22.12.05

"Hen Ek Duoin": One Out of Two

Çok sevdiğim dostum Nazlı'nın "Gölgeler" serisinden bir foto...
'Now indeed, O Eryximachus,' said Aristophanes. 'I must speak something different from what you and Pausanias said. For to me, humans completely misunderstand the dynamics of Eros [Love]; if they perceived Him, they would build the greatest temples and altars, and would make the greatest sacrifices, just as now none of these things happen for Him, although most assuredly it is fitting that they all happen. For of all the gods, He [Eros] is the philanthropist, being an ally to humanity, and a healer in those things needing healing, bringing the greatest happiness to the human race. Therefore, I shall try to initiate you into the mysteries of His dynamics, and you will become teachers of others.

First, you all will learn about the nature of humanity and its experiences. For long ago its nature was not as it is now - one became the other. For at first there were three species [or sexes] of humans, not two, just as now: male and female, as well as another third one [androgyne], sharing things in common with both of these (of which its name remains although it has disappeared). For the androgyne back then was distinct in shape and name, out of having in common both male and female, but now its name survives only in reproach.

Second, each human was in the shape of a rounded whole, its back and sides making a circle having four hands, and legs the same number as hands, and two faces upon a circular neck (identical in all ways), and a head for the faces (each one facing the opposite way), and four ears, and two genitals, and everything else likewise. They stood upright (just as now) whichever of the two ways they walked. But when they started to run quickly, the eight limbs would revolve in a circular handcart, just like tumblers, fixing the limbs to complete the circle and return upright. I have said there are three species and such things because the male was originally a descendant of the Sun, and the female of the Earth, and the species sharing both is of the Moon, because the Moon shares both [the Sun and the Earth]. Both their [planetary] roundness and their revolving were passed on to their offspring [making them do circular handcarts when moving rapidly].

I have also said that their awesome strength, force, and pride made them formidable, so they attacked the gods, which Homer tells about Ephialtes and Otus, saying about them that they went mountain climbing to make an attack on the heavens and to pursue the gods. So Zeus and the other gods counseled together because it was necessary to do something and retaliate. But neither could they slay them like they had thunder-bolted the Giants, and thus annihilate them (and forever end the honor and sacrifices due them from humanity) nor could they let them become uncharmed. With toil, Zeus devised a plan. "In my opinion," He said, "I have the means to both let the humans continue to be, as well as put an end to their 'unpruned' state, by making them weak. Now here is what I do to them," He said. "I slice each of them in two, and thus they will be weak, but at the same time more useful to us through being a greater number. And they will walk upright upon two legs. If there is a sign of them still being uncharmed and my spell makes them unquiet, then once more," He said, "I hew them in two and they can walk by dancing on one leg." Upon saying these things, He hewed the humans in two just as one cuts fruit for preservation, or just as an egg [is sliced] with a hair. As He was hewing them, He asked Apollo to turn their faces and necks around to the side that was hewn, as well as to heal their wounds, thus making of them well-behaved humans. And He [Apollo] turned their faces around and gathered their skin together upon what is now called the abdomen, just as a sack with draw-strings, tying it tightly in the middle of the abdomen around one opening [i.e. the navel]. And He smoothed out the many wrinkles and molded the chest with a tool that shoemakers use to smooth out wrinkles in leather, but leaving a few around the navel, to remind them of how they were in their ancient state.

After that, with their natures hewn in two, each one missed the union with its other half. They threw their arms about each other and were woven together with one another, desiring to grow together, so that they died off from hunger and laziness, for they were willing to do nothing apart from the other. And when one half died, and one was left, the one left would seek out and weave together with another, either from half of a female whole (who is now called a woman), or a man. And they went on dying. Then Zeus pitied them and provided another way, and moved their genitals to the front. For hitherto they were in back and thus they had procreated and given birth, not one with another in sex, but just as cicadas. By moving them up front, He made them procreate with each other, through males being in females. If men and women interwove at the same time, then they procreated and the race continued; or if men [interwove] with men at the same time, then they satiated desire for intercourse, and they ceased [desire for intercourse] and turned their energies to work and took care of the other things of life.

It is from that time that the innate Love [Eros] of humans for each other came to be, and draws us to that primeval nature, and as a consequence makes one out of two ["hen ek duoin"] and heals humanity's nature. Each of us then is a symbol of humanity inasmuch as we are hewn like a flat fish - out of one, two ["ex henos duo"]... (to continue see link)
Aristophanes' Speech from Plato's Symposium

1 yorum:

Erdem Ferit Başkaya dedi ki...

Nazlı'nın "Gölgeler" serisinden fotoğrafına baktığımda "aklı karışmış, kafa kafaya vermiş, aynı kafada, aklı başkasında insanlar" düşüncesi beliriverdi içimde. Siyah beyazı güzel kılan hep hayale yer açması. Geçişler düşlerde oluyor. Bir dans fosili gri geleceğe saklanan. Bir gece kolajı içine düşülen.