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The Exploration of Ancient Historical Rites, The Control of Nature, and Killing of Divine Kings

featued in Park Cities News, February 14th, 2013

An excellent synopsis of great servant leaders, like the heroes of an odyssey or a classic story, can show how value can be created if one remains disciplined, deep-rooted, time honored and rational even in a conventional world. Yet one must remember that people may resort to the verbose, mistrustful, idle and sometimes cater to illogical operators who seem rash and foolish. Sadly enough, I never cease to be astonished that how few adapt to simple but powerful methods by profiting from great leaders who seem to be somewhat lacking in prudence rather than in acting like sensible human beings. In fact, these individuals forever can be called “outsiders.”

Of course, some very wise people can be termed “outsiders” because they seem to be members of the “precious few.” They can be called those who are able to outstrip, outwit, outsmart, outrun and outdo the merely mediocre and the lackluster. These are the men and women ready to profit from the “outsiders,” those who remain dedicated and willing to outlast the brave quest for a great journey or pilgrimage fit for a heroic, “outsiders,” those who remain courageous victors.

Many of my students have grasped that humanity has progressed from primitive to civilized social structures, from a study of magic and myths to knowledge of ancient rites, rituals, and deep religious beliefs and cults. Morality has eventually stemmed from the rites of priest-kings in a sacred wood or grove. The ancient custom grew after allowing a runaway slave to fight the king and encouraging royalty to yield up its title, or taste a royal dinner, and even sacrifice the king’s life out of sanctity. Ancient society came to help the former slave to emerge as a great warrior or leader as well as to soothe the grief of the slave, who ultimately could celebrate his new status and role in the antique ceremony and permit others to gain charms against evil spirits.

hen day started to decline, the multitude assembled again at the temple, a priest struck up a hymn and the people and at last the sounds of music and revelry broke the silence of the night as amid the centuries the society discovered many myths and talk about the god’s soul, taboos, sexual rites and even great literature and legends. Civilization gradually matured and spirituality grew.

ELISSA SOMMERFIELD is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in English from SMU. She taught English at SMU and in the Dallas County Community College District. For under 30 years, she has conducted classes in SAT and ACT preparation as well as in graduate school exam instruction and study skills. Additionally, she has tutored extensively in most academic areas, the ISEE, the composition of school entrance essays, and editing books. She has served as an SAT and educational consultant for 29 Texas school districts and has authored four books on SATs plus, with Frances Bailey Wood, co-authored and revised one on how to study efficiently. An educational consultant, as well as graduate school, college, and boarding school counselor, she is a member of Independent Educational Consultants Association and Texas Association for College Admissions Counselors. Sommerfield actively maintains her Certified Educational Planner designation and at UT was a Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year.

this information is used with the expressed permission of Park Cities News