The Second Chapter The opposing Twins
The large Monkey belongs to the tribe of chimpanzees and looks as if he has swallowed a lot of
knowledge with an extra large spoon. This impression could at least arise when one sees how
smug, if not to say blasé, he is gazing into the mirror that reflects the large egg on his low
But before we take a closer look at the Second Performance, a few clarifying words about the egg
as such need to be inserted. That is most important, because this useful and, depending on its
size, nutritive invention can be seen more often in the following pages and requires therefore an
The Humps and Flatfeet, a shaggy, pale and somewhat obstinate Teutonic subspecies that lived
on the shores of the river Weser, took the Universe to be a giant black hen and our earth a huge
egg laid by her. The many drifts and tunnels in the Wiehen Mountains were dug by them to get at
the yolk which they believed to be pure gold. They didn’t find anything, of course, and therefore
differ not much from those of their descendants who think that gold is the yolk of the egg.
Similar beliefs were held by the Pygmies in the Congo basin, with the difference that here,
perhaps because of an altered perspective, the word-layer was an ostrich.
Whatever the differences, certain is that our forebears, though less informed than we, but richer
in imagination, wisdom and poesy, were deeply fascinated by the egg’s mystery.
How could it be, they asked themselves astonished, that from a chalky wafer-thin receptacle and
the included glutinous substance true and irrefutable life could break forth? Did God give the
humble beholder here a tangible and conspicuous proof of His omnipresence? Was He hiding,
what an amazing thought, perhaps Himself as a divine spark inside the thin shell? Were God and
egg of the same essence?!
Spinning these reflections a bit further, is it small wonder that many of antiquities’ most
important personalities were born on the maternal side out of an egg.
Tien, an unspecific primeval bird, dropped an egg on the virgin ocean from which hatched the
first man ever, a Chinese. This fascinating legend makes perfect sense and is of course the
explanation why the Chinese are so multitudinously present, since they began long before all
others with the procreation. Brahma, an Indian deity, was born out of a golden egg and created
afterwards the world. Ra, a falcon-headed god of the Egyptians who day after day rowed the sun
in his papyrus boat across the heavens, descended from a large egg. The Dioscuri Castor and
Pollux, twins and representatives of contrary emotions within the same chest, are a particularly
fascinating example of the egg-birth, since their mother was the lovely and silent Leda.
Piero della Francesca: Madonna col Bambino (Detail)
The ancient Greeks saw the heaven’s dome as the shell of an egg and, a particularly beautiful
allegory, themselves as unborn or unfinished within, whereby the shell had seven layers or
spheres which needed to be broken open one after the other in order to emerge into real life.
A similar idea can be found behind our Christian tradition to hide prettily colored eggs for the
children on Easter Sunday. Here the miraculous resurrection of our gentle Savior, His opening of
the sarcophagus, is compared to the birth of a chicken. Or perhaps the other way around…
In Classical Painting the egg has turned up repeatedly. William Blake’s (1757-1827) little angel
who steps out of it with a surprised expression on the face, can be found on the first page of this
book. Hanging motionless from the seashell in which Aphrodite was born, Piero della Francesca
(1420-1492) has painted it in grandiose simpli-city above the Virgin and her Child. In
Hieronymus Bosch’s (1450-1516) Garden of Earthly Delights it is set into the absolute center of
the fantastic extravagance. There a turbulent crowd of paradisiacal males is moving around a
pond and tries to impress the bathing women with the most flamboyant performances and
acrobatics possible. Loudly cackling spoonbills are perching on the ladies’ heads, and it seems
as if here the libido’s overwhelming power has been much better explained than Freud and his
paltry treatises ever could.
Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Delight (Detail)
A very beautiful example of the egg’s use as a creative metaphor can be found in the Oberried
Altar by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543). There it shines as a pale moon in the dead of
night and, in daytime, as blinding sun from the heavens. The sensitive beholder will know, just
like the three Magi or the poor shepherds, which king, what kind of ideal it serves as a shining
Now the reader may have begun to wonder what this nonsense about eggs is all about. Could it
be, he or she may ask, that the author suffers from an unfulfilled hatching complex? Or does he
see himself as the reincarnation of an egg cozy?
Hans Holbein the Younger: Adoration of the Magi
Far from it! What he tries to revive and get across is a particular and often humorous form of
human imagination, used since oldest antiquity to present complicated psychological or
metaphorical arguments in a clear and easily understandable form: The symbol.
Tokuriki after Kakuan (ca. 1200 AD): The Taming of the Bull
Meant aren’t of course those as we know them today: wholly meaningless insignia of giant
corporations; glinting emblems on cars that look all like silver-plated asses; runes, curls and
contractions on highflown technology junk.
Not at all.
To give an intelligible clue in this respect, we must return to the Inner Monkey. His
overpowering has been seen in all high cultures as a first and most important step towards
consciousness: during childhood was he held in check with an occasional tanning of the
backside; the good parson thundered against him from the pulpit; and politicians have promised
again and again, at least before the elections, to wipe him out altogether. Yet the noblest form of
his subjugation is of course the one that happens more or less voluntarily. Which implies that one
needs to believe into his existence in the first place. But this perception is not granted to all and
everybody, which has certain advantages too. Just imagine a posy of ruthless Global Hoodlums
were suddenly to realize that their latest and most unfriendly takeover signified a clear and
imminent danger for the salvation of their bone-dry souls: the stock market would collapse
immediately, and the European economy only a little later.
On with the Inner Beast. Have we heard of it, seen its footprints here and there, discovered its
broad back after a long search in the undergrowth, a battle begins that can last decades. Again
and again must we take it by the horns and wrestle it down, until it finally gives up and dances to
our flute. And if it, that multiple animal with the many bright facets and darker shadows, were to
have a name or a symbol, the Bull would make perfect sense to a lot of people.
One may think in this context of the Cretan Minotaur who brooded deep in his labyrinth, waiting
for victims. An old English poem states that the hero Theseus, after arriving finally at the very
heart of the maze, met only with a mirror. Which doesn’t mean that he’d ever found his way back
again without Ariadne’s lovingly woven red thread.
In short, things are sometimes not what they seem. Under this premise art-forms and worlds of
thought have been fashioned which the wanking avantgarde of today can comprehend like
warthogs the Venus of Botticelli. Which is, apart from being the Western world’s most cherished
treasure, the one and only painting where God the Creator is shown as a firmly entwined young
couple regaling Its greatest gift, the Concept of Love shown as a beautiful young Goddess in a
seashell, to an astonished mankind.
Back to our chimpanzee! He sits on a big turtle which moves, in accordance with her unwieldy
shape, slowly and ponderously ahead. She has survived until now all attacks, thanks to her thick
shell. Many have tried to change her course, but in vain, and quite a few were run under and
never seen again. No wonder therefore that our monkey feels just fine on her broad back, since it
is normal human behavior to seek ways of the least resis-tance, to drift smoothly along and to
keep up the status quo, especially when the latter guarantees full fleshpots.
But this mentality bears also risks, particularly today when the continuation of mankind and that
of the planet has become a matter of serious doubt. That apart there is also the little fact to be
considered that one gets older: what is the use of glory, power and influence, all those bags full
of money, the lovely women, the fast cars or the most expensive restaurants towards the end of a
life when high blood pressure and other ailments command an end to it all? Won’t that be the
moment when a writing appears on the wall which states that a long journey will sooner or later
end in icy emptiness?
The little, shabbily dressed fellow knows about these matters. He is, just like his trendy and
complacent twin brother, an important part of the human nature. Therefore it depends on the
chimpanzee alone if he accepts the offered banana and shoves off into a direction which differs
completely from that of the turtle. But the new course might hold dangers and deprivations, as
can be seen by the little fellow’s shoddy outfit and the arrow sticking in his beret. Someone tried
to do him in, he has been too outspoken perhaps, the mighty of this world loathe him because he
knows who they are. Which is a reason why the offering of bananas was considered in past times
as heresy and seriously punished.
Lastly it must be mentioned that the sash, the order of the garter and the big egg on the forehead
of our chimpanzee mean little for the time being. He has collected a lot of learned knowledge
about the world’s many facets, but it is so far only gray and lifeless theory and therefore of little
value because they, the many facets, need to be explored less with the intellect and more with the