Sisyphus and Cassandra

17 Feb

** I am getting lot of hits, for me, to this page and I am pretty sure it is not what you are expecting. If you leave a comment as to what you are trying to find, I will try to add some more links at the bottom. That way others won’t waste their time trying to find what is not here. – Cheers **

Before I delve into the title, I want to explain a bit of statistical analysis, that is Principal Component Analysis (PCA). PCA is a means of taking a set of independent and partially independent data and reducing their dimensionality to a series of fewer orthogonal components – at right angles or independent. If one was to do this with my life, two of the major components I would label as Cassandra and Sisyphus.

These two Greeks (technically Cassandra is Trojan) from mythology explain a great deal of how my life interacts with the world. Sisyphus is condemned to roll a bolder up a hill to have it roll back down just before he completes his task, and to do this for eternity. Talk about frustration. Cassandra to me is the more interesting of the two. She was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, as in the Illiad. Given the give of prophecy, she was forever cursed in that no one would believe her. (Wikipedia)

Not going into detail, my life as Sisyphus is attacking the same problems and issues year after year without any resolution. My life as Cassandra I find more disturbing. While the two cannot always be separated, when they do overlap as at work where I point out to administrators the folly of their decision only to have the prophecy come true and then the new administrator question why I let this happen. I have settled in that stage of grief of acceptance or for the most part understanding what I can and cannot change or effect. The Cassandra part in my relationship with others – not so much. I can see the future. Not all the future or disregard probability theory and predict games of chance or sport outcomes. I can see the end results of other people’s choices, not all the time. but frequently enough. I am virtually powerless to affect them. (There has been a few times where I have staved off disaster.) It is like watching a slow motion wreck, or worse, being is a tall building and seeing a small child wander away from his mother and walk towards a busy street.

I know this person who is heading for a crisis in 2 to 3 years. Not only will this person not listen to me, but I don’t know what to say. If I go behind their back and interfere in their life, I will be resented and still not change anything – they will just be mad at me. And as far as giving advice, as an analogy, what good is it to tell a poor person they need more money? They already know that and would just congratulate me on my grasp of the obvious. I need to accept that it is their life – my help is not wanted. It’s hard watching this wreck unfold.

Update: I’ve seen a couple of hits to this post recently (May 2010) from the Miami FL area.  I wonder if there was an assignment about Greek mythology. Still no comments. I doubt this blog was particularly helpful. But in the interest of saving some poor student a few clicks, I am going to add some links. I am not a scholar on this, so feel free to comment and suggest new and better sources.

The Myth Of Sisyphus – by Albert Camus

The Myth Of Sisyphus – a summary


Additional Cassandra links etc.


3 Responses to “Sisyphus and Cassandra”

  1. Nicole February 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Hey! Like your blog. And lol…

    “Because, sooner or later, I will say or do something stupid here that I will regret and I want plausible deniability in real life.”

  2. MB February 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    But it is true!

    • Margaret Motheral August 3, 2010 at 12:26 am #

      So appreciate this. I’ve been living both the Cassandra and Sisyphus story for a number of years now and I was searching the web for an antidote. I decided to let go of the rock and not tell anybody anything unless they pay me.

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