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Apollo and Cassandra

Apollo and Cassandra

There is an interesting Greek Myth about Apollo and Cassandra. Perhaps you have no idea who Apollo or Cassandra were. Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto. Hera was Zeus' wife at the time, so Apollo was conceived during an act of infidelity. Adultery seems to be a common theme in Greek Mythology. Apollo was the most beautiful male of the Olympians Gods and also the most beloved.

Cassandra was one of the princesses of Troy, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. According to the Myth, Cassandra was shockingly beautiful. As fate would have it, when Apollo saw Cassandra, he fell madly in love with her. When Apollo made sexual advances toward her, she shunned him. Finally, she gave in to his advances on one condition: he would grant her the gift of prophecy. It sounded like a good deal to Apollo, he would grant her the gift of second sight and then make love to her. According to the Myth, he did not hesitate, he gave her the rare gift she desired. After she received it, she refused to make love to him. I suspect she had planned to refuse the sexual adventure before she made the agreement. This kind of wheeling and dealing between men and women for sex goes on in our society each and every day. Apollo did not take kindly to Cassandra's refusal, so he decreed that no one would ever believe her words of wisdom regardless of the situation. Some of you might believe both of their actions were unethical since both of them broke their promises to each other, but promise breaking goes on all the time in our world. Broken promises happen so often by so many people, that I believe promises are meant to be broken since most of the time they are carried out in times of desperation, delusion or absolute ignorance.

As the myth unfolds, Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy by the Greeks; when the Trojans found the big wooden horse outside the gates of their city, Cassandra told them that Greeks will destroy them if they bring the horse into the city. The saying “Beware of Danaos (Greeks) bearing gifts” belongs to her. No one in Troy believed her, and the horse was wheeled into the city. We all know what happened afterwards, under the cover of night's darkness, the hidden soldiers emerged from the hollow wooden statue and open the gates to the Greek army. The city was sacked.
When Troy fell to the Greeks, Cassandra tried to find a shelter in Athena’s Temple, but she was brutally abducted by Ajax and was brought to Agamemnon (King of the Greeks) as a concubine. Cassandra tells Agamemnon that he will be slain when he returns to Mycenae but he ignores her seemingly disturbed prophecies. He thought her words were nothing more than ravings of a hysterical princess prisoner. Agamemnon did not know that his wife Clytemnestra had taken a lover in his absence, and his wife and her lover plotted to kill him when Agamemnon arrived home. And they murdered him while he was taking a bath after his return. Cassandra was also murdered at the same time. Although there is a great amount of deceit and homicide in this myth, it is not the point of the story.
Cassandra's second sight is the feminine power of intuition. Apollo represents the left brain, the rational and clear thinking. We often refer to this kind of cognitive function as discernment or discriminatory sight. Cassandra refuses to make union with Apollo, a metaphor which means she refuses to recognize her own rational thought as it relates to her intuition. Intuition, if left unchecked, renders women boundary-less or lost; they cannot tell where their personal self starts and the world begins. No one could believe her ramblings even if they were true.
On the other side of the coin is the King Agamemnon, who embraces the masculine rational mind so much that he refuses to listen to the slightest feminine whisper of truth. Intuition is the communication of the Soul, rationality is the transfer of information to the mind. The trip home for the King is a sort of a going back for us all. How many times have we tried to revisit our past, or return from whence we came and brought nothing back with us of any value to rediscover that our truth was far from what we had anticipated? The King refused to believe his wife and her lover would kill him. He was vulnerable.
It has been my observation over the past thirty years of practicing medicine that the Cassandra syndrome or complex exists in all of us; no one wants to believe the truth. We all have the tendency to deny it or substitute some other irrational understanding of our reality which is far less harmful to our own worldviews, but none-the-less dangerous to our health. Many have denied their intuition so they operate blindly and they have denied rational discrimination so long that they float almost unconsciously through every conflict, staying remote from the pain and suffering associated with a real authentic life. We all know these people who live in the land of delusion.
The practice of medicine is transforming to an industry in which the art of intuitive examination is almost totally obsolete, it has been abandoned for a more masculine based rational decision making paradigms. Patients who connect to their intuitive nature, the feminine energy, realize that their pain and suffering is real despite clinical testing results that reveal no abnormal findings. Most of the time, their physician or healthcare provider denies their symptoms when their simple images from scans and/or clinical blood testing results are within the normal range. How many times have I heard the phrase, "Every doctor tells me I'm just depressed. But I'm not depressed. They say there's nothing wrong. I'm sick. Won't someone believe me?" These patients fight through the masculine bureaucracy of profit making insurance companies, hospitals and physician groups to get to the root of their illnesses. It is not a conspiracy theory that connects the various factions of the expanding profit driven medical machine, it is greed. The headstone of healthcare is standing above two columns - on one is inscribed net worth and on the other liabilities. The real tragedy is that nothing is moving in the health and prevention industry, there are no research advancements without a dollar figure attached to them. The bottom line really equals zero. There is plenty of feel good marketing in the medical insurance industry as well as in non-profit hospital systems, but the truth is that the healthcare industry gives nothing to anyone, not even hope.
The healthcare industry is going through a crisis at the moment. It seems that people want to believe that the US healthcare system is the best in the world, but the truth is, it fails miserably. Are you suffering from Cassandra Syndrome? Have you made a deal with Apollo with no intent on living up to your end of the bargain? You have a lot to offer yourself in the way of your experience and wisdom if you will take time to review your life in an honest way and see it for what it is. If you don't take the time to examine yourself, one day you too will be telling a doctor that something's wrong and they won't take the time to listen to your complaints or even validate them. They will pay no mind to your intuition. How do I know?
I see new patients all the time.
Posted by Amanda Sanders at 9:17 AM
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