First order of business, as usual, was art history. Started learning about the Pre-Dynastic and Old Kingdom of Egypt. Starting with the period before the Old Kingdom, with King Narmer. The name is a bit silly, but he was a rather intimidating fellow. We know about him from an item called a palette that was buried in a temple meant for the Egyptian God Horus, and the things depicted on the palette are a bit scary. One side of it shows King Narmer about to smash in the skull of a defeated enemy, while the other side shows many of his enemies, decapitated and castrated. It even shows a bull smashing a city, and some modern day historians believe that the bull might represent the king.
Next up, Game design! Still doing the course on Udemy, and I’ve started really making the game cows and bulls. At least, the frame work of the game. I have the text that displays when you start the game up, and I have a constant expression set up so that I can change the text that displays in multiple areas of the game by editing one line of code.
Lastly, more Monkey! Wait, what? Thought we were done with this, did you? Incredibly close, now we’re looking at some of the cultural/religious aspects of monkey. Using This very helpful PDF. To give a brief summary, it talks about how the story of “a journey to the west” was based on real events partly, and folklore. Many characters of the book were plucked from mythology, and the main character is based on a real monk named Xuanzang that traveled to India in search of scriptures, studied there, and returned, a trip that took 17 years in total.
The book also depicts the deities and spirits of 3 religions, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism living in harmony together, mirroring the origins of the religions. There’s a lot of overlap, because the 3 religions sprung from similar sources, all of them complementary practices. Being a holy man in ancient china might have been less a sign of what you believed in, but instead which part of the big organization you were working for.
The PDF also points out that the journey to India is very much a spiritual one. Monkey can probably get to India and back in only a few leaps, but as the saying goes, it’s about the journey, and not the destination. The characters learn to trust each other and grow as people, becoming less attached to the world and losing their own vices. Even Pigsy, very much a glutton, passes on some food after he reaches enlightenment.