Why did these characters have the need to gather up around a divine entity/essence/figure? Why didn’t they laugh and move on when the statue of a goddess became alive in front of them? Why did they took it seriously? (M may “have to” answer in his mind)
It was a strong experience for all of them, and they couldn’t forget it. How does a memory stay alive? Through the feeling that is connected with the experience. That’s how a long term memory is created.
What was/were the feeling(s) connected to that experience within them? (M may answer to this, too)
They search for something, consciously or unconsciously, both as individuals and as a companionship. It doesn’t matter how it’ll be called (The meaning of life, the meaning of “now”, the limits of perception, etc.). What matters is what’s happening while they experience what they experience. The transformations, the procedures they do to understand themselves through understanding the world and others, the way they utilize the co-incidents(the things/persons/happenings that are synchronized with them).
What they experience now has a purpose. And the core essense of a purpose,to me, is always been accomplished during the path towards it. The great accomplishment is being done while trying for the purpose.
“…and if you find her poor, Ithaca won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithacas mean”.
If M stands outside of the emotional part of the atmosphere of the story, observing it from day 1 until now as an external onlooker, what changes/transformations does he see on these characters? Are they exactly the same as they were in the beginning? Do they manage all the situations in the way they did in their life before the beginning of the story? Do they think exactly in the same way as they did before the beginning of their common story? Do they see themselves and life in a wider context? Did a very emotional character “upgrade" his/her critical thinking? Did a rationalist “upgrade” the emotional part a little?
And.. and… and…
It’s sure they can’t live like this (all together on an island, etc.) forever. Their story will be ended of course! But the transformations that will have been done, will be/are immortal.
And then, they may have contact in a different way. They will. But, this cycle, the exact form that has now, will be ended when everyone will need a pause, in order to become aware of the transformations. And I think this ending is going to come after Athena’s initiative. She will have to leave (As a physical appearance) and let “her children” try to stand on their feet, autonomous and free, in order for them to realize that the “teacher” is the means, not the purpose. And she will be next to them, as the invisible lesson in them.
(Maybe she could be appearing now and then, in many forms, through many “messengers”.)