For really serious topics
you need …
… a group discussion.
Sinead (from New York),
Fitzy & I (in NZ),
to drag some
… out into the open.
We shone a torch on
the traumas of
If I say so myself, I think we did a pretty good job.
“I think that we unravelled some patterns of confusion & bullshit … I wanted to hear other people’s opnions & speak my own without sounding weird” ~Sinead
Thanks also to Paulo who’s recent comments helped fuel part of the discussion.
Or listen to our podcast below:
The use of the word ‘‘fool’ in this article comes from the image in this tarot deck & as I’ve been told that a picture paints a thousand words, I set before you an image of a lively, inexperienced youth setting out on the path of adventure.
The baby shows us that there is much to learn. The woman, symbolic of the eons old female role – removed from the path of growth & adventure & tending to the needs of others.
Had we not been mis-led down that path so completely, perhaps millions of fools would not have died.
I use of the word ‘fool’ in this article with respect,
“youthful & inexperienced boys
those who believed their commitment was valued“
as a sneaky little device to trick your mind,
out of it’s programmed belief
‘heroic soldiers & sacrifice‘.
Figures vary, but going by wiki, twenty million people died in ‘The Great War’ of 1914-1918. That’s five times the number of people who live in NZ or one third of the population of the UK – either way my brain can’t comprehend it. Of these, over 9 million were fools:
It may seem like a long time ago, a thing dead & buried, & indeed until my attention was drawn there I thought so too.
British military historian Lyn MacDonald referred to 1915 as:
“the ‘Death of Innocence‘.“
… & indeed the list of atrocities that bombarded the human psyche that year are something we cannot comprehend. A toxicity grasped the world & squeezed the innocence out of it. I believe that war was a ritual of initiation for the events that are unfolding so rapidly today, & that both the human psyche & that of this planet were in some way shattered or fractured back then. We are the descendants of that generation, their stories flow through our veins.
These articles which I have grouped together under the heading of the Sacrifice have taken on a life force of their own. The initial impetus came from being revolted by a statue called …
… ‘the Sacrifice’ in the ANZAC memorial in Sydney. Over the last few weeks I felt a strong tug to look at war memorials of WWI. Before I go further I must say at times I feel like I’ve bitten off more that I can chew on this theme & there’s only so much I can point out, so please feel free to go browsing yourself.
My intuition says that there’s more to war memorials than we have been herded into believing. Prior to WWI, memorials to the ‘military dead’ were very rare indeed. Military successes were sometimes recorded (as in Arc de Triomphe or Nelson’s Column) but the dead fools of old (wars) were simply shovelled en mass into unmarked graves.
I’m told told that war memorials were ‘called for’ after the war, but I’ve been wondering if this was not as it was supposed to be. Looking at the colossal size & scope of some of these memorials leads me to feelings of hypocrisy. One of the ways that today’s media likes to induce guilt, is by labelling us as a throw-away society – well excuse me but… never in human existence was this more truly so than on the the battlefields of WWI, where human beings were today’s equivalent of paper towels – tear off, mop up & throw away.
Mention WWI & most people have a vague knowledge of trench warfare, poppies & names like Flanders & the Somme. Historians talk ‘knowledgeably’ (& endlessly) of battles & tactics – for myself I can only give my humble intuitive opinion that it’s all a mighty load of bollocks. I would call the stupidity of that war criminal, if there wasn’t a sense of ‘planned bungling’, a sense of something …
drawn out …
I got this feeling when I looked at Gallipoli & it turns up again on the ‘Western Front‘.
“If the German command had been able to choose a single stretch of their five-hundred mile front on which to beat an Allied offensive, they would have chosen to meet it on the Somme where their line was virtually impregnable.” ~Lyn MacDonald (Historian)
If WWI was a ritual of initiation or sacrifice on a worldwide scale then it needed to be brutal, prolonged & savage enough to carve a deep wedge into both the human psyche & that of the land. After the war what better way to keep that wedge open than with huge monuments placed on the sites of horrific bloodshed, their sheer size & magnitude an ongoing thorn in a raw wound.
The Great War saw the advent of ‘technology’ on the battlefield – machine guns, devastating fire power & poison gas, enough to mop up (kitchen towel analogy) thousands of fools in minutes & decimate the land.
The fields of Belgium & France were force fed a diet of the blood & bones.
A belief found in many societies throughout history, is that the soul of a person remains in their bones after death. They were considered sacred & believed to have great power –
“Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.“
The care & tending of bones was of great concern;
“8:1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:
8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.”
Wandering around the internet further I found mention of Assyrian Kings who would hold the bones of their enemies up to sunlight as the worst possible punishment that could be inflicted on them. From earliest times bones have been used as amulets & charms & for magic.
So I have been wondering if our ancestors understood bones a lot better than we do, & if the soul really could reside within them. Who’s to say that we do actually shuffle off this mortal coil, perhaps we sleep within our bones & merely dream of bright lights, tunnels & pearly gates…
I think the blood & in particular the bones of a generation of fools impregnate the lands where they died, with vibrations of fear, hate & anguish. So is it by accident that a great portion of these are embedded in Belgium which houses the seat of both the European Union and NATO. Indeed Belgium has been called the Cockpit of Europe because more battles have been fought there than any other country – there is perhaps a great deal more to this area than we currently understand.
Lets take a look at some WWI memorials that we have been commanded to honour.
This little beauty (I’m joking) is the Douaumont Ossuary in France. A memorial that contains the bones of 130,000 unidentified French & German fools who died on the battlefield during the Battle of Verdun. The erection in the centre is colossal.
The Battle of Verdun lasted for 300 days during 1916. It was considered the greatest & lengthiest battle in the history of the world, fought on an area less of than ten square kilometres & causing over 700,000 causalities (dead, wounded, missing) – that’s a lot of kitchen towels.
“Through small windows [in the ossuary], the remains of unidentified soldiers can actually be seen filling small, windowed alcoves around the edge of the building…The tower is 46 meters high and has a panoramic view of the battlefields. The cloister is 137 meters long and contains 42 alcoves. The tower contains a death-bell, ‘Bourdon de la Victoire’, which is sounded at official ceremonies and the lantern of the death (WTF) which shines on the battlefields” (wiki).
Does this perchance sound a little ritualistic – I know I would not wish a the skeleton of a fool I had loved, to lie in this closet.
War memorials are big business now, there are companies who specialise in tours ‘a la sacrifice’… please note the only charge for this trip is a mind that is willing to wonder.
Our next stop is the British Menin Gate Memorial located at the eastern exit of the town of Ypres (now called Ieper).
Ypres interested me. The town was decimated. In truth I think it deserves a whole article on it’s own, but for now this must suffice. I wondered about this town being expunged from the face of the earth. Something about the the Cloth Hall cried out for attention.
“Over 5000 years ago the Egyptians named it [linen] “woven moonlight“, due to its very singular beauty… Art works from that time depict the progression from the harvesting to the treating of flax, to retting, hackling etc as a sequence of ceremonial actions. Linen was considered to be a symbol of purity.”
“In Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” the Egyptian goddess Isis is addressed as dea linigera which means the Linen Goddess. The linigeri (wearers of linen) were the priests belonging to the Isis cult in Rome” Link
“The truly gigantic Cloth Hall overlooks the Market Square, the political and economic heart of Ypres.“
So we could perhaps say that the Cloth Hall was the goddess heart of Ypres. I think the land itself in Belgium & Northern France is somehow very important.
There were three Battles of Ypres, and as any good little follower of fairy tales knows, three is the magic number – the hero/heroine is the third offspring & must overcome three obstacles to achieve their destiny. The third Battle of Ypres is also known as Passchendaele, perhaps re-calling to mind the Passion of Christ (& echoing his threefold temptation by Satan & his thricely denial by Peter).
“At 125 meters in breadth, with a 70-meter-high belfry tower, the Cloth Hall recalls the importance and wealth of the medieval trade city … In less enlightened times, cats, … were thrown off the belfry for reasons that are not clearly understood. Today, a jester commemorates this act by tossing stuffed toy felines from the tower during the triennial Cat Festival”
“Friday the 13th …is actually the High Holy day of the goddess Frigga … On Friday the 13th she came down and gave a coven of 12 Northern Witches a cat so their coven would total 13“
“And Frigga, Isis, Mary are merely names
Transient veils of the hallowed womb”
Interesting then to also find the the patron of Ypres is Our Lady (Mary) of Thuyne (a sort of palisade fort) – bringing Mary, together with Isis & Frigga in the town of Ypres.
To return to the Menin Gate Memorial, we find it is a triumphal arch built at the eastern exit of Ypres, one of the main roads to the front line. It was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, built by the British Govt & opened in 1927. It’s inner walls are encrusted with the names of over 50,000 missing fools.
On completion, we are told, the Menin Gate was found to be too small to contain all the names of the missing & so an “arbitrary cut-off point of 15 August 1917” was declared. 15th August coincidentally being the feast day of the Assumption of Mary aka Our Lady of Thuyne/Isis/Frigga.
Every evening at 8.00pm since 1928 (apart from the German Occupation during WWII) traffic is stopped & buglers play the Last Post.
That’s one hell of a remembering.
Introducing that absolute ‘must have‘ for all Rememberance services – the blood red poppy, seen here pouring through the roof of Menin Gate – did they fall or were they pushed?
The Menin Gate is just one of many memorials whose walls contain the names of tens of thousands of fools whose bodies were never found – yet I wonder how much that matters symbolically? In Romeo & Juliet, the fated heroine learns that there is a lot more to a name than she originally thought …
… a name does matter.
Our ancestors may have been a whole lot wiser than we are allowed to be today. There were many societies who believed that to know the name of someone was to ‘have power over them‘, ‘to know something intimate about them’. For this reason people often had two names, one they were known by & a sacred name they kept to themselves.
Because names are oft repeated – how many people do you know called say Tom, Dick (I think that one is probably dying out) or Harry? Likewise with surnames – Smith, Jones, Robinson? So it’s quite likely that one or both of your names are recorded on memorial walls somewhere in the world. I can’t help but wonder how much the energy of our names are hijacked or used as just one more method of control. To check the power of a name just notice your reactions when you hear someone call out your name, even if they are not referring to you. Names are magic:
“Isis had decided that she would find out the secret name of her father Re, the sungod … To know his name would bring her equal power to him“
Ok everyone back on board & lets head to Vimy Ridge
Twin Towers errr sorry I mean the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
This vast memorial inscription commemorates 66,000 fools who did not return to their homes at the end of the war.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on 9th April, 1917 which was Easter Monday & in true Easter timing it ran for 3 days. It was a military offensive against the German Sixth Army.
The names of 11,285 fools whose bodies were never recovered are carved into the walls & the same number of Canadian trees & shrubs are planted in the 250 acres of land that surrounds the monument. It took 11 years to build. It rests on 11,000 tonnes of concrete. The towering pylons & twice life-size statues contain almost 6,000 tonnes of limestone which took one year to transport …The pylons are each 30 metres high.
Behind all those interesting numbers lies a strange dream by its Canadian sculptor, Walter Seymour Allward –
“he dreamed the Great Memorial well before the government competition was announced. He saw the huge twin pillars commemorating those who spoke French and those who spoke English, the allegorical figures with downcast or uplifted faces, and in the valley beneath the work of art, the flesh and bones and blood of the dead stirring in the mud. And then the dead themselves emerged like terrible naked flowers, pleading for a memorial to the disappeared, the vanished ones… those who were unrecognizable and unsung. The ones earth had eaten, as if her appetite were insatiable; as if benign nature had developed a carnal hunger, a yawning mouth, a sinkhole capable of swallowing, forever, one-third of those who had fallen. A messy burial without a funeral, without even a pause in the frantic slaughter.“
In one of the innumerable books I’ve browsed through over the last few weeks I found a strange statue of a half naked women in an unusual pose. I was rather surprised because of the amount of holier than thou material I’d waded through regarding sacrifice & I found it hard to link …
… this image, with that.
Further browsing lead to more images, this one …
… is France apparently…
while this lady …
… “Canada Mourning”, is so deeply upset she fails to notice the downward drift of her nightdress.
“It has been suggested that the statue is a reference to traditional images of Mater Dolorosa (the Virgin Mary in mourning)“
May I suggest the word ‘bollocks’?
I think the likliehood of a woman mourning like these images is pretty slim – I’d give it about the same odds as a guy getting his tackle out a a funeral. For me it reinforces the idea that these memorials are so ‘sacred’ that no one even thinks to question what might be behind them.
I’m sure there are many who would inform me that this is art, but these statues make me uncomfortable. I’m sure that had they lived, the majority of the 66,000 fools, would have thoroughly enjoyed these statues. But this is about sacrifice & gruesome death & I have to wonder what the sum of grief, guilt (inspired by memorials) & sexual arousal might be?
What energies might it attract?
You may recognise this visitor from 2nd June, 1940
Interesting little read here.
That ends the voyeristic part of the tour. We head now to the Somme for the last leg of this journey.
In an incident reminiscent of celebrations-kicked-off with-a-fireworks-extravaganza, the Battle of the Somme was ushered in at 7.28am on 1st July, 1916 by what was at the time, the two biggest manmade explosions in history. One of these, Lochnagar Crater, was created by 60,000 lbs of Ammonal explosive –
“The whole earth heaved and flashed, a tremendous and magnificent column rose up in the sky. There was an ear-splitting roar drowning all the guns, flinging the machine sideways in the repercussing air. The earth column rose higher and higher to almost 4,000 feet. There it hung, or seemed to hang, for a moment in the air, like the silhouette of some great cypress tree, then fell away in a widening cone of dust and debris.” – 2nd Lieutenant C.A.Lewis
Lochnagar Crater is one of the few remaining visible wounds to the land.
It is a massive 300 feet wide & 90 feet deep.
It attracts 300,000 visitors a year.
I find this image disturbing –
just what energy is being ‘re-called‘?
The last & largest Memorial to the Missing on this tour, is Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
A massive arched structure that dominates the local countryside. Made from bricks & stone in a colour combination I seem to be finding with more & more frequency – red & white.
Unveiled in 1932.
Actually I wonder what that is about – this concept of unveiling – & if we should not perhaps read that in the opposite way – a symbol of the wool being pulled over our eyes, rather than lifted.
Being ignorant of architecture, I must defer to the more knowledgable who seem to concur that it is an amazing structure:
“When viewed on one of the principal axes, the Thiepval Memorial can be appreciated as a composition of open arches, yet when seen from an angle, up close, it seems intimidatingly solid, with cubic masses of masonry building up on alternate axes to create a vast, pyramid-like structure” ~Gavin Stamp (The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme)
“From other angles, however, it resembles a pyramid or ziggurat“
“The most famous ziggurat is, of course, the “tower of Babel“
Thiepval’s walls hold the names/souls of around 73,000 fools whose bodies were never found.
In front of the Memorial lie 600 graves –300 crosses for French fools & 300 gravestones for the English. It was opened on the 31st July 1932 – the same date that saw the grand opening of Passcehndaele in 1917 – the death/feast day of St Ignatius Loyola.
One thing that bothers me about these memorials is the time, planning & expense that went into them, when the lives of millions of fools were throw-away – since using the paper towel analogy earlier in this article, I have not been able to use them without thinking of those so ‘liberally sacrificed’.
The whole ‘memorial thing‘ began, I’m told, with a man with a long name – Major General Sir Fabian Arthur Goulstone Ware, KCVO, KBE, CB, CMB founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), to record the whereabouts of graves:
“As the war continued, Ware became concerned about the fate of the graves after the war. With the help of the (then) Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1917, he submitted a memorandum on the subject to the Imperial War Conference. On 21 May 1917, the Imperial War Graves Commission was created by a Royal Charter, with the Prince of Wales as its President and Ware as its Vice-Chairman“
The IWGC recruited three of the most eminent archtiects of the day to design it memorials & cemetries:
- Sir Edwin Lutyens (Thiepval, The Cenotaph at Whitehall)
- Sir Reginald Blomfield (Menin Gate)
- Sir Herbert Baker.
I feel that knighting grants royalty, an ownership of the knightee (as well as their achievements) – that would make war memorials the property of the crown. Where would that leave the names or bones of the fools?
These men created huge memorials plus the standard form of military cemetery.
The rectangular headstones so well known these days were the creation of Lutyens. He also envisioned the altar-like‘Stone of Rememberance – found in all the best Commonwealth cemetries:
“that it shall take the form of one great fair stone of fine proportions, twelve feet in length, lying raised upon three steps, of which the first and third shall be twice the length of the second; and that each stone shall bear in indelible lettering, some fine thought or words of dedication“(from the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme-Gavin Stamp).
Sounds like rather jehovian proportions to me.
There was a (human) outcry against the cruelty of not letting families have a say in the burials of their loved ones – in fact the exhumation of bodies from foreign lands was prohibited. A heated parliamentary debate in May 1920 crushed all opposition when it was decided that once a man had enlisted, his body, alive or dead, belonged to the King.
The Cross of Sacrifice was designed to add an apparent Christian element to what was perceived by some as rather pagan memorials & cemetries.
If you’ve made it thus far thanks for sticking with me.
I first got interested in War Memorials when I saw the Sacrifice at the ANZAC memorial in Sydney.
There are some things in this world that have been painted so ‘sacred‘ that we see them only as we are told to. Well now I’ve opened my eyes enough to look at memorials & what they symbolise & why they’re there. It’s really a huge topic & I can only touch on a few right now without wearing out my keyboard & your goodwill.
We have learned our history lessons well – a convincing thread has been woven through the last hundred years & tied with a bloody bow. We are told of man’s inhumanity to man & we’ve been given memorials to remind us ‘lest we forget’. Our neighbours are forever a threat to us, the savage nature of the human simmers just below the surface.
We’ve also been told that it was the World Wars that allowed women new freedoms & responsibilites – I’m going to suggest differently.
Long before WWI, women were starting to open their eyes & seek a needed freedom. The women’s sufrage movement began around the mid 1800’s. Now because men & women belong to the same human race, an awakening in one sex would surely have coincided with some change in the other. It is my suggestion that WWI & its partner WWII were at least partly created to delay & warp the partnership of the sexes which is striving to manifest in these times.
War memorials carry the masculine energy of hundreds of thousands of fools – could it be that they are energetically plugged into the ‘earth mother’ to keep open a wound male v female that needs to heal?
In the book Divine Beauty by John O’Donohue, he suggests that the landscape, the first beauty of the earth ‘has been waiting for centuries for the recognition & witness of the human eye‘. He quotes Rilke:
“Perhaps we are here in order to say: house
bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window…
To say them more intensely than the Things themselves
Ever dreamed of existing“
“How can we ever know the difference we make to the soul of the earth? Where the infinite stillness of the earth meets the passion of the human eye, invisible depths strain towards the mirror of the name. In the word, the earth breaks silence. It has waited a long time for the word. Concealed beneath familiarity & silence, the earth holds back & it never occurs to us to wonder how the earth sees us. Is it possible that a place could have a huge affection for those who dwell there?…We tend to think of death as a return to clay, a victory for nature. But maybe it is the converse: that when you die your native place will fill with sorrow.“
Are these not beautiful thoughts. If O’Donohue is right I would surmise that the architects of war & suffering understand these ideas all too well, & that partnership of land & human (just as with human & human) must be repelled at all costs in order to retain their bloody control.
When originally writing this article I lost half of it – it left me literally shocked. I know that you who are reading this will have suffered far greater traumatic shocks in your life, somewhere I have read that shocks cause lesions in the brain – you know how it feels & you know the importance of recovering from it. What would four years of incalculable shocks have done to our great grandparents & the earth they lived in?
World War I is really outside the awareness of most of us who are alive now. It has been transformed via movies, historic ‘fact’ & the industry of Rememberance into an heroic myth. Coincidentally (yeah right) other great changes happened at the same time. 1917 saw the Russian Revolution, another radical destruction & rebirth & the US became a new focal point of the world… and last but not least one of the greatest inventions for the control of humanity was taking it’s baby steps towards meglomania – the movie industry.
I really don’t know whether 2012 is worth the hype, but certainly control is the game now & there is the feeling of a rush towards a final showdown – if this is the case then I think the titles WWI & WWII are a tad misleading and in fact what we’ve been experiencing is more like a ‘hundred years war‘ that began in 1914.
I leave you with thought from Divine Beauty:
“Fashioned from clay, we carry the memory of the earth. Ancient, forgotten things stir within our hearts, memories from the time before the mind was born. Within us are depths that keep watch“
~ ~ ~
This is an updated version of an article I wrote a couple of years ago. Tomorrow, in New Zealand, it is ANZAC Day – our ‘Memorial Day’ – as all the poppy propaganda appeared in the streets I mulled over the idea of re-posting. A skype comment left by my friend & country-mate Fitzy today, decided me:
“ANZAC day tomorrow. Idiots will celebrate feeding babies to a demon, yay! How fucking patriotic. Drives me nuts“
I double-checked that it was ok to use Fitzy’s words …
[10:31:22 p.m.] Alex Robinson: you feeling brave?
[10:32:03 p.m.] fitzy: Not lately. Apathetic maybe…
[10:32:18 p.m.] Alex Robinson: gonna throw you under the bus
[10:32:36 p.m.] fitzy: Awesome. Sounds great.
[10:33:24 p.m.] Alex Robinson: check this out then
[10:33:32 p.m.] fitzy: Will it hurt?
[10:33:42 p.m.] Alex Robinson: its … dangerous
[10:33:48 p.m.] Alex Robinson: “This is an updated version of an article I wrote a couple of years ago. Tomorrow, in New Zealand, it is ANZAC Day – our ‘Memorial Day’. As all the poppy propaganda appeared in the streets I mulled over the idea of re-posting. A skype comment left by my friend & country-mate Fitzy today, decided me:
ANZAC day tomorrow. Idiots will celebrate feeding babies to a demon, yay! How fucking patriotic. Drives me nuts”
[10:34:07 p.m.] fitzy: Yep. I stand by that.
[10:34:12 p.m.] Alex Robinson: cool & groovy
[10:34:21 p.m.] Alex Robinson: we’ll go down together so to speak
[10:34:29 p.m.] fitzy: Neat!
[10:34:37 p.m.] Alex Robinson: :)
[10:34:43 p.m.] fitzy: What species venerates war?
“Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
This first saying of Jesus on the cross is traditionally called “The Word of Forgiveness“. It is theologically interpreted as Jesus’ prayer for forgiveness for those who were crucifying him“
Did Jesus have to forgive those who ‘nailed him’
because the case for the
would never have stood up
in a court of law?
“the crucifixion was the plan of salvation because … God had set certain crucial conditions in place that ordained that this was to be the way salvation would be accomplished …
… His foreknowledge of these events of the crucifixion were already revealed through divine revelation to the Prophets and were recorded in Sacred Scripture“
Why is the Christian religion obsessed with forgiveness?
“Luke 7:47-48 “…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her …
… “Your sins are forgiven.” (Jesus speaking to the accusers and the woman caught in adultery)”
“Your sins …
… are forgiven.” (Jesus speaking to the thief on the cross)”
“Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”
“Mark 2:7-11 … “Why does this man use such words?” they said; “He is blaspheming. Who can pardon sins but One–that is, God?“… Jesus asked them, “Which is easier?–to say to this paralytic, ‘Your sins are pardoned,’ …
… or to say, ‘Rise, take up your mat, and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins”…”
“Luke 6:37 “… Forgive, and you will be forgiven“.”
“Mat 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”
“Luke 17:3-5 “… If your brother offends you, take him to task about it, and if he is sorry, forgive him. Yes, if he wrongs you seven times in one day and turns to you and says, ‘I am sorry’ seven times, you must forgive him”
“Eph 4:31-32 Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you“
You know it’s funny, but looked at from a different angle,
the Bible might appear as
a kind of …
oscillating system …
Great trauma / ‘battery’
(created by God)
(bestowed by God).
Why might that be?
Is something being generated?
Let’s get technically-electrically & religiously incorrect & have a bit of fun:
“battery 1530s, “action of battering,” … from O.Fr. baterie (12c.) “beating, thrashing, assault,” …. Extension to “electrical cell” (1748, Ben Franklin)”
“The soldiers having received orders to scourge Jesus Christ, fall furiously upon Him … yet He rejoices to shed so much blood, to suffer agony so unspeakable, to give us incontestable proofs of the greatness of His love for us, and to show us the enormity of sin”
“… interesting physics experiments … the KAPAGEN device … getting it to produce more energy than what goes into it … using an oscillating circuit to create resonance“
“In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate … when a system is able to store and easily transfer energy …
… [as] in the case …
‘To err is human, …
… to forgive divine.’
There is a truth in this“
“Basically, the reason Jesus had to die for our sins …
… was so that we could be forgiven“
“The principle is that there is a certain parasite capacitance between coil windings, which stores a certain amount of energy. By winding the coil … you get substantial bigger voltage differences…
… and therefore more energy is being stored in these parasite/self capacitances”
“Remember, the holy God cannot let sin go unpunished … He kept His promise to send and sacrifice the perfect …
… Lamb to bear the sins of those who trust in Him. Jesus had to die because He is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sins“
“a device both self sufficient (self feeding) and producing ready to use electric energy … The present invention receives energy externally only at …
… [the] first starting phase“
“Herein lies the beauty of God’s perfect plan: God Himself provided the only sacrifice (Jesus) who could …
… atone for the sins of His people“
“As long as the device is not shut down or no problem occurred inside …
… the device generates energy consistently“
“In other words, this forgiveness stuff should be expected as normal and intuitive for Christians …
… For the way of forgiveness should be “second nature” for those born again”
“Although Tesla was not the first to discover …
… resonance he was obsessed with it and created some of the most incredible demonstrations of it ever seen … an artificial earthquake, numerous artificial lightning storms“
Dan Brown gave modern fame to a bygone satirist in his Leonardic cypher:
“In London lies a knight a Pope interred.
His labor’s fruit a Holy wrath incurred“
Bloody hell is there no end to heavenly spite? The first line of attack alludes to the non-pontifical Alexander Pope:
“The English poet Alexander Pope is regarded as one of the finest poets and satirists … of the … mid-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century … and one of the major influences on English literature“
A quick reminder:
Satire ~ “wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly”
“Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon“
With that in mind lets re-consider the uber-familiar quote penned by this master satirist:
“To err is human; to forgive, divine“
Well semi-penned …
(Apparently) “Pope didn’t coin the phrase “to err is human.” That’s the traditional English translation of the ancient Latin proverb “Errare humanum est.” However, by adding “to forgive, divine” to this old saying, he created a famous quotation that is still commonly used, adapted and spoofed today“
A good while ago I came to a conclusion that I have still not found a better conclusion for.
That forgiveness is bollocks.
I have tried many times in my life to ‘forgive’ … & constantly failed. This is at least partly due to the irrational equation:
That’s never going to add up.
Let’s suggest another perspective:
You never forgive,
You simply move on.
You move on because there is now something else
that you desire more than the
pain, agony or grudging that comes with re-living
a certain event / experience.
I went for a walk today to ponder how to continue this article.
I ‘tried out’ forgiveness from different angles – to see what I might be missing – but every angle turned to dust.
I saw the condescension of the “forgiver” & I wondered what right have we got to forgive anyone?
Indeed how is that even possible?
Any event done to us cannot be undone. The ‘perpetrator’ will never feel what we feel – it is forever an intimate & private experience. We are left to deal with our own emotions.
And that will continue until something stronger calls our attention / desire.
Forgiveness appears to be the old trick of trying to ‘get rid’ of something – ‘wrong’ / unacceptable emotions or perhaps the taint upon our idealised image caused by rage.
The work of healing requires ‘real’ work –
that of designing new / alternate desires
to initiate the …
… construction of new paths
(as opposed to dodging corpses on old ones).
Forgiveness has also been aimed at our miserable, sinning selves – we must face our ‘awfulness’ & learn to ‘forgive’ ourselves’. Jesus christ what a load of bull shit we have swallowed!
Most of us will always be harder on ourselves than on anyone else in our lives. The likelihood of us ever really ‘forgiving ourselves’ would get the same odds as Jesus turning up with cake & wine on your birthday – actually the wine might not be a problem.
To err is HUMAN.
It’s how we learn & always have.
So what the hell is forgiveness doing by denying that?
We fuck up, we are designed to. That’s how we are able to more accurately map out our world. Through making any necessary amends we further teach ourselves & each other what does & doesn’t work.
When we are not frightened to death of it, fucking up offers great gifts & benefits (as long as we don’t fuck them up with forgiveness).
“mercy late 12c., “God’s forgiveness of his creatures’ offenses“.“
When did it become a crime to be human? A crime to learn through personal experience?
I went looking for a phrase or two from one of my favourite human beings – one who is not afraid of learning. I found a sumptuous meal of sanity & so am leaving you with ‘real’ tasty chunks. Obviously if Jesus turns up making apologies & bearing cake & wine don’t feel you have to stay.
But if not, why not say ‘fuck forgiveness’ & try these …
… thought-paths on for size & sanity …
“we can transcend the consequences we have put into motion. Cause and effect are suspended … The past, no matter what it has been, is no longer a dynamic that must play itself out. Not only do we recognize the past is over, it is no longer at issue.
Karma … is the notion that [you] cannot move ahead unless you resolve the past … Grace is something else entirely. Grace (transcendence) supersedes the past. Past actions no longer need to be accounted for.
It’s not as if the past never happened. You simply do not need to do anything about it. The dynamic that compels us to want to resolve open issues, unsettled experiences, unanswered questions, is gone …
… The train has switched to another track.
The transcendent principle in this story is this: You want to come home to yourself… yet there is a part of you that seeks “to remain in the principle of consequences,” so as to resolve the past. Within transcendence, the past no longer needs resolution, even while it remains unresolved.
One cannot “earn” transcendence. Robert Frost called it “Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.” No matter what the past has been, no matter what consequences you have set in motion, you can start again, as if life is saying to you, “Okay, take two. Let us try that thing again.”
Transcendence is not overcoming the past because the past is no longer at issue, no matter what it has been.
This is a hard notion to get, in a similar way it is hard for some people to easily accept a gift they feel they didn’t deserve. So, the irony is that, while there is nothing you can do to evoke transcendence, you do have to learn how to accept it as a gift.
Why might people reject a possibility to begin anew? Because they feel the need to “resolve” the past, to somehow make it right. Neither Scrooge nor the Prodigal [Son] needed to resolve their past, and had they tried to do so, they wouldn’t have succeeded. Both were given a new chance in which the consequences they had set in motion in the past no longer needed to be played out.
… you are in a position to initiate new actions which are aimed toward new desired outcomes. This is why mastering the mechanics of the creative process is so important” ~Robert Fritz
This article is a creative endeavour.
Enjoyment, healthy speculation
& an enquiry into …
… cereal murder.
“The myth of Demeter & Persephone is one of the most perplexing of all Greek myths“
The myth in brief:
While out admiring flowers, a young girl/woman (Persephone) is raped / abducted …
… by her uncle Hades/Pluto
(god of underworld).
Her grief-stricken mother Demeter, searches for her daughter while ignoring her role as goddess of fertility / the harvest …
– thus the earth begins to die.
Zeus, king of the gods (also Persephone’s father & accessory to the abduction), intervenes & a deal is struck whereby Persephone returns …
… to spend part of every year
with her mother
& the rest of the time
she lives in the underworld as …
… queen of the dead.
“In ancient times the story was interpreted as an agricultural allegory … However, this allegorical interpretation does not correspond with the facts of Greek agriculture … probably we should reject the allegorical approach & search for other ways to understand the myth” Classical Myth ~Barry B. Powell
Many moons ago, I was introduced to the Eleusinian Mysteries by Devin from My Favorite Monsters:
“The Eleusinian Mysteries,
held annually in honor of …
were the most sacred and revered of all the ritual celebrations
of ancient Greece … the true nature of the Mysteries remains
shrouded in uncertainty because … [to] violate that
oath of secrecy
… capital offense“
It was the name of the room that these mysteries took place in that initiated the play that follows because;
Telesterion sounded so much like ‘television‘ & Eleusinian so much like ‘illusion‘. …
Let’s see what happens
when we mix them together.
“Ancient writers unanimously indicate that something was seen in the great telesterion …
… or initiation hall within the sanctuary … The experience was a vision … What was witnessed there was no play by actors,
but phasmata, …
… ghostly apparitions …
The Greeks were sophisticated about drama and it is highly unlikely that they could have been duped by some kind of theatrical trick, especially since it is people as intelligent as the poet Pindar and the tragedian Sophocles who have testified to the …
… overwhelming value
of what was seen at Eleusis.
There were physical symptoms, moreover, that accompanied the vision … Then there came the vision, a sight amidst an aura of brilliant light that suddenly flickered through the darkened chamber …
… Eyes had never before seen the like …
the experience itself was incommunicable …
The division between earth and sky melted …
… into a pillar of light“
Let’s see what the critical Ebertian’s of the day had to say:
“Within this hall, the mystics were
made to experience the most …
… bloodcurdling sensations of horror
and the most enthusiastic
… ecstasy of joy” ~ Aristeides
“I came out of the mystery hall
feeling like …
… a stranger to myself” ~ Sopatos
“In the most sacred Mysteries before the
scene of the mystic visions…
… there is terror infused
over the minds of the initiated“ ~ Proclus
“dread … and desire
for this …
… mystical telos” ~ Aeschylus
“…all of these terrible things, …
panic and shivering
and sweat” ~ Plutarch
“They cause sympathy of the souls with the ritual in a way that is unintelligible to us, and divine, so that some of the initiands are stricken with panic being filled with divine awe; others assimilate themselves to the holy symbols, …
… leave their own identity, become at home with the gods, and experience divine possession.” ~ Proclus
Demeter may have a lot more prominence in the Western world than is currently acknowledged. I’m not vouching for the following quotes but they do add seasoning to our dish du jour:
“The Goddess of Liberty was known in antiquity to the Greeks …
… as Demeter and the Romans as Ceres“
“She is represented by the symbols of
corn, scepter …
… and torch“
“Ceres/Demeter was a favorite of colonial Masons perhaps because the Greek Mystery school tradition centered around her torch lit search of the underworld. The torch bearing goddess Ceres ...
… was adopted as a symbol of freedom by the Freemasons of France, whence came this mythic gift to America”
“Ceres rules the nation’s soul, she is the torch bearing statue of Liberty, the mother goddess who descends into the underworld in search of her daughter …
… Ceres with her torch has special rulership of New York City. As the Goddess Gaia, Ceres ultimately has rulership of the world“
Now that’s a big claim to make … or is it?
“She was the only one of the Greek goddesses who was involved on a day-to-day basis in the lives of the common folk“
“She taught mankind the art of sowing and ploughing so they could …
… end their nomadic existence.
As such, Demeter was also the goddess of planned society“
Civilisation & all the
controls benefits it confers can only be enforced awarded when the people stay put.
Might we be forgiven for wondering if
a/the major reason
for the creation of any civilisation
lies in it being a fertile breeding ground
for religion / gods?
Certainly a major outcome of staying put appears to the development of elaborate methods of worship.
If the West is a
cult of Demeter,
then just where might we expect to find
“Led upward by the God of ghosts and dreams
Who laid thee at Eleusis, …
… dazed and dumb“
“Demeter presented Triptolemus with her chariot drawn by winged dragons, and, giving him some grains of …
… corn, desired him to journey through the world, teaching mankind…”
“Embodiments of the goddess Liberty in the United States of America include Colombia, …
… which is yet another personification of the goddess Liberty“
If Hollywood is a modern Eleusis, we should certainly expect to find ‘tales-of–Persephones‘ being dragged / lured down into other worlds …
“Dorothy awakens to find the house being carried away by the tornado. After it falls back to earth, she opens the door …
… and finds herself alone in a strange village“
There have been suggestions that drugs were used to create the visions at Eleusis, but Demeter is not what you’d call psycho active:
“It seems probable that the Great Mother Goddess, who bore the names Rhea and Demeter, brought the poppy with her from her Cretan cult to Eleusis”
“For the Greeks, Demeter was still a poppy goddess,
Bearing sheaves and poppies in both hands. — Idyll vii.157”
“[Demeter] bears a sheaf of wheat-ears in one hand and a lighted torch in the other. The wheat-ears are not unfrequently replaced by a bunch…
… of poppies, with which her brows are also (judy) garlanded,
though sometimes she merely wears a simple riband in her hair“
The Eleusinian Mysteries seems to have been an external affair, rather than embodied experience – the audience was shown things:
“Most scholars believe … that the Mysteries comprised three main components, known as the deiknymena (“things shown“), the legomena (“things said“), and the dromena (“things done“) …
… The dramatic intensity of this pageant, heightened (in all probability) by music and chanted invocations of the gods, would surely have created an awe-inspiring spectacle“
Oopsr … perhaps I was a little hasty when I claimed that Demeter was not Psycho active:
“The crane, in particular, was considered to be the herald of Demeter”
“Sacred to her [Demeter] are livestock and agricultural products, poppy, narcissus and the crane“
Just in case you’ve never been formerly introduced, meet Marion Crane.
“Marion is like Persephone of Greek mythology, who is abducted temporarily from the world of living. The myth does not sustain with Marion, who dies hopelessly in her room at the Bates Motel. The room is wallpapered with floral print like Persephone’s flowers …“
Actually I’m quite ok with saying that the myth ‘does sustain’ – when looked at from a larger angle. Marion may be dragged down to the underworld for eternity, but her alter ego Janet Leigh, keeps coming back.
Two years after her last shower, she returns to put the wind up Sopatos:
“I came out of the mystery hall feeling like a stranger to myself”
Because the murder of Marion Crane is pivotal to the Eleusian Mysteries that we’ve been conned into calling entertainment, we shall linger here a little while longer, especially considering:
“… the poppy goddess is perhaps a representation of the goddess as the bringer of sleep or death”
“Marion Crane: [nervously] Yes. Uh… I didn’t intend to sleep so long. I almost had an accident last night, from sleepiness. So I decided to pull over.
Highway Patrol officer: You slept here all night?
Marion Crane: Yes. As I said, I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Highway Patrol officer: There are plenty of motels in this area. You should’ve… I mean, just to be safe.
Marion Crane: I didn’t intend to sleep all night! I just pulled over“
Hmmm … let’s play Demeter’s …
… theme tune.
“Papaver rhoeas (common names include corn poppy, corn rose, field poppy, Flanders poppy, … is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae. This poppy, a native of Europe, is notable as … a symbol of fallen soldiers”
“Psycho was shot on a tight budget … beginning on …
… November 11, 1959
ending on February 1, 1960“
“Imbolc … is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is celebrated on 1 or 2 February“
“An old Scottish rhyme tells us that this is the time when Bride emerges from the Earth, just as in the … Eleusinian mysteries, the goddess Persephone came out of the underworld and Spring returned once more”
“The making of the Corn Maiden is another important aspect of Imbolc“
“Both the leads, Perkins and Leigh, were given freedom to interpret their roles and improvise as long as it did not involve moving the camera. An example of Perkins’s improvisation is Norman’s habit of munching on candy corn“
In playing with anagrams of Marion Crane’s name, one phrase stood out:
Marion Crane = “In a corn mare‘
Believe it or not, that’s not as weird as it first sounds:
“Another aspect of Demeter, was known as the Aganippe “the Mare who destroys mercifully“, a black winged horse worshiped by certain cults“
In our friendly, incestuous court of Greek gods it should come as no surprise that Demeter was lusted after by her brother Poseidon. To escape him she changed into a mare. Poseidon, using the male fortitude reserved for lust-satiation found her, transformed himself into a stallion …
… & jumped on board.
“Outraged by Poseidon, Demeter was literally furious (Demeter Erinys) at the assault, but washed away her anger in the River Ladon… “In her alliance with Poseidon,” Karl Kerenyi noted, “she was Earth, who bears plants and beasts, and could therefore assume the shape of an ear of corn or a mare.”
“SOMETIMES the corn-spirit appears in the shape of a horse or mare … when the corn bends before the wind, they say, “There runs the Horse.” … In Hertfordshire, at the end of the reaping … The last blades of corn left standing on the field are tied together and called the Mare. ~The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
Sorry did you think Psycho was entertainment?
“The murder of Janet Leigh’s character in the shower is the film’s pivotal scene and one of the best known scenes in cinema history … The scene “runs 3 minutes and includes 50 cuts” … The combination of the close shots with their short duration makes the sequence feel more subjective … an example of the technique Hitchcock described as “transferring the menace from the screen into the mind of the audience“.”
It was not.
“The shower scene in which Marion is killed is considered one of the most …
… stunning and horrifying scenes of all time …
The scene is highly unique, as
the camera becomes the knife“
Psycho was a full on Eleusinian Mystery crafted by a …
… grand master
“Leigh and Hitchcock fully discussed what the scene meant:
Marion had decided to go back to Phoenix, come clean, and take the consequence, so when she stepped into the bathtub it was as if she were stepping into the baptismal waters. The spray beating down on her was purifying the corruption from her mind, purging the evil from her soul. She was like a virgin again, tranquil, at peace“
Act ii: Enter Hades.
“Psycho has been called “the first psychoanalytical thriller. The sex and violence in the film were unlike anything previously seen in a mainstream film. “[T]he shower scene is both feared and desired,” wrote French film critic Serge Kaganski. “Hitchcock may be scaring his female viewers out of their wits, but he is turning his male viewers into potential rapists, since Janet Leigh has been turning men on ever since she appeared in her brassiere in the first scene”
More to follow …