The Apple Tree
Sweet apple tree, growing by the river,
Who will thrive on its wondrous fruit?
When my reason was intact
I used to lie at its foot
The Apple Trees, Black Book of Camarthen
19th century translation of from the Welsh Black book of Camarthen concerning the prophet Merlin. The poem is addressed to a pig. Merlin has lost his reason and has fled into the woods, here he is coming back to his senses, sheltering under an apple tree. He has also developed the gift of prophecy. He reflects upon his past life, his present state, and the future of Britain in its altering state.
Useful to find some modern images to go along with the comparisons I am going to play with. Not going to suggest any direct link between, 21st century theory and psychology and early medieval thought but their is certainly a pattern to be played with allowing both subjects to move.
Good to remind myself of the distinction and differences visually (a pig is not a bike but under certain conditions, i.e. when the object is in mind in a particular state, it may be able to be used to remember things about pigs and/ or explore further possibilities about bike’s).
Going to use a subject I do know (the medieval wild man) to help me explore and play with a pattern i don’t know (hypothesis of episodic memory in psychology)
The Mysterious Island
In medieval Britain, Merlin was understood to be two distinct figures, reflects the rather complex cultural and political make up of the island that still continues today (Old and complicated relationship). They have very separate and distinct narratives. Both are formed from an early Southern Scottish, tradition, that moves to Wales and Ireland. The migratory Legend used by the Anglo Norman kings is drawn from Wales, but is a significant alteration of the earlier British tradition, which is not as closely tied to the legend of Arthur.
Prophecy was a significant political tool, used by each of the kingdoms and Merlin was a significant legendary presence in the popular political prophecy that was a feature of cultural life from the early medieval period well into the modern world.
Oddly enough one feature of this form of political prophecy shares some features, with descriptions of episodic memory. Seems at the outset to make for a rather messy difficult pattern. But it also forces me to look much more carefully at terms and what exactly these things are. Can prophecy be described as a way of knowing? If so it seems to raise questions in regard to modern theory.
Can I use the wild man as a form of thought experiment? This philosophical property of this creature of thought, would appear to be apart of what it has always been.
Knot Knowing Feeling
It helps me to raise questions about the wider conceptual territory these modern ideas are playing out in.