A story is told to engage the imagination and the sense of wonder. A tale that does so will stay in memory… making it a perfect vessel to hold a deeper meaning that may lie dormant until we are armed with the tools of life-experience and ready to understand. Many of the tales that have come down to us from the farthest reaches of our collective past are treasure chests of knowledge, allowing us to glimpse not only the belief-systems and cultures that bequeathed them to us, but to lift the veil on the inner workings of the human psyche, both as individuals and as societies.
When Anne Copeland, a student of the Silent eye, first came across a reference to the story of Gilgamesh in a post about our upcoming workshop, Lord of the Deep, she became fascinated by the story. Instead of simply reading the ancient Epic, she looked beyond the surface, seeking for understanding and symbolic meaning… which is exactly what you are supposed to do with these ancient tales.
Anne has yet to recieve a copy of the workbook we have produced for the weekend and has used a different translation from those we have employed… but some of the questions and realisations she has gained may blossom and bear fruit when, in two weeks time, we begin to share the story of the workshop.
Gilgamesh Makes an Appearance at My Home
The first time I read about the oldest piece of literature known, found in Sumeria, I was intrigued and had to find a copy and read it. I had absolutely no clue as to what the story could contain that might be of specific interest to me, and yet as I began to read it, I was intrigued and could not stop reading.
In the version I read, which may be different from the version you will be following with the event, Enkidu, who became a best friend of Gilgamesh, was part of the wilderness in a most personal way. It does not even make any sense that he was anything other than an integral part of it. He is shown as the protector of the wilderness, and it is not clear in the reading where the wilderness ends and he begins. It is a beautiful and amazing feat that these Sumerians considered that he was a part of and that the wilderness meant something totally significant to those people, something deep and abiding that the people needed to protect.
Continue reading at The Silent Eye