August 31, 2009 Neverending Story
I reread Henry Miller this week. DH Lawrence was a huge influence on Miller. Lawrence wrote a novel called Aaron’s Rod. The mythological symbol is transformed into a flute in his dark ironic tale.
Aaron was the brother of Moses. Some sources say his staff was made from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In any case, the Rod was passed down from Shem to Enoch to Abraham to Isaac and to Jacob!
The magical staff carries a similar meaning to the Christian Cross. It predates the Cross as a symbol of life beyond death. In Greek Mythology, Aaron’s Rod is similar to the Rod of Aesculapius, which is connected to Apollo! On the darker side it is also connected to the Gnostic Sect of Ophites.
Now the earliest appearance of this Rod or Staff with Serpents wound around it comes by way of Ningishzida. Ningishzida is an underworld deity of Mesopotamia. He is known as “The Lord of the Good Tree.” He is also associated with the Hydra Constellation in the sky.
In Lost we have Aaron, who is Claire’s son. We have a mystical man named Jacob and a Dharma Initiative Station named the Hydra! Not to mention Apollo Bars. Coincidence? I think not.
While following this thread back to the Epic of Gilgamesh, I found a connection to Persephone’s Echo. The Queen of the Underworld is Mesopotamian myth is Ereshkigal. She was married to Gugalana. Gugalana was parallel to the Greek Zodiac Taurus. Gugalana was sent to punish Gilgamesh for turning down Inanna or Ishtar’s advances. Gugalana is then slain by Gilgamesh. He then becomes the king of the Underworld.
Ereshkigal and Gugalana have a child, Ninazu. Ninazu has a son named Ningishzida! And Ningishzida is the God who is represented by the axial rod with intertwining snakes.
Aaron’s Rod is mentioned in Robert Heinlein’s 1963 novel Glory Road. Lost referenced Heinlein other novel, A Stranger in a Strange Land previously. Anyway, in Glory Road, there is a quest for an egg-creature who was known as the “never born.” This reminded me of Michael Ende’s book The Neverending Story. Not to mention the Auryn, which is a symbol of two snakes intertwining!
The Neverending Story puts forth the idea that all stories are connected. In hypertext and intertexuality, everything pours into one singular never-ending story. Hence the title! And by producing my own texts, I become a part of that Neverending story. The Epic of Gilgamesh shows that we are not immortal, but our words can be and that is truly, divinely magical!