by Alfred de Grazia
So writes Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer in his Genealogy of the Gods. The Theogony was composed after 730 B. C., that is, during or after the era of troubled skies; but it was a mythical work, "reporting" on events that had occurred hundreds and thousands of year before. "The ordered pantheon of Hesiod ended in supplanting the anarchic society of the Homeric Gods." 
A functional psychology rests in the quoted passage. "Remembering" was no mere scratching of experience upon a tabula rasa of the mind. Memoria or Mnemosyne or "Recollector," is the mother of history (Clio). She has as her progeny the means of controlling herself, for Zeus is the ordering paternal force. There are nine (some said three or five) muses governing the arts and sciences - dancing, music, and singing, but also history and astronomy. They will lend human memory its possibilities of selective attention, delusion, illusion, abatement, extension, a shadowing and heightening - all that is necessary to achieve that combination of remembering and forgetting which makes social life possible on a level that is higher than the level of non-remembering or total amnesia. Significantly, Memoria is the daughter of Uranus, who was the grandfather of Zeus; she is no mere sprite. Her Eleutherian Hills are the realm of freedom, so she governs freedom.
Without further ado, we may assert that the muses were created "by Zeus" to control the human memory so that humans should forget their catastrophes, and in so doing get surcease from sorrows. The word "muse" by itself has a meaning of happiness. And that the Muses will achieve this by transforming events through art and song, through myth. The memory of disasters is doctored "by Zeus" ultimately to brainwash humanity and to present the new order of heaven as proper, lawful, and beautiful. Hesiod, reciting this profound truth, goes on to describe how the muses work, reminding us of a combined team for domestic propaganda and psychological warfare.
As a result, all the arts and sciences have been manipulated by the muses. What we know of the catastrophes must come from a "natural history" - geology, biology, physics and astronomy - and a politics, philosophy, and theology that have been censored by the Muses. Additionally, we must obtain our historical material from myth, song, dances, and drama that are similarly screened. It is well to insist upon this premise, whether we come to the problem from an acquaintanceship with the natural sciences or the social sciences. The gods and especially Zeus, who seems under various names to have developed the patterns of anthropological psychology among most cultures, have required this premise of us.
The science of remembering and forgetting - what shall it be called - mnemonology? Its scope ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime; from the "psychopathology of everyday life," as Freud put it, to the "collective amnesia" that Velikovsky asserts of ancient catastrophes and that German educators observe as they try to teach the history of Nazism. It must deal with the Love Affair of Ares and Aphrodite that masks a world disaster, and with nursery songs that mask the murder of kings.
We may quote what Katherine Elwes Thomas found when she explored The Real Personages of Mother Goose:
For instance, the child sings of "four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie." And "when the pie was opened the birds began to sing," now, "wasn't that a tasty dish to put before the King?" The child is singing of actual history that was never heard or learned, of an incident in the grim struggle between the English Crown and the Church, during which, to appease the greed and hostility of the King, twenty-four deeds of church land were sealed into a pouch of dough and delivered to his castle. In old slang, the dough was handed over; in new slang, the "bread." The elapsed time from event to amnesiac song might have been less than a century.
The Oedipus myth, to take another instance, is capable of providing an accurate account of an episode in the history of Egypt. Its central figure was the Pharaoh Akhnaton. The story survived its original obliteration at the hands of the theocracy of Egyptian Thebes. It held intact as it was transferred across cultures, probably via Ugarit whose King Nikomedes may have founded Grecian Thebes, as Cadmus. By the time of Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus Rex, seven mnemonic or fourteen reproductive generations had passed, that is, about four hundred years.  .
Heavy trauma, it is here proposed, is at the source of many features of the higher intellectual operations and "advanced" social institutions of humankind.
In a prescient passage Friedrich Nietzsche (Genealogy of Morals, 1887) stabs into the heart of the matter. He asks, "How can one create a memory for the human animal? How can one impress something upon this partly obtuse, partly flighty mind, attuned only to the passing moment, in such a way that it will stay there?" 
And he continues,
Unfortunately, after this amazing passage, Nietzsche's genesis collapses. Although he immediately goes hunting for the acts that provoked such mnemotechnics, he shoots a little rabbit: the primitive forms of contract between buyers and sellers. In order to trade, men had to keep promises; in order to ensure obligations, the failure to repay had to be punished severely: thus the genealogy of morals.
One is reminded of Sigmund Freud's alternate route to fundamental error in Totem and Taboo: that in the oedipal conflict and the slaying of the father, man achieved a (bad) conscience and the need to justify and to punish. The Oedipus myth, as was said above, has much breadth and staying power, but a still greater and universal fear had to be imposed to support its recollection, and this was the fear of (devotion to) the god of Akhnaton. And it is difficult to conceive of anything more grand and durable than the catastrophes attendant upon encounters between Earth and other heavenly forces.
It is significant that Freud, perceiving an inadequacy of general sexual theory, moved Beyond the Pleasure Principle  , searching out a deeper fear that he termed the death instinct and observed to be present especially in veterans suffering from "shell-shock," whose nightmares and hallucinations found them continuously repeating what, after all, could hardly be called a pleasurable wish. Nor did such "symptoms vanish when their unconscious antecedents have been made conscious," as Freud remarks concerning obsessive fixations, following his earlier theory  . He and many others would have done well to stick with Nietzsche's brilliant premise and continue the search for historical psychological experiences of great stress befalling humankind when it had arrived at a complex state of organic potential.
The Love Affair involves both a disgraced contract and a disgraced sexuality. But these are cover-ups for a disaster too great to talk about. Indeed, by the time that the Love Affair occurred, only sexual imagery and violence were sufficiently eloquent to use as disguises, at least in literature; beyond that, one would have to resort for the patterning and recapitulation of such traumas to religious and political institutions - hierarchic, obsessed with the symbolism of violence, compulsively repetitive. The Love Affair, one must bear in mind, was only the latest in a series of catastrophes over thousands of years, from which human nature as we have known it was born and which shaped the physical world in which we live today.
Man's memory itself, the prototypical remembering, is a consequence of catastrophe more than of any other incidental or habitual interest of humanity. The Love Affair, in reflecting a catastrophe, reflects a late event in a series of catastrophes that created memory. It was perhaps the last of the qualitatively distinct mass events on the basis of which memory was institutionalized, routinized, and socialized. Humans now remember (and forget) according to rules in which social forces play a continuous role, but this role evolved from catastrophes.
All memory occurs under conditions that guarantee its imperfection. Given its mode of creation, remembering must function compatibly. No datum will enter the mind photographically. Rather the inputs will be screened not only by the senses, which themselves, in large part, perceive because of their prior social conditioning, but by the willingness to admit only censored data. This holds true, as many careful studies have shown, for the most noncontroversial and trivial kinds of experiences. Who says remember says select, who says memory, says forgetting. By the time of Homer, numerous natural disasters had befallen humanity; the perfect ease of the whole Phaeacian episode, including the Love Affair, attests to the approaching achievement of "perfect imperfection": nothing of the original truth need be omitted, so well under control are the conditions creating imperfections. We are on our way to the climax of artistic sublimation.
The concept of "perfect memory" is a useful fiction. One is compelled to say that it is a theocratic fiction. For the content of what is remembered is in the broadest sense religiously and politically determined. The ideal canons of registering and remembering, set by modern science, are evidence in themselves that "you cannot trust your memory" and "independent observers have to confirm the same facts." But also the establishment of scientists as a social system lays down the rules of what is to be watched for, what is to be ignored, and what is to be distorted. The Homerids were the practitioners and teachers of "accurate memory" as defined to protect society against its anxieties.
The intensity of remembering is directly proportional to the gravity of a trauma. By intensity is meant sharpness, detail, and durability in conscious and unconscious form. By gravity is meant how deeply and adversely one is affected in the major regions of his life: his physical being, his cherished ones, his group, his wealth, his control, his beliefs about good and the true. Machiavelli said to the rules: it is better to be feared by the people than to be loved, if you cannot be both. Fear and anxiety drove primeval humanity to invent and to organize. Fear mixed itself early with love, and produced the continuous ambivalence towards sexuality that is exhibited in the Love Affair.
The most intense memories are likely to occur without "willing" them. This is understandable once we consider that no one will willingly subject himself to the conditions that produce intense memories. But one will try to will a pleasant memory. How many times do people think: "I shall never forget this beautiful sunset... I shall always remember this kindness... I shall never forget this orgasm," only to lose their grasp of the memory shortly thereafter. If a person remembers "a kind act" done to him long ago, it is in the context of a generally unkind and fearful environment of acts. The most that can be done to "will" the memory is to tie it consciously and unconsciously to disasters and especially institutionalize the disasters so that the group will continuously reenact them. All great historical religions are based upon these psychological operations.
The most intense memories are most likely to be unavailable to the conscious mind, and to be buried in dreams and myths. These latter act to suppress and control anxiety. The dream and myth language is likely to approach as close as possible to the ultimate universal, traumatic experiences, without becoming unbearable. It rides on the tracks of birth throes, the fearful side of sexual copulation, death scenes, violence and conflict, including all the conventional transformations of these materials into religious and social activities, routines and institutions. This "step-down" principle works on the descent into the depths of the unconscious; it works, that is, on the depth of burial, and it brings about the selection of the next less traumatic kind of material as the screen for the more traumatizing type.
The speed of remembering is proportionate to the intensity of the trauma. "The experience burned itself indelibly upon my mind," one says. A single experience is enough to cause remembering, if it is grave enough. If it is too grave, physical collapse occurs and no further memorization is possible. At the other extreme, in the absence of fear, interest or even recognition - as in most classrooms, an abundance of knowledge moves, as they say, "from the notes of the teacher to the notes of the student without passing through the minds of either." If our physical analysis is correct, the astral Love Affair occupied a few hours among many years of experiencing all sorts of things.
The phenotypes of the myth are functions of the archetypes of the cultural personality, which is merely to say that the kind of story told, together with its details, are characteristic of the culture. Some more ancient pre-Greek and proto-Greek cultures practicing group marriage would have had to find a different plot and details to screen the reiteration of the Moon and Mars encounter. It is characteristic of "Western man's" partially Greek-born culture, and a proof of his cultural ancestry, that the adulterous love triangle, descended from the Greeks, is still a favorite artistic theme.
Forgetting is subject to the same rules as remembering. We remember to forget. That is, amnesia is activated in the same way as memory. Glancing at the list of rules of remembering, one can substitute forgetting for remembering and get the following rules of forgetting.
Like remembering, forgetting is guaranteed to occur under all conditions, and to be imperfect, never complete. Nor is forgetting accurate: it is ragged, affected by many particular causes. If the popular metaphor speaks of the stream of memory, one can speak as well of the stream of forgetting. Forgetting occurs proportionate to the gravity of a trauma, and forgetting occurs without willing to forget.
The most intense forgetfulness is most likely to be available to the conscious mind; one must admit "we cannot recall what it is that we have forgotten," when the thing forgotten is a matter of grave threat to the mind.
Forgetting, too, speeds up with the intensity of the trauma. For this reason one can believe that events that occurred perhaps only a generation before Homer, or even in his lifetime, might achieve a complete aesthetic screen at his hands. Of course, a multitude of local scenarios are possible; but let us imagine what may have happened in a typical disaster of the "Age of Mars" that is, in the eighth and seventh centuries  .
An ordinary person is alerted and examines the sky with a foreboding of evil. A brilliant speck grows larger from day to day. He is told that it has done so before, with terrible consequences. The memory is already excited. Calendars are studied and worked over. Oracles are consulted. All group efforts are mobilized to control the menace: rituals of subservience and devotion; the stricter punishment of any suspected deviants in all areas of law and conduct; the destruction of enemies if they can be promptly engaged; the sacrifice of more and more valuable properties and persons.
Relentlessly the menace approaches. The sky is full of lights, shapes and turbulence. The Earth begins to respond - to live, to move, to smoke, to blow up strong winds, to shriek, to take fire. Thunderbolts strike on all sides. Our hero watches, bemused. He is exceedingly frightened, as are his family and neighbors. There may be a pandemonium in which he faints or is struck dumb; he may scramble into a temple or house or cave; he will cover his head. The young will observe more than the old. "The disaster occurs in successive kinds of turbulence, in all the various destructive forms of earth, air, fire, and water, the primordial elements. Animals, both tame and wild, crowd in upon people, terrified, unaggressive, unhungry. Eardrums are blown in or sucked out by abrupt pressure changes. Some are struck blind, others gassed. Strange objects and lifeforms drop from the sky. The sky reels. The waters gyrate madly and rush to and fro."
The vista is one of unmitigated disaster. There is nowhere to go. The survivors regroup after each incident. They are partially paralyzed with fear and despair, partly striving for survival and control.
"What god is angry?" they wonder, if they don't already know. What other gods can they appeal to and how? What trait of a god should they address themselves to? The most important religious and political decisions of their lifetimes are made; the most sacred instruments and skills of the immemorial past are called upon in the crisis. Nothing, nobody, will ever persuade him to behave differently, or his children or, if they can help it, their descendants into the eternal future.
When the disasters subside, the survivors are crazed. They must regroup, recollect their thoughts, and do something about the memory. This is not a task for an astronomer sitting in the air-conditioned hall of a giant telescope in Arizona. Nor for a sober historian. It is a task for any surviving priest rulers: "We have been visited by the gods. The figures they strike in the sky are their various apparitions when destructive and punitive... Good gods and spirits fight evil ones. Our conduct displeases them: we must strengthen our observance of rituals: purify ourselves; expiate our sins; sacrifice ever more precious possessions; kill more enemies; control the libertarian; guard the names by which we call a god; and remind ourselves forevermore of the events of these days while we watch for their eventual recurrence."
Again history is quickly subverted: indeed, it has never existed. Instead memorial activities are planned by the community that will register whatever intensity on the memorial-screen is sufficient to suppress the pain of the memory of the original experience plus all the preceding related and similar traumatic experiences.
It is well to be quite explicit: No sooner is a disaster experienced than it is remembered: no sooner remembered than it is forgotten. All the rules of remembering are rules of forgetting.
What? Is memory a forgetting while to forget is to remember? One seems to be approaching this paradox; if it is not indeed an absurdity. Yet, if we resolve this paradox we shall better understand the great mystery of myth, which bids us remember ferociously in order the more firmly and securely to forget.
The paradox disappears with one fact, well appreciated. The fact is that a memory can enter the mind, but can rarely leave it. Except by organic lesion, there is little forgetting. The biological system can scarcely throw off a memory; it can readily manipulate it.
What is called "forgetting" is the eternal bookkeeping system of memory. From conception to dissolution and death, the system will always show a net profit. But, like many a bookkeeping system in commerce, memorial bookkeeping has numerous ways of casting the balance so as to conceal the surplus. It is with the forgotten material that the mind works to create myth, art, and hypothesis. The concept of forgetting is needed to describe the handling of the transactions of memory that permit consciousness, instrumentally rational conduct, and normal behavior.
Where is the balance cast that makes these two opposites indeed opposite? In the functional machinery of the mind, where opposites are coined according to the needs of the moment. Whatever stabilizes the organism's "normalcy" is chosen; and the organism remembers or forgets conveniently.
Whatever the finesse with which memory and forgetfulness may be explained, there must remain some incredulity in the modern mind. Scientists believe proudly that they can read any evidence unflinchingly. If the human mind that experienced catastrophe should not remember consciously, and discourse liberally and frankly upon it, what then of those tough intellectuals of ancient times who conducted inquiries afterwards? Why have they not handed down frank evidence of catastrophes? The disbelief of the theory of the Love Affair that was based upon archeological, geological and astronomical grounds may have changed to acceptance. But what of the silences of ancient history?
Though certain biases of languages and philosophy that formed after the catastrophes have already been noted - several additional suggestions may be offered as to why Hesiod, Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, Plato and other illustrious ancient Greeks do not frankly tell their curious descendants of the true deeds of Mars and the Moon.
In the first place, natural disasters and sudden change did occupy the minds of ancient thinkers (sticking still to the Greek-speaking area). Homer's Iliad is replete with accounts of god-enacted and god-caused disaster. In Aristophanes' comedy, "The Clouds," the gods reprove the Moon for having brought disasters to the calendar and their cult. Plato begs us to take him seriously when he relates the story of the destruction of Atlantis. (One may infer that there were a great many spoofers of old myth in Athens.) In The Laws, he asserts that mankind has been reduced to marginal survivors on numerous occasions owing to natural disasters. Conversely, he is angry at the "immorality" of Homer, which he takes at face value, and in the same dialogue he proclaims the god-given harmony and regularity of the heavenly spheres and would punish severely offenders who claim disasters have come or will come from the skies. Plato's self-contradictions in respect to catastrophism are serious. They reveal great doubts in his mind, and what in an ordinary person would be called "typical neurotic aggressiveness to resolve the tensions provoked by his doubts."
In the Epinomis, Plato is again exhibiting his anxieties, in a form that has not been generally appreciated. As mentioned in an earlier place, he gave the present Greek names of the planets for the first time. He offers the lame excuse that the fiery terms used for the heavenly bodies were so similar because the Greeks did not know the planets and did not want unfairly to give names to some but not to others.
Perhaps the whole matter of naming was controversial, involving as it did ancient psychological associations, theological theories, and intercultural contacts with Egyptians, Syrians, and others.
In any event, attention should be called to Plato's statement that the heavenly bodies are gods without souls. He distinguishes these from the Olympian gods, whom he dislikes, precisely because of their reputation for immorality and uncontrollability. He is, in effect, trying to rid the mundane scene of these gods, by exiling them in the eternal immutable astral regions. He would then fix the calendar of festivals to their periods. This would seem to be a major unconscious philosophical step towards controlling the gods and paving the way for a lawful universe. Thus it happened that Plato usurped the Olympian gods.
Aristotle, over three hundred years after the Love Affair, was still conscientious, if serene, in his study of the skies: heaven and the planets are self-moved movers executing perfectly regular motions; they are substances immune to change and far more perfect than man. He is nevertheless impelled to write of planets:
Moreover, the ancients were habituated to a level of natural disaster that would astonish moderns. Earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, and "rushing stars" (meteorites and comets) were much more common in the era following the settling of heaven. Earthquakes were ordinary in Rome, for instance, even five centuries later. The Greeks did not develop a tradition of geological and astronomical reporting until the scientific period began, over a century after Homer sang (seventh century). Herodotus carries remarks about disaster in his Histories (fifth century); Thucydides, who could describe plagues in acceptable modern medical style, flourished 250 years after the Love Affair. He reported no astral phenomena of consequence during the Peloponnesian Wars.
Third, the number of survivors was small. Many storage and retrieval systems of memory were blasted or drowned out. If the many dutiful clerks of Pylos, Mycenae, Knossos, Troy, and other centers had continued their bureaucracies, the records might be ample.
Furthermore, astral encounters and an earthly turbulence would provoke dense or brilliant atmospheric conditions that would render stable observations rare. Encounters would often be obscured and only partly visible in the areas where there would be potentially competent observers. One would always expect disputation as to what occurred when the celestial armies clashed.
The printing press was unknown and only the bark of the papyrus, clay tablets, stone, and several types of leaf were the media for the inscription and transmission of messages nonorally. Although more durable than modern books and film, they lacked the widespread dissemination that can be achieved with the printed word. Records were always few and a great burden was placed upon accurate memorization and repetition to the young, to an extent quite unappreciated today.
Oral accounts, like writing to be sure, have intrinsic mnemonic techniques, which, to the discredit of our scientific age, have not been adequately analyzed, and which lend, therefore, a greater semblance of error that actually exists in the accounts told. Personification of events, for example, is a technique of illiterate memorization, as well as a psychological process that is pervasive of mental operations in nearly all cultures.
There has been an almost total destruction of records, both from the time of the catastrophes and later. Only several thousands of the clay tablets from several locations carrying the language "Linear B" have been rescued from the ruins of Mycenaean culture. These tablets, by their paucity and scorched condition offer mute testimony that a well-administered civilization became a shambles of fire, destruction and death perhaps in a few hours, and a few events.
The classical period produced thousands of volumes by scientists on most subjects. Almost all of these have been lost owing to carelessness, barbarian depredations, and political and religious fanaticism  . Of 150 known Greek authors of tragic drama, we have full plays by only three of them and only thirty-three of the 297 creations of these three men remain. From this ancient treasure would have come a number of plays such as Seneca's Thyestes, which could only be a pale later replay of Sophocles' lost Atreus, both concerned with the devastating commotions of the globe in the period of the Love Affair.
Owing to the rules of memory and forgetting, one should not expect an elaborate literature of catastrophe to have existed in scientific form, but the writings of Pythagoras, Eudoxos, Alcmaion, Eratosthenes and many another author would have established ample foundations for a set of modern sciences that would admit of catastrophism in their theories.
When the great modern astronomer, Schiaparelli, reconstructed the planetary theory of Eudoxos (408-355), the colleague of Plato (427?-347) and Aristotle, he had this to say:
We would surmise that Eudoxos' problem arose from an absence of data concerning the classical and present celestial order. For the other planets, he may have had access to several centuries of observations from Egypt or Mesopotamia. For Venus, and even more for Mars, there may have been fewer ancient sources and less lengthy series of observations available to him. These planets, too, in their present motions, are more difficult to plot than the others. Perhaps the problem of theory was even more important than the problem of data; he might have had to disencumber himself of a theory of motions and cycles that was more adequate for an earlier sky than for a classical sky.
If this speculation about Eudoxos is tenable, one may dissever in him the factors of amnesiac relief through abstraction, a lack of fundamental data from the past and puzzlement owing to incorrect theory. Eudoxos was striving to order the cleared skies; he would in any event have found ancient evidence of erratic skies a nuisance and impediment.
These several reasons why direct scientific observations of ancient catastrophes have rarely reached us complement the primary and most striking reason that has already been discussed: massive instantaneous amnesia in direct proportion to the pain and horror of disaster, followed by heavy ritualistic, aggressive, and expressive displacement of the fear and avoidance involved. Nichomachus of Gerasa and Lucian agreed; the divine Orpheus was the founder of astronomy and the inventor of the harp. "The harp, that had seven chords, discoursed the harmony of the errant spheres." 
The "errant spheres;" the disasters; the memory and the forgetting; the muses; the harp for the sublimation of memory; and the "holy dreamtime songs" like the Love Affair.
1. Mireaux, op. cit., p. 429, who acutely perceives that Hesiod is a "futurist," not a" reactionary," and that his book on farming and farm life, Works and Days, was a treatise searching for justice and orderly existence.
2. Cf. I Velikovsky, Oedipus and Akhnaton (New York: Doubleday. 1960); Cyrus Gordon, "Oedipus and Akhnaton," II Pensée, no. 2( 1972), p. 30: also notes in the same issue. We are using Velikovsky's revised chronology; John Holbrook, Jr. interprets this in III Pensee, no. 2( 1973). I use term "mnemonic generation" to denote a sixty-year "memorial generation" in which the oldest members of a group can convey information to young children.
3. Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1916-7: Eng. trans. 1929), New York: Washington Square press, 1935), p. 286.
4. p. 496 of the Kaufman edition.
5. Ibid., p. 497. Cf. Carl J. Jung, "Approaching the Unconscious," in Man and His Symbols (New York: Dell, 968), 1-94, for related material on fear, and on memory, pp. 34, 52-3.
6. 1920, published in English, 195-, rev. ed. 1961, New York: Liveright; Psycho-Analysis and the War Neuroses( 1919), Stand. Ed:, XVII, 207;
7. General Introduction, op. cit., p. 291, 287.
8. Frank W. Lane's book, The Elements Rage (Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965), Can be used as a kind of reference manual for all that happens when the forces of nature intensify into their disastrous forms.
9. Metaphysics (W. D. Ross trans.) Vol. II, L. 1074b.
10. Cf. H. Bellamy, Moon, Myths and Man (London: Faber and Faber, 1936), pp. 44-7, for details of the destruction of ancient records.
11. Quoted in Ross, op. cit., II, P. 390. Cf. Walter Burkert, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, trans. by E. L. Miner (Cambridge Harvard U. Press, 1972), part IV, regarding, inter alia, Eudoxus' influence on Plato.
12. Lucian (second century, A. D.), "Astrology," in Works, Vol. V, A. M. Harmon, trans. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ, Press, 1936), p. 355. Nichomachus (first century A. D.) was famous for his mathematical accuracy.