Power and persuasion...

I called this “Power and Persuasion” because power is used to persuade people to do things they might not ordinarily do. People have had a desire for power since the beginning of time. Power can mean many things depending on the context of the situation. Power is used to rule and to control people, it could be a country full of people, to control one person and lastly power could be used to control one’s self. When using it to control people it is necessary to squash any opposition. We saw this with Socrates in Greece, and non-believers in Iran, and Jesus in Bethlehem. We also saw it in the Koran where Jews and Christians are cast as evil for not believing the word of the Koran. As we also learned in Freud and the Daodejing, power over one’s self is essential to a peaceful life.

Bulls were a symbol of power in ancient Mesopotamia. This piece is a reminder of the power of the bull. Enkidu dreams of being killed by a bull and in the end he is killed as punishment from the gods for killing Humbaba. (The Epic of Gilgamesh tablet 7 line 175).v
Funerary chapel’s commemorated ones power and standing he held during his time. This Egyptian piece relates to the Funeral of Enkidu, Gilgamesh praises his friend and provided great treasures to be buried with him for the afterlife. (The Epic of Gilgamesh Tablet 8 Lines 84-115).
This Photo reminds me of the dedication people had to the Ayatollah during the revolution. People against the regime were being rounded up and executed. (Satrapi 117) To me that is what this picture symbolizes. Dedication from the masses is paramount to maintaining power.
This is a reminder of the power the fundamentalists held over the population, forcing them to wear veils in public. In The Complete Persepolis Marji's mothers was threatened to be raped and thrown in the garbage for being the type of person who doesn't wear a veil. (Satrapi 74)
Freud said that house represented the human body, Smooth ones were male and ones with balconies were female. (Freud 188). I see a house as ones power over their own lives and where they wield ultimate control over all who enter.
Freud coined the phrase Oedipus complex. (Freud 410). Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. The power represented behind this complex is only surpassed by the power his mother has over him through sexuality.
The blank stare this portrait has makes me feel the subject is in a state of regression. The power of outside forces obstacles can cause a person to regress to an earlier developmental stage, (Freud 423).
The power of sexuality is the whole basis for Freud's theories. He believed the study of the sexuality of children to be of too great a significance to overlook. (Freud 393) This boys exposed genitals and hidden face are two symbols of the power of emotions defiance and shame.
This black figure style pottery shows Herakles killing Busirus for his practice of sacrificing foreigners to the god Zeus. Herakles obviously believing this is unjust, probably could also find a god that would also deem the practice unjust and as Socrates would so eloquently point out, this is an argument over what is pious and impious. (Plato 7) Herakles believing it impious to kill innocents and Busirus killing them in the name of Zeus obviously thought it to be a pious act.
In the dialogue with Crito, Socrates did not wish to escape but to serve his sentence because it was the moral thing to do in his eyes.(Plato 52, 53) No matter how logical Socrates was his judges still did not want him around because of his treat to their way of life. They wanted to maintain their power no matter the cost.
In God’s determination to exert power over Adam and Eve he forbade them from eating from the tree of knowledge (Gen 3:24). In his attempt to persuade them not to eat from it he threatened to kill them the day they did.
God showed his power when he wiped out all human kind. Only Noah and his family were spared because of their devotion. Noah's first reaction, when the flood waters eventually receded, was to make an offering to god to please him. (Gen 8.20).
Abraham so feared the wrath of god that he would do anything he was told. God told hi to sacrifice his son to show his faith and Abraham was willing to do it. (Gen 22.1-3) Right up to the point where he was about to kill his son Isaac, then God told him it was just a test of his faith. What kind of power and persuasion God must have had on him to cause him to do such a thing.
The simplicity of life is depicted through the flowing river, clouds and the man fishing from the edge of a boat while a child sits inside. In the Daodejing it states "One who is contented is rich" (Laozi chp. 33). This man in this picture is truly contented and in the way of Daoism he is enlightened and will have everlasting life (Laozi Chp 33). Everlasting life is the ultimate power.
A Taoist immortal is elevated above everyone else to show the he has attained the ultimate power of enlightenment of the way. "Heaven by obtaining oneness became clear' (Laozi Chp 39). I think this quote is an instrumental step in learning the true way of Tao.
Jesus had amassed so much power among the people that the elders and chief priests, in fear of losing their power, had to trump up charges against him and have him condemned to death. Even though Pilate found him innocent he eventually condemned him to death by crucifixion because of all of the chants from those against him (Luke 23:22,23)
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