Offwall

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  • offwallomphalos
    • "The Greeks had the story that Zeus, wishing to ascertain the exact centre of the earth, sent forth two eagles to fly simultaneously at equal speed from its eastern and western ends. They met at Delphi, and there in Apollo's temple was set up in commemoration the holy Navel-stone, or Omphalos with a golden eagle at either side to mark earth's central point. <...> Generally it is represented as in shape like a half-egg standing on low quadrangular base; sometimes it emerges, as it were, so far as to be nearly like a whole egg with the lower end flattened to enable it to stand on its pedestal. <...> Various explanations of the Omphalos have been suggested. <...> The Omphalos really was a grave-mound of the sacred snake of Delphi, his abode after death, the seat of his power to aid through oracular his voice. It is a complex of grave and grave-stone, and as the latter it is not merely commemorative but magical. In its aspect as a grave-stone it is ultimately of phallic origin. It is thus not confined to Delphi, nor associated only with Apollo. Its primary connexion is with the primitive earth-deity and the spirits of the dead, who are also in some mysterious way the source of life and fertility for the living. Apollo dethroning Gaia from her ancient seat, slaying the snake - daimon Python and usurping the oracle, though he is fain to keep the old machinery–the cleft, the tripod and the Omphalos – represents the incoming of a new race with different, and, on the whole, higher ideas of religion".
    • "One of the most famous objects within it was the much-discussed and mysterious Omphalos, a hive-shaped stone decorated, with fillets and guarded by two eagles".
    • Honey bees, signifying immortality and resurrection, were royal emblems of the Merovingians, revived by Napoleon. The arms of the First and Second French Empire, feature an eagle and inset with "golden bees" as in the tomb of Childeric I.[1]
    • Ulysses 7.33: "To ourselves... new paganism... omphalos."
    • Ulysses 17.37: "Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos."
    • Ulysses 37.41: "Creation from nothing. What has she in the bag? A misbirth with a trailing navelcord, hushed in ruddy wool. The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos. Hello. Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one."
    • Ulysses 402.31: "He proposed to set up there a national fertilising farm to be named Omphalos with an obelisk hewn and erected after the fashion of Egypt and to offer his dutiful yeoman services for the fecundation of any female of what grade of life soever who should there direct to him with the desire of fulfilling the functions of her natural. Money was no object, he said, nor would he take a penny for his pains. The poorest kitchenwench no less than the opulent lady of fashion, if so be their constructions, and their tempers were warm persuaders for their petitions, would find in him their man."
  • offwallomphalosOmphale
    • In Greek mythology, Omphale (Ancient Greek: Ὀμφάλη) was a daughter of Iardanus, either a king of Lydia, or a river-god. In one of many Greek variations on the theme of penalty for "inadvertent" murder, for his murder of Iphitus, the great hero Heracles was, by the Oracle's command, remanded as a slave to Omphale for the period of a year. There are many late Hellenistic and Roman references in texts and art to Heracles being forced to do women's work and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning, as Ovid tells: "Omphale even wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Heracles' olive-wood club".
    • "The mythographers are particularly eloquent in their description of love affair between the hero and the queen and describe Heracles dressed in Lydian clothes, particularly in women's long dresses. While the queen assumed his dress, the cudgel and the lionskin, Heracles, sitting at her feet, learned how to weave. This changing of clothes between the sexes is a folk theme which has been greatly exploited by moralists and philosophers as an example of transvestism".
    • Omphale (later Daedalium, or Dedalium) was an ancient city of Sicily along the south coast road between Akragas (modern Agrigento) and Phintias (modern Licata).
  • offwallomphalosOmphaleIardanusJordan
    • The River Iardanus or Iardanes denoted two small rivers in Antiquity, and previously a third, it would seem.
    • In the Mandaean cosmological accounts Jordan plays an important part, the "river of living water"; Mandaeans resist the connection with the geological River Jordan.
      • "Another link with the Mediterranean is the word Jordan, which plays a prominent role in Mandean religion <...>. Scholars have generally assumed that this is a reminiscence of the Jordan river in Palestine. But the Mandeans say that this word means "river" or "flowing water" and that it has no reference to the River Jordan in Palestine. In the cosmological accounts the Jordan is represented as a river of white water, as "the living water", and "the gleaming, and lustrous water." Gordon has pointed out that the word "jordan" in the Hebrew Bible is not a proper noun, for it appears with the definitive article or some other qualifier with but two exceptions". Mandaic Incantation Texts by Edwin M. Yamauchi, p.66
      • Wikipedia
  • Abfall: (German) refuse, rubbish
  • affald: (Danish) rubbish, scraps
  • afval: (Dutch) rubbish
  • off the wall: zany, irreverent


Commentary

Humpty Dumpty: The egg (pre-birth), when sitting on the wall is in a kind of state of cosmic unity. The wall represents a boundary which by definition separates the world into duality (this side and that). Being at the position of the top of the wall therefore suggests a pre-dualistic existence (i.e. like Adam and Eve before their fall and the foetus before birth). Once the egg falls "offwall", it falls onto either this or that side – and nobody, not even all the king's horses and all the king's men, can figure out how to put it back together again (i.e. to achive cosmic unity).