protos means first, as in primordial. Proteus was possibly first called Poroteu in Myceanean greek language. my reflection is that many myths about the creation of the world begins with a sea or body of water. and there's some truth to it. Life began in the water, after all.
Proteus is a prophetic sea god that can change his shape at will. he's a herder of Poseidons seals. Homer called him "the old man of the sea". even if he is able to fortell the future, he is unwilling to, but he never lies. one has to hunt him and he will change shapes to get away. even other Gods had to hunt him to get the truth.
…that reminds me of an old children's tale I've heard about catching a fish who can speak, and says he is the king of the fish. if one will release him, one gets a wish fulfilled. but the wish always makes the wishing party dissatisfied in the end. kind of like how some peoples lives are destroyed when they win the lottery?
to be protean is to be changeable, mutable, versatile, to have flexibility and adaptability.
...personally I take away from it that I should not share my prophecies about the future just yet. And that the Truth might have taken different shapes throughout history. Just like how the myth of the God Proteus became a children's tale about the King of the fish. And Proteus inspires stories still:
The alien character of Prot in the book trilogy by Gene Brewer and played by Kevin Spacey in the movie K-PAX, like Proteus was said to embody, was a modernized "shape shifter" and magical type of advanced mystical ET who "walked in" to humanoid bodies, and shared wisdom and insights into the human condition.I like it! I've actually read the book aswell seen the movie twice. But in Harry Potter, the complex spell Protean Charm is used by Voldemort to communicate with his Death Eaters.