Music by:
Ian Michael Augustine - "Actaeon and Artemis"

The Grotto of Artemis

>>>Nature is both Subject and Object.<<< The figure of Actaeon is a fitting symbol for an initiate of the Temple of Nature. Actaeon is himself a great hunter, a seeker after Truth who, in pursuit of his object happens quite unexpectedly upon the ultimate object of his search -- the Naked Goddess of Nature. Quite by accident Actaeon perceives the Truth of the human predicament wherein knowledge is concerned -- the more we seek to perceive the secrets of Nature, the more we recognize that inextricable link between the perceiver and the perceived. Our intellect, seeking knowledge of the external world, is turned back upon itself, and tears asunder our presumptions of separateness. Thus, the hounds of intellect devour the distinctions between subject and object, for, as Carl Sagan has said, "we are a way for the Cosmos to know itself." The hounds of the intellect assist us in cleansing the lenses of perception, sharpening their teeth (reason) on the stag-horns of self-reflection. We must be willing to pursue Truth as ruthlessly as Actaeon, to seek it in the wildest places of the macrocosm and the microcosm, for, as Socrates famously said, "the unexamined life is not worth living."

"Actaeon represents the intellect intent upon the capture of divine wisdom and the comprehension of the divine beauty... The great hunter sees: he has understood as much as he can, and he himself becomes the prey; that is to say, this hunter set out for prey and became himself the prey through the operation of his intellect whereby he converted the apprehended objects into himself."

- Giordano Bruno, Eroici Furori I, 4th Dialogue

"From such rude principles our form began; And earth was metamorphos'd into Man. "
-Ovid, "Metamorphoses" Book 1

Excerpt from: "Eros and Magic in the Renaissance"
Ioan P. Couliano, The University of Chicago Press, 1987

Suggestions for Further Reading:

"Humans in Nature: Toward a Physiocentric Philosophy"
Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich, Daedalus, Vol. 125, No. 3, The Liberation of the Environment (Summer, 1996), pp. 213-234

"Artemis: Goddess of Conservation"
J. Donald Hughes, Forest & Conservation History, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct., 1990), pp. 191-197

"Diana and Actaeon: Metamorphoses of a Myth"
Carl C. Schlam, Classical Antiquity, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Apr., 1984), pp. 82-110

"On the Death of Actaeon"
Gregory Nagy, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 77 (1973), pp. 179-180

"The Stag's Skull and the Iconography of Titian's 'Diana and Actaeon'"
Warren Tresidder, RACAR: revue d'art canadienne / Canadian Art Review, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1988), pp. 145-147, 179

"Recent Excavations at the Altar of Artemis in Ephesus"
Anton Bammer, Archaeology, Vol. 27, No. 3 (July, 1974), pp. 202-205

"Remains of Archaic Temple of Artemis at Ephesus"
A. S. Murray, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 10 (1889), pp. 1-10

"Heraclitus of Ephesus: Structure of Change"
Hugh DeLacy, Science & Society, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Winter, 1969), pp. 42-53