walk back to the outer realm, doubt crept into Orpheus' mind. Had Hades deceived him? When Orpheus could see a dim light ahead, his curiosity go the better of him. He turned around to see if Euridice was really there. He turned around and saw her for an instant, then Hermes arrived to take her back. Orpheus had lost her forever."
"Orpheus can tame the wild men of the earth, and establish the Orphic cult as an alternative society. He can even use his art to enter the Underworld, but he cannot resurrect Eurydice, his dead wife. He cannot win at Hades’s sadistic game that requires he exercise unnatural self-control and not look back at her. She remains dead because it is impossible for him to stifle the love which has inspired his quest in the first place. In other words, Orpheus embodies the fact that human beings cannot be immortal or creatures of pure reason.
In despair, Orpheus becomes a misogynist, refusing to abandon the memory of Eurydice. He is then killed by the Bacchae since he will not abandon reason and join in their frenzy. To be an artist, reason and emotion must balance each other; Orpheus cannot survive if he rejects either, hence his identification with both Dionysus’ flute [emotion] and Apollo’s lyre [reason].
He refuses to submerge himself in a revolutionary movement totally devoted to Dionysus and is torn apart because he insists on his integrity as a person, just as Eurydice remains dead because the universe will not conform to the human judgment that a beautiful young woman ought not to die. Tragic is indeed an apt description of Orpheus’s fate in two ways: his hubris leads him to believe human creativity can overcome universal law symbolized by death, and his refusal to accept his failure leads him to brooding isolation and misanthropy. The Bacchae only complete physically what Orpheus has already done to himself. However, his severed head continues to speak,
a symbol of the poet or prophet’s influence after his death.
Orpheus by Jean Delville
"Orpheus is a gentler counterpart of Prometheus, giving humanity a taste of the bliss, rather than the power, enjoyed by the gods. Both are prophets of freedom, and thus rebels and outlaws who defy an old order of heaven and earth that would confine people and deprive them of the joy and sensitivity they need to be more than cogs in earthly or supernatural machinery."
- Lyres Against the Law
"What matters for present-day man's soul is whether in his death there are a few drops of the Dionysian essences to bring a touch of joy to his dying. And this, mythologically and archetypally speaking, is in irreconcilable opposition to the infernal titanic Promethean machine and its appearance in our times in the guise of technological scientism."
- Reflections on the Duende by Rafael López-Pedraza
"Man without mysticism is a monster."
- John Neihardt
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