November 28, 2012

John David Ebert - On The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises
Reviewed by John David Ebert
Cinema Discourse 

“As above, so below.”

–Hermes Trismegistus

There is an ancient Indian myth in which the gods Brahma and Vishnu contend against each other to see which is the mightiest. A cosmic pillar of light suddenly appears, and Brahma, transforming into a swan, flies upward to find out where it ends, while Vishnu turns himself into a turtle and swims into the depths. Neither god ever manages to reach the ends of the pillar, for the pillar is actually the cosmic lingam of Shiva himself, who steps forth as the mightiest of the three gods, to which the other two are then forced to bow. In ancient Mayan cosmology, meanwhile, the earth was thought to rest sometimes on the back of a giant turtle, sometimes on the back of a huge caiman. The bumps on the back of the caiman were thought to be the various hills and mountains of the earth, while the Qetzal bird was the celestial morning star, Venus. But Vishnu, too, of course, had a double valency, since he rode on the back of a cosmic sun bird known as Garuda from which, as a personification of the sun, he did battle with the various naga serpents of the earth; but he was also linked with the serpent, for he rested upon the back of Ananta, the endless serpent who formed the bed upon whose coils Vishnu reposed in sleep, dreaming the world.

Continued. . .