Castalia (Rachel Francon)
Connecticut, USA

Bio: Castalia in Greek and Roman mythology was a nymph whom Apollo, after pursuing her and failing to capture her attentions, transformed into a fountain at Delphi, at the base of Mt. Parnassos, or at Mt. Helicon. ….or, as others tell us,.. …to escape Apollo….she then threw Herself into a spring on Mount Parnassus which took its name after her In Greek tradition, this Goddess embodies the force of artistic inspiration. Her power is so profuse that art often depicts Her simply as an ever-flowing fountain from which we can drink when our motivation wanes. Castalia is said to have been able to inspire the genius of poetry to those who drank her waters or listened to the their sound; Apollo consecrated Castalia to the Muses It was believed that anyone who drank from the waters of the fountain or who even heard its sound, would be inspired and turn into a poet. T Castalia Francon first came across the name she has adopted in reading Hermann Hesse's "Magister Ludi" (otherwise known as "The Glass Bead Game") which was the central foundation of the futuristic republic of Castalia (which Hesse, of course, himself took after the legendaryspring where the Greek nymph still lives in spirit.. Castalia, for Hesse, was a 23rd-century utopia in where they have managed to distill all available knowledge of math, music, science, and art into an elaborately coded game. As Hesse put it, " The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual property—on all this immense body of intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number. Theoretically this instrument is capable of reproducing in the Game the entire intellectual content of the universe." Castalia soon realized that she had always had a passion for that game....she just did not know its name....nor all the rules....nor, for that matter, the implications of devoting oneself to the adventure of its play. “There is truth," they discovered in Castalia, as Hesse wrote it, "But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, . The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.” So, she has learned, that's why she is here...to play. And she hopes you join her. (from Descartes 400 years ago) "Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all that was stable and likely to last. But that task looked an enormous one, and I began to wait until I should reach a mature enough age to ensure that no subsequent time of life would be more suitable for tackling such inquiries. This led me to put the project off for so long that I would now be to blame if by pondering over it any further I wasted the time still left for carrying it out. So, today I have expressly rid my mind of all worries and arranged for myself a clear stretch of free time. I am here quite alone, and at last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions."

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