By Ole M. Høystad
“My middle is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.” “The middle has cause that cause can't know.” “The extra i am getting to understand President Putin, the extra i am getting to work out his middle and soul.” the center not just drives our actual existence, yet all through human background it has additionally been considered on the seat of our private feelings. It has figured hugely—if metaphorically—in approximately each point of human civilization and because the never-ending topic of literature, track, and paintings. but beforehand there has now not been a research of this paramount icon of affection. Ole H?ystad ably fills this huge, immense hole with a desirable research into this locus of grief, pleasure, and power. Firmly positioning the guts on the metaphorical and literal middle of human tradition and heritage, H?ystad weaves historical past, fable, and technology jointly right into a compelling narrative. He combs via religions and philosophies from the start of civilization to discover such disparate old issues because the Aztec ritual of elimination the still-beating center from a dwelling sacrificial sufferer and providing it to the gods; homosexuality and the center in Greek antiquity; eu makes an attempt to hire alchemy in provider of the mysteries of affection; and the connections among the center and knowledge in Sufism. H?ystad charts how the center has signified our crucial wishes, no matter if for romance and fervour within the medieval excesses of troubadour poetry and chivalric idealism, the body-soul dualism propounded via the Enlightenment, or perhaps the trendy notions of individualism expressed within the works of such thinkers as Nietzsche, Foucault, and Joseph Campbell. A provocative exam of the inner most vaults of our souls and the efforts of the numerous lonely hunters who've attempted to release its secrets and techniques, A background of middle upends the clich?s to bare a logo of our basic humanity whose beats could be felt in each point of our lives. (20070928)
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Extra info for A History of the Heart
The Greek gods unblushingly entered into homosexual relationships. There is also an inner connection between Greek homosexuality and the Homeric ethics of areté, with its praising of the art of war. It was not until his bosom-friend Patroclus, with whom he shared a tent, had been killed that Achilles entered the battle and decided Troy’s fate – though it was the fight for a woman that set the whole thing in motion. The Greeks and the Athenians in particular did not view any form of love as ‘sinful’ in our sense of the word.
The body is the Self for Homeric man. The term the Greeks use for the whole body is autos, self. In Homer’s work there are several words for what we conceive as the bodily organ of the heart: ker, etor and kradie (cf. kardia and cardiology). But since there is more than one word for ‘the same thing’, there is reason to believe that we are not looking at the same thing but rather various force-fields in the heart region. The Homeric heart is composite. The Greeks have different words for ‘the same thing’ in order to differentiate the feelings and impulses that have their seat or origin in the region of the heart and the diaphragm.
Seen from the outside, we are left once more with merely linguistic reminiscences of an archaic world that could accommodate other forces that man’s own. What is finally left of Pan, Eros, Aphrodite and Dionysus is a series of metaphorical and allegorical expressions or, to use Nietzsche’s words, ‘a moving army of metaphors, metonyms and anthropomorphisms’. At the time of Homer, these phenomena still represented outer realities. At the time of the last major tragedian, Euripides, they have become purely literary images of inner mental states.
A History of the Heart by Ole M. Høystad