C – 10: the Ouroboros, the Magician, and even benzene
I know very well that the few hundreds of pages of philosophy I’ve read does not make me a philosopher. I have much praise, thus, for Simone for explaining certain philosophical concepts, including the Aristotelian entelechy I’ve talked about the previous episode, very well to a novice like me. I did put in a lot of time and effort to read those essays and books; philosophy, however, is not my passion and I do not study it as much as others. I am grateful for his presence in developing my primitive philosophical interpretations.
With that said, I feel that the tenth episode is merely a continuance of the previous episode with regard to philosopy: for Simone, Kimimaro has finally crossed over into the realm of the aut-aut; for me, he’s simply had a pivotal catharsis. It may not be an existential question, but it is a catharsis nevertheless. I feel that the pursuance of philosophy during this episode would be redundant, although if Simone offers his commentary I would be sure to include it in succeeding posts, seeing that his work is well-thought of and enlightened.
For this episode, I am going to stick with what works best for me, and what I know best of all: I’ll return to symbols and their interpretations. This episode is unique in the sense that it has gone beyond mere tarot symbols and integrated different religions into a single picture.
Msyu’s macroflation, Overheated Economy, actually depicts Shiva, who is the Hindu deity of transformation and destruction. It’s simply apt, especially because Msyu was out to destroy with that macroflation. Shiva holds the Sommerfeld model of the atom in his four hands, and the Wheel of Fortune in two. Simply put, it depicts Shiva’s ability to both create and destroy: in some senses, he is fate himself. Kimimaro is also trying to take fate into his own hands – it’s quite apt.
In Jennifer’s Mergers and Acquisitions macroflation attack, the most telling symbol is the sole pentacle at the middle of the illustration. Quoting SuperTarot, the Ace of Pentacles creates new conditions for material success; it is a gift of money. Through this flation she was able to obtain Kakazuzu, Mikuni’s asset, from him. Although she ultimately failed, the imagery is once again apt to the foreground occurrrence.
Cannibalization was clearly symbolized by the Ouroboros, which is a snake eating itself. It illustrates a cycle, but also presents an idea of eternity, due to its circular nature. It can be seen in the tarot card of The Magician, where the eponymous character wears it as a belt. I find that similarities between Mikuni’s stance with what the card represents: the card signifies the divine nature in man, which is what Mikuni shows by eschewing his own future so that the present may survive.
It’s also funny how this symbol inspired a certain von Kekule to device the structure of the benzene ring. Without an Ouroboros in his dream, he wouldn’t have done it. 🙂
Finally, but of course, not the least of all, the viewer sees that Jennifer’s sephira are all shining as compared to only the Keter (the crown)shining during the previous episode. This merely symbolizes that she has achieved a higher level of understanding, which is very much seen in this episode: after having decided to act for the sake of the future, she faces Mikuni without any regrets despite being defeated with Q’s rampage. Her enlightenment culminated in her sacrifice for the sake of other people’s futures.
Yes, this episode was awesome, but I really have little more to say about it.