There is a certain irony that Memorial Day should nearly coincide with Egypt's first fair elections; that our day for honoring our military should occur when two forceful candidates are headed for a run-off. Here's the slate: Mohamed Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate and Ahmed Shafik, if you can believe it, is a retired general (from Mubarak's regime) who shot down Israeli aircraft. There seems to be little distinction between an ex-military man and one who represents a religion that, despite the rhetoric, aims at installing Sharia law. According to one Islamic leader, positive change can “only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life.”
What relevance might these dynamics have to the Osiris myth? Among other things, the myth is very political. It describes a bitter struggle for succession - who is the rightful heir to Osiris's throne, Seth or Horus? After a bloody war, a court trial and finally the intervention of the arisen Osiris, the throne is given to Horus. In the current Egyptian struggle, it will go to Seth! at least for the time being, until the people once again rise up and cry out for freedom. Already, both candidates are trying desperately to refashion their image to cozy up to the people. Meanwhile, the military has already made it clear that they will insure that the new constitution puts strict limits on the presidency such that it does not limit their (Seth's) power. (n.b. for a fuller explanation of these events, stay tuned. I've had an article on this topic accepted to the new Journal of Archetypal Studies that will be out this summer.)
Thanks for this, Thom- I would like to read your article when it comes out.
With Morsi putting his wife in the vice-president seat, I see that I will have to amend my article to include comments about the role of powerful women in ancient Egypt (Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, to name two.) While many applaud the change from Mubarak's elitist wife to this woman, donned in the traditional veil, I think it is an ominous sign of things to come...stay tuned!
Thanks for the update/insight, Thom. I think you're on to something critical.
Meanwhile, have you seen the report on CNN about the British female journalism student, Natasha Smith--in Egypt during the elections to work on her final academic project--a documentary on women's rights in Egypt--who was brutally gang-raped in Tahrir Square by a mob of Egyptian men?
I just watched her first-hand account--and there's a report here-- but what struck me most was her reminder that this type of incident occurs regularly to other women and most of the time we in the western world don't hear about it. I, for one, look forward to the day when the role of powerful women is strong enough to offset the potential violence that is so ingrained in millennia of patriarchal power and thoughtless acts based on entitlement, dominance, and power. Surely no man--let alone mobs of them--would have dared for a second to cross Hatshepsut or Cleopatra (though Hatshepsut did disappear entirely at the end and no one is quite sure what happened to her) Regardless what is the difference today in this blatant lack of respect and aggressive readiness to attack women?