” The riddling Sphinx compelled us to let slide
The dim past and attend to instant needs.”
“Well, I will start afresh and once again
Make dark things clear…”
Sophocles, from “Oedipus the King”.
A Thought Experiment.
” … It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That protects us from so naively accepting as valid a ‘blurred model’ for representing reality. In itself, it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks.”
Erwin Schrödinger, “Die gegenwärtige Situation in den Quantenmechanik (The present situation in quantum mechanics), Naturwissenschaften (translated by John D Trimmer in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society) – (the “cat” Thought Experiment).
“I call upon loud-roaring and revelling Dionysus,
Primeval, double-natured, thrice-born, Bacchic lord,
Wild, ineffable, secretive, two-horned and two-shaped.
Ivy-covered, bull-faced, warlike, howling, pure,
You take raw flesh, you have feasts, wrapt in foliage, decked with grape clusters,
Resourceful Eubouleus, immortal god sired by Zeus
When he mated with Persephone in unspeakable union.
Hearken to my voice, o blessed one
And with your fair-girdled nymphs breathe on me in a spirit of perfect agape.”
Invocation Of Dionysus, from the Orphic Hymns.
IVAN OPENS THE BOX GIVEN TO HIM BY THE LITTLE SISTER OF THE SUN
“What must be, must,” says the Sun’s little sister; “Though she is more likely to eat you than you are to save them. You shall go…”
From “Old Peter’s Russian Tales”, Arthur Ransome, 1916
There are many, many versions of this story. Usually the hero – or heroine – is given a range of magical objects by some powerful helper; in at least one version – I think it is a Grimm’s one, but I can’t find it – it is a mysterious box, only to be opened in the hour of direst need…
“She picked him up with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and set him in a corner. As she was lying in bed, he came creeping up to her and said, ‘I am tired, and I want to sleep as well as you do. Pick me up or I’ll tell your father.’
With that she became bitterly angry and threw him against the wall with all her might.”
From “The Frog King”, the Brothers Grimm, 1857 edition.