My working title for this ‘book’ was ‘Fragments of a Study of the Emotions’. I’m still not happy with the title I have, but I haven’t found one that does justice to the subject.

The book has two parts, ‘The Mothers’ and ‘The Fathers’. My idea is that the European-Mediterranean Mother Goddess myth represents, in the story of the Hero who is born, loves and is sacrificed, a ‘feminine’ cycle of emotions from hope to passion to horror to acceptance, including many shades of happiness and sadness, while in the Indian list of emotions, or rasas, on which ancient Hindu aesthetic theory was based, we find a more ‘masculine’ interpretation of these forces that form the bridge between our animal nature and our conscious experience. I have personified the rasas as ‘Little Gods’, which is not part of the Indian theory. My version of the Mother myth comes from more sources than I can remember.



Sometimes the wall between
our muddled daily feelings
and their ancient sources
becomes transparent and we see
a realm of lords and ladies
performing patterned rites
under a twilit dome
that is not quite the sky

and if we enter there
before the show dissolves
we glimpse how they’re shaped
out of our blood and nerves

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