Lindu Pindu's Reviews > Mythology & History

Mythology & History by Eric Bredesen
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's review
May 21, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: trivium, history, mythology-folklore, language, non-fiction, politics
Read from May 21 to October 15, 2012

Socrates: But if these things are only to be known through names, how can we suppose that the givers of names had knowledge, or were legislators before there were names at all, and therefore before they could have known them?

Cratylus: I believe, Socrates, the true account of the matter to be, that a power more than human gave things their first names, and that the names which were thus given are necessarily their true names.


This book is so huge --not physically but in scope-- I can't begin to write a proper review.
The only thing you need to know is: it's not that readable, but it's well worth the headache.
I don't know why books about mythology tend to be like this- probably everyone's getting lost in the mists of time and scrolls or something. Hamlet's Mill, The White Goddess, even Joseph Campbell can all be messy and hard to get through. But myths are a challenge worth our while.

This first volume of "Gravity" is exactly like your airheado-genius professor's messy work space. Books trying to encompass the wisdom of all ages flung open, scribbled and scratched and left around in disarray. So: some chapters are ok to read, but the writer gets lost in his thoughts more and more as the book goes on- for instance, the emphasis, you'd guess from the title, would be on mythology, history, possibly philosophy. But seeing as the task at hand is a "theory of everything", it's hard to draw definite lines, and there's a lot of skipping and hopping around physics, maths, philosophy, social history, and etymology. An editor might come in handy before it actually gets published. I'm actually re-reading this and making mind maps because the info itself is fascinating, while the way it's laid down for the reader- is not. There are lots of potholes on the road ahead.

There are several theses to this work. One would be that the underlying structure of the world is made of trinities, one of the fundamental ones being Black, Red, and White, which Bredesen equates with the Baroque, the Dionysian and the Apollonian as different ways of knowing and understanding. Based on this he makes links between different fields, such as physics and mythology, etymology, etc.

I am a reader and a lover of words. So I like this mental exercise of tracing word origins:

the word cornucopia
This word derives from the Latin words corn, “horn,” and cōpia,“plenty,”
the latter consisting of co + opia/ops,
as in the Latin opus and the Sanskrit apas — both meaning “work” and both being closely related to
the Greek apis, “honey bee” —
and as in the goddesses Ops/Rhea, Eur–Opa, Penel–Ope, Op–Helia (Ophelia, Ops–Helen),
where ops is typically taken to mean “eye,” “light,” “face,” “voice,” “snake,” and “power” (altogether as in Medusa)
but is also equivalent to the P-I-E opi
and the Greek epi, “back,” as in Epimetheus, he who thinks of the past.
Leonard Shlain notes in his insightful Art and Physics:

The preclassical Greeks did not distinguish between “eye” and “light”: either word could be used to describe something beloved or admired. Eyes seemed to emanate light and sources of light were as large eyes. The sun could be called an eye and one’s eye was referred to as a light.

One thing I find iffy: there are lots of cited sources but not for etymology. Some things you look up online and Google's like "whatcu mean?"; which leads me to believe that our author might be like the main character of the film "Pi" by Darren Aronofsky. Well, beyond all the inconveniences of an unedited book, it's one that will leave you excited, or annoyed, or most likely both at the same time.

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Quotes Lindu Liked

“Light — i.e. space — is the structure of time, the essence of existence. The stuff of physics does not involve time. Orthodox contemporary physics sadly refers to this fact as “the problem of time.”
Eric Bredesen, Mythology & History
tags: time

“The name Eve/Eab/Age stems from the Latin aetas, which is from aevum, “lifetime.” The word aetas is remarkably similar to the name Aïdes, i.e. Hades. Eve, you see, is not Adam’s wife but Adam’s father, Zeus bronnton, Zeus “the thunderer/earthshaker,” Poseidon, the fallen — or, better still, suspended, mediating — aspect of God!”
Eric Bredesen, Mythology & History

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