Pandora’s Box is a Greek legend.
It starts with Prometheus. He stole fire from the Gods and gave it to humans. This made Zeus very angry.
Zeus wanted to take revenge on people on Earth. So he created a beautiful woman, Pandora, whom he endowed with wisdom, beauty, prosperity, kindness and health and sent her to Earth. He then asked Epimetheus, Prometheus’s brother to marry her.
The story goes pretty uneventfully until here. Of course by the time all this is happening, Prometheus is being tortured for his crime, with an eagle eating his liver every day and the liver growing back to being healthy to feed the eagle again. But this story is about Pandora and the box, which makes an appearance at her wedding to Epimetheus. Zeus gifts Pandora a box (or was it a vase?) and tells her never to open the box, knowing very well that those words would drive a curious woman crazy. So Pandora, after trying really hard to be good, could not take it any more and opened the box. After all it was a wedding gift to her.
And out came all the misery. Illness. Greed. Envy. Hatred. Pain. Poverty. War. Death. As she realised what was happening she closed the door shut. But it was too late. All that was inside the box had flown out, except one. Hope.
So legend has it that mankind lives with all that is wrong since then, clinging on to Hope to keep them get through the adversities that escaped out of Pandora’s Box. And Zeus had his last laugh.
I think about Pandora’s Box from a slightly different perspective. There is a Pandora’s box open inside each one of us. Emotions and pains, intensely private, yet so common to every human that walked this earth; Not strong enough to make us shatter or explode with joy, nevertheless excruciating; stuff that looks silly in hindsight.
Imagine a voltage stabilizer. If the electricity coming through is below or above a certain range, the stabilizer will not allow the electric current to pass through. Strong emotions are like the ones outside the range; causing visual disturbances in our lives; pushing us to make decisions. A stable output, like the stable self of ours we put out for others, does not mean there is a steady voltage flowing in. It just means that the the stabilizer is working hard to keep them under control. It is those fluctuations that I think about as the Pandora’s box, as I start my series on them.
These emotions are a living hell and the perfect torture Zeus imagined for us, but only, if we let them be.
Come with me and let us open the Pandora’s box, gently and look at what is inside it, in its eye.