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Sophocles


"Look and you will find it — 


what is unsought will go undetected."












Greek Playwright


497 BC - 406 BC





















Commentary


What are your dreams?  Your hopes?  What are you seeking from life?  What possibilities do you see for yourself?  Seek and you shall find.  If you can't imagine it, you can't achieve it.  Can you see yourself as a writer?  As an artist?  Or are you a wannabe — someone who wishes but does not see.





Too often we sell ourselves short?  We don't believe we can achieve our dreams?  And this lack of belief holds us back — keeps us from the success we desire.  A Greek playwright wrote these words almost 2500 years ago.  About 2000 years ago, Jesus said:  "Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find.  And many self-help motivational speakers will tell us the same thing today.  How many of us listen?  Too often we let our insecurities dominate our thinking.




Creative Practice


Visualize your dreams.  See yourself in your mind's eye as a writer, a painter, or a singer.  Spend 5 minutes every day meditating on this positive image of yourself.  Fill in the details.  See your success.




About the Playwright


Sophocles was born to a wealthy family in Colonus, Greece in 497 BC.  In 468 BC he achieved his first artistic triumph by  winning the Dionysia theater competition.  In his lifetime, he witnessed both the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War.



Sophocles introduced the addition of a third actor and reduced the role of the chorus in Greek theater.  He also introduced scene painting.  He is known for deep character development.  Only seven of his plays have survived.  








Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Oedipus and Sphinx, 1808

Louvre, Paris, France

Sophocles is known for his plays about Oedipus.  It is the story of a man whom the Oracle said will kill his father and marry his mother.  To prevent the prophecy from happening, his parents planned his death and gave him to a servant to carry it out.  Instead, the servant gave the baby to a family who did not know his history.  They raised him as their own.  After he learned of the prophecy, Oedipus fled the home of his adopted parents because he did not want to cause them harm.  On his travels, he met a man and fought with him.  Unbeknown  to Oedipus, he killed his birth father.  He became the ruler of Thebes by solving the riddle of the sphinx and married the widowed queen, his mother.  When the truth was revealed, Oedipus blinded himself and his mother killed herself.  This story became the basis for Freud's Oedipus complex theory — men desire to kill their fathers and marry their mothers.



In college, I read Oedipus the King and could not stop laughing.  I thought this Greek tragedy was a comedy because of the language.  I could not accept the way the characters spoke about the gods.  I thought it incongruous with the world view I held so I found it humorous.  








Quote Sources:


Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way, p. 92.

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