All things have a price and growth cannot take place without sacrifice – this is why you “pay” attention, it is a price of time and energy invested to be aware. This is an universal story – the story of attention and blindness, the story of good that arises from seeing and the bad that befalls those willingly blind or unable to see.
The story repeats itself from the ancient myths through history and narratives of civilizations all the way to contemporary culture, politics and every aspect of personal and collective lives. Egyptians formed this story as a story of a theomachic battle, a clash of gods unfolding over time mimicking the search for stability and the effort to figure out the structure and meaning behind life. Characters stand as symbols of specific traits and in the Egyptian case as gods. So Osiris is the old god, once young and strong forming the Egyptian state, now he’s weak and more so because he chooses to not see. He represents all the structure we see, the culture and the ritual, the bureaucracy and the old ways that are forced upon the new. They are important and serve a function, but are at the same time blind, stagnant and prone to staying the same while the times change, which makes them vulnerable and susceptible to be overthrown. Seth the root word for the embodiment of chaos and suffering, acting today as the same character in religious stories under the name Satan. Isis is the queen of the underground world and there is Horus, her son, of the Horus’s eye fame. Horus is a falcon because he sees things and is symbolized by the eye with an opened pupil. That what sees is awake and aware and more able to fight the malevolent, having a chance to rise back into the light.
All old structures we live in now are constructions of a dead time whose shell we now inhabit, so we often clash with it for making no sense. Of course it doesn’t, it was made for those who never lived in this world and then perpetuated on. Large structures take a long time to shift, like a slow snake meandering. So Osiris in the story refuses to see. He knows his brother Seth is not good but underestimates the evil he’s capable of in order to become the ruler of the kingdom. Seth waits until his brother is vulnerable, attacks, chops him up into little pieces and disperses him all around the Egyptian kingdom. Being a god Osiris is not dead but is weakened and impotent. Representing structure, he has crumbled and fallen to pieces so chaos unbound by rules runs a mock. But structure can never be destroyed completely and it will find a way to reconstitute itself in the chaos – but only if it stops being blind and accepts the existence of evil and potential disorder, sometimes even working with it, combining to create something new and fitting for a changed state of affairs. So this happens in the story as well. Isis, Osiris’s wife, the queen of the underworld married to the order in the balance of darkness and light, goes to search for the pieces of Osiris and finds his falus. She makes herself pregnant and gives birth to the son Horus who is a falcon that sees all and is able to fight Seth aware of his malice. He goes back to restore order from chaos and fights Seth. He wins, but as any time you encounter something truly evil there is damage and pain in the process. Horus loses an eye in the battle but manages to banish Seth. Seth is not dead because the potential for chaos and evil is always there, waiting to reemerge, in any structure no matter how well put together. Horus doesn’t just put his eye back and rule the kingdom but goes back to find his father’s spirit and gives him the eye that was torn out – giving the old traditions new vision. Now they both can see and rule better joint together.
The one(s) who are able to lead and deserve to lead are the ones who see, the ones with vision. The universal story of civilizations teaches us to pay attention, to be awake. Things can go wrong, but things can be fixed as well if you choose to SEE and do something about it. Pay attention!