Painting by Caravaggio
HE LOVED HIMSELF
CURSED BY HERA
Echo was an Oread in Greek mythology, a mountain nymph that lived on Mount Kithairon. Zeus was quite attracted to nymphs and often visited them. Hera, his wife, jealous of his various affairs, followed him trying to catch him. However, Echo would engage Hera in long-winded conversations, giving the time to Zeus to evade her. At some point, Hera realised the plot of Echo and cursed her to only be able to repeat the last words that another person just said. After being cursed, Echo came across a beautiful young man named Narcissus, but was unable to talk to him because of the curse. She simply followed him in the woods. Narcissus, having lost his companions with whom he had gone hunting, started shouting "Is anyone there?" Echo, given the opportunity, repeated the words. He shouted again "Let's come together" to which Echo rushed onto him repeating his words. However, Narcissus rejected Echo, and she was left in despair. Narcissus came across a lake and there, he fell in love with his own image, causing his death, unable to move. Echo mourned for him and eventually died away herself, leaving only her voice behind.
So, you see, Echo could only say what some one else said, she repeated, she repeated.
I wonder to what degree we all suffer from this ‘curse’ of Hera. We are predisposed to genes that formed our ability to perceive through hearing and sight. We assimilate the input of our senses with our brain, intellect, if you will, which is determined by the genes of our mother and father and their mother and father..echo, echo. What we synthesize and assimilate is predetermined. The environment in which we live inputs stimuli that is categorized and sorted, relative to space and time. Do we have any ‘choice’? Do we achieve anything apriority echo….echo…?
So, you see, when you say anything about anything, you really are merely echoing what has been said to you, over and over again… like an echo. So, if the topic be weather, entertainment, sports, education, food, politics, you echo the thoughts from the environment around you. You love yourself, your individual original thought, as did Narcissus. You mirror, if you will, thoughts and ideas that have been echoed down through the ages, and you repeat everything as did Echo. Echo knew her predicament, unlike you. Not to be aware of it, and change, but, be aware of it and not be deceived. Echo…echo… Perhaps, your voice will be heard when you are gone…when you are gone…when you are gone.