What? Mystical, cosmological, sociological, pedagogical.
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
* * *
J. Campbell. M. Eliade. C. Jung. B. Bettelheim. R. May. N. Frye. P. Wheelwright
Living a myth implies a genuinely religious experience, differing from the ordinary experience of everyday life, re-enacting fabulous, exalting, significant events.
“The bard is sacred to the gods and is their priest.” –John Milton
Ovid. Whitman. Milton. Thoreau.
We live the myth ceremonially or by our performing the ritual [the “doing”; rite is the “how to do”]: in one way or another, we “live” the myth in the sense that we are “seized by the sacred, exalting power of the events recollected or re-enacted.” –Eliade
The Lavabo: Latin for wash (or bathe). In the ancient church, the priest would clean his hands after receiving gifts of oil, food, and other goods.
“The priest then begins to recite Psalm 26: “I wash my hands in innocence”: Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas.”
“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, . . .he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said.” –Matthew 27:24 (NIV)
“Will all the water in the ocean wash this blood from my hands?” –Mrs. Macbeth
Surgical Hand Scrubs: “There is a standard procedure for surgical hand antisepsis, gowning, and gloving which is based on current evidence, best practice, and validated research.” –Every medical-surgical instruction manual.
“Get up there and wash your hands before dinner!”–Mom