The Hope in Pandora
By Kathy Custren
Taking a look around our world today, especially when using social media and mainstream news, hope seems to be in short supply. We can still count off any number of the problems released in the ancient story of Pandora. For the background of the story, read more on the Wikipedia page at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora.
Wars, pestilence, greed, and the rest are still in plentiful supply around the planet. The ancients had a way of explaining how the problems of mankind originated and why. Even with a relatively open mind and positive attitude, the outcome of Pandora’s story remains a bit murky. Are we to think that hope is a positive thing, or one last remaining ‘problem’ to endure?
Might the trouble be in the translation? The Wiki page writers spend a good amount of time asserting that there are different ways to interpret the Ancient Greek narrative into modern terms. While we may have a picture in mind, the word-puzzle remains to be deciphered fully.
Consider, too, that there was no definitive list of precisely “what” ills and problems were released from the ‘box,’ or jar, if we follow that bit of controversy. It was a container, with a lid, that could be opened and closed. Even with these differences, we are able to follow the story well enough, even to the point of picturing the curiosity that drove Pandora to open the box/jar in the first place.
Keeping Hope Alive
Our curiosity certainly does lead us to hope, does it not? When we hear bad news, a certain, hopeful part of us continues to feel the possibility of ‘more and better’ to come just ahead. Despite prevailing anxiety that may exist in the present, we continue to want to cling to moment beyond this one, so we might take advantage of choosing something else. Even faced with death, many of us get to experience the on-going essence of spirit that brings us to know the existence of other dimensions.
We may ask some rather insightful questions, in the midst of chaos, confusion, and turmoil: What can we do to keep hope alive? Is holding it within the box/jar and saving it a proactive way to hang on to hope? Does hope live as long as we do, as long as we are alive and curious enough to seek it out, or does it extend spiritually beyond us, like other ‘food of the gods?’
If not here, then there; if not now, then later; the pages of our own story turn like that of Pandora, containing hope that the flip of the clock or calendar will be just our ticket for a hope-filled new experience. So what of all the “problems” that exist along with our anticipatory sense of curiosity, wonder and hope?
Hope in the Larger Picture
If there is one aspect to these older, ancient stories, it is that they are about beings that are larger than us, who exist on a completely different-yet-worldly dimension. Who among us would take on the responsibility of being god-like these days, eh? We seem to place celebrities into a sort of “statusphere,” yet we know many, like ourselves, are more fallible than not.
So we are encouraged to ‘look beyond’ in these older stories, to seek the larger picture, and this may be especially true where hope in Pandora is concerned. We may consider that hope is a driving force, the impetus of energy that causes our larger system to continue turning…why we get to see the Sun and Moon repeatedly, along with the seasons and the movement of the time wheel over centuries, millennia, and eons.
We may also view the hope in Pandora to illustrate the way we may withhold something inside of a precious little “box” that turns out to be a rather great and awesome thing. This could be a special talent or even the essence of what makes us who we are, perhaps when we are the most hope-filled and hopeful. In our everyday world, this could equate to anything from our child-like innocence or virginity, to the way we treat our very body and soul, and others, with respect and dignity.
It may be a reminder that, keeping hope in a box with a lid, we have the ultimate choice in deciding when to open that box. We may peek inside and maybe use a little bit of that hope, judiciously, mindfully, and in ways that will keep us going forward in a positive way. This can be seen in our world today in the mindful manner we express ourselves in positive and caring ways, and perform daily actions of service to others.
And ultimately, the larger picture of hope in Pandora’s story may come from the flip side of knowing, with big thanks to our present state of chaos, that just because we “can” do something, does not mean we should. Pandora “could” have let out that last bit of hope from the jar, but wisely chose to retain it. Does that mean humanity is without hope? No, not at all. We still have hope aplenty. The story does tell us how important it is to retain and “not use” certain gifts “we” may have that may not always be for the greater good.
It is this bit of consciousness I would like to leave with all of us today: That in our world full of the ‘gloom, doom, and negativity’ we see in the news and so prevalent everywhere, we retain that hope of the Pandora story and actively use it to see us forward into our new and shifting age of enlightenment. Namaste ~ Blessings!
About the Author
Kathy Custren, OMTimes Senior Editor, is a mother of four, who strives for balance and has a deep respect for All. Interests include education, elements, nature, humanity's cosmic origins, philosophy, spirituality, and wellness. Connect with her community page "Consciousness Live" on Facebook, and tune in to “What is Going OM?” on OMTimes Radio.