Monday, November 16, 2009

Gryphons! Creatures From The Imaginal World?

Study of subjects like the gryphons was ridiculed by many in the same forms used to dismiss and "debunk" paranormal phenomena these days. Even among the learned men who did accept the reality of the gryphons, they couldn't agree on all of the details.

Herodotus did believe in the strong, cruel, gold-hoarding eagle-lion. However, the barbarous, one-eyed Arimaspeans were just a bit too much for him to credit! Pausanias repudiated the notion that gryphons had spots, saying, "Those who like to listen to the miraculous are themselves apt to add to the marvel, and so they ruin the truth by mixing it up with falsehood." We can almost imagine a modern "nuts and bolts" ufologist saying the same thing about the field of study being corrupted and discredited by the publication of the more bizarre reports.

Some people wondered if the gryphons were simply more mundane animals that had been misinterpreted and given a gleam of the fantastical, in the same manner theat some scientists believe the Loch Ness Monster is a pleiosaur or a whole family of them that have survived for millions of years, or a landlocked sturgeon or seal. It is very fascinating that the attitudes of ancient skeptics and believers, in everything from their writings, explanations and class dispersions are very similar to the modern day sceptics and believers in the paranormal.

Dr. Mahalia Way, who received her Ph.D. in Classics at Berkeley, thinks that the ancient attitudes towards the gryphons are so similar that we can use them as a case study for how human beings react to the unknown. Here is a quotation from the final part of Dr. Way's article in the June 2003 article of Fortean Times magazine on page 55: "Say you notice unknown lights in the sky, unfamiliar movements in your house, something in the woods, or that your penis has shrunk (tee-hee presumably she means males only for this one!) -pick your favorite fortean subject. Your mind will naturally seek an explanation (this is the great thing about being human). When you find one, do not forget to ask yourself what has shaped your conclusion. All too often, when confronted with things we cannot explain, we interpret them without reflection."

"We are unaware of the patterns of thought and behaviour to which we are susceptible. For instance, why do certain identifications "make sense" to some, but seem ridiculous to others? How much of this is influenced by a person's attitude toward authority? When people claim that certain information will "change the way people see themselves in the Universe," or "be too threatening to the powers that be," what dichotomies are they thinking with? Do their dichotomies paint an accurate picture of the world? Have certain phenomena become "sacred" or "polluted" simply because they do not fit into the way we mentally recognise the Universe? How influential is "distance" (i.e., the necessity of relying upon the descriptions of others for information?) Does it guide us toward some conclusions and away from others? Can the distancing effect of another person's description make unlikely conclusions more credible? To what extent are past theories limiting what we can see now? Are we unable to see the dinosaur before our eyes because there is a griffin standing in the way?"

I really enjoyed Dr. Way's work in this article and this subject in general. Maybe I can find more information on them in the future. As I go forward with the "mythical" beings series I would like to continue to ask questions such as these. Thanks for your wonderfully thoughtful and intelligent comments!

4 comments:

Michael said...

I am just LOVING this series. Since it started I have 3 really amazing Gryphon synchs, and the latest is a dream that Doug had at Unnatural Devotions.

"Are we unable to see the dinosaur before our eyes because there is a griffin standing in the way?"

I'd say that is upside down. We are unable to see the griffin because there is a dinosaur (logical explanation) standing in the way. The griffin is a symbolic, dreaming mind representation of a conjunction of opposites, two concepts, the thesis and anti-thesis, if you will, that the Id desires to reconcile. The griffin is our own subconscious "visualization" of that. It takes a "single-minded", "one-eyed" perception of reality to understand what the griffin is saying, which is the moment that the "Arimaspean" takes the "gold" - super conscious enlightenment.

At least, that's one way to look at it...

Word veri: ingrali - the grail within?

Cheers, Michael

Devin said...

That is so cool Michael!!! I am serious I am really pleased if you are happy!!
Thanks so much for the link I will check it out before laying down -I messed up again with insomnia haha
it never seems to end
I do definitely hope to be online tomorrow and will come back to this post first and your thoughts-I am so tired I feel I am making a hash of things just trying to respond-I am sorry I didnt notice your comment sooner!!
I am going to try to keep the "mythical or imaginal" creatures series going for a long time -I just can't quarantee the rate the posts will be here and all that
but i only plan to try and break it up here and there with minor things
I hope to use part of tomorrow to get caught up with everyone so if you have updated i will see what you have done at Gosporn!!
thanks so very much once again for stopping by and i hope to chat soon and thanks for the link also-your and Varen's (haha hope he isn't the jealous type:-) friend forever
all the best to the both of you!!

Justin Russell said...

Excellent Gryphon series thus far Dev. Top job! Look forward to the next one.

Devin said...

Justin-I am so very glad you have enjoyed this series -and if I find more on gryphons I will sure as heck post it even tho i am moving on right now-I plan to stay however with the "imaginal/mythical" creatures topic for a long time and will only break it up here and there to prevent boredom
best to you as always my friend and i enjoyed your latest post greatly !! keep going over there -I learn more new things from ten minutes at your blog than i do in a much longer time on some others -I appreciate your hard work!! all the best!!