The Cyclops as Metaphor for the West?
“Except the Chinese who observe with both eyes and the Greeks who observe with only one eye, all the other peoples are blind.” – Babylonian/Manichaeism saying, c. 216-276
“The Greeks only understand theories, but the Chinese are the people who own the technologies.” – Josafa Barbaro, 1474
“Only the Chinese have two eyes, all other mortals are blind.” – Christian Wolff, 1721
“The Chinese eyes, after closing for a while, are now about to open up.” – Ji Xianlin, 2006
The cyclops Polyphemus has become a metaphor for Western civilization and its linear way of reasoning. This imagery of Greek civilization which only understood the theories but failed to see the world as a holistic, interconnected oneness has been brought up in the writings of Ji Xianlin here. Another post on the Western linear way of reasoning opposed to the Eastern holistic one can be found here.
P.S. The picture above shows the monstrous Cyclops in Ray Harryhausen’s film version.