Aristophanes on Creation and Love


I went to the live ” title=”hope you read more about it here” target=”_blank”> hope you read more about it here or anywhere.  But here it goes.

At Plato’s Symposium, Aristophanes told his version of the creation story.  He said that in the beginning, the gods had created these humans that were essentially double beings – a round middle with two heads, four arms, and four legs, all spaced evenly about (imagine two humans coming out of a globe) and they lived on earth and sort of cartwheeled about.  These beings were made of either two females, two males, or one female and one male, but essentially no one lived alone.  Eventually, these beings became victims of their own hubris of course, and climbed the mountains to attack the gods so that they could rule the world themselves.  After this failed attempt at insurgency, the gods were so angry, Zeus sent down a lightening bolt to divide the beings in half. 

At first these halves wandered about, dying of starvation and essentially unable to connect.  But Zeus took pity on them, turned their heads around, and drew their skin tight creating the navel, and turned their sexual organs around so that they could procreate by mating with each other.  So now these humans roamed the earth as half of what they were meant to be and the memory of that is what drives the desire for humans to connect with one another.  So by extrapolation to modern times, the reason certain relationships or certain loves make us feel “whole” or “complete” is because we were created to be with our other half the whole time.  The natural order of things essentially is for us to make that deep lasting connection with someone and without out, we’re just walking around the world incomplete.

My heart melted when I listened to this story (and not just because ” title=”www.tamarashaynekagel.com” target=”_blank”> www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter

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