Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog 29 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
A Wild Apple Tree in Bloom by the Roadside

If we accept the possibility that early humans were more or less exclusively forest dwellers, and that the forest environment is ipso facto guarantor of democracy, it is likely that at first self-sacrifice was a matter of mated birds, mother and father, vis a vis their nest, eggs, and nestlings. We can see this self-sacrificial pattern in small birds, who in mid-summer dash out of the bushes on the side of the road in front of our cars and attempt to divert our attention from the road (and of course their nests in the bushes or grass nearby) to themselves.
As early humans gradually emerged from the forest (whether due to changing climate or human deforestation activity), they increasingly came in contact with other members of homo erectus , which probably increased their self-sacrificial instincts, inadvertently activating intense defensive violence. Because violence is open ended (unless a tribal elder steps in or otherwise interferes in the conflict), it often results in death. In former times, if the conflict was provoked by premeditated aggression and resulted in the death of the unsuspecting victim, reaction could provoke the engagement of all members of the opposing groups. Therefore, it was not unusual for the elders of both tribes to come together, and in order to lessen the damage of a no-holds barred fight, each side chose one male representative to fight it out among themselves only. This solution is very much behind the David and Goliath story . However, beware of illustrations in which David is portrayed holding the head of Goliath . This is obviously a step too far, and the losing side is unlikely to accept David’s skill as a sling thrower and retreat. The renewed fight can well take the lives of many thousands.
In any event, the effort to harness the defensive instinct (of birds and humans), was not only to lessen the number of dead, but hopefully to also consolidate and increase the membership of the group, because conflicts may arise not only among strangers, but among intimates, such as between brothers (Abel and Cain) or parents and children.
Therefore (given human intelligence), the self-sacrificial instinct was not left to the instincts alone, but came to be manipulated by the elders and shamans and priests. What they did, to deduce from no shortage of stories and myths, was to choose the purest form of self-sacrifice, which is death by one’s own will. Of course, self-sacrifice through death is not always the only way to give self-sacrifice. In the following story, the sacrifice is of but one’s finger and a dog.
If the fairytale told through the link continues to  involve a form of self-immolation-mutilation, our time offers a way out of it through the technology of cloning. If we read the fairytale of “Goldenlocks” with care and attention, we will note that prince Goldenlocks merges with the poor shepherd boy who bites off his finger to gain for himself the prince’s clothes. In short, as a result of his self-sacrifice the shepherd becomes a clone of the prince, who (with his life saved) soon becomes the apprentice of a gardener, a job that prepares him to become the ruler of a kingdom.
With human cloning just around our scientific corner and with death still such a difficult event to contemplate and do, cloning permits King Goldenlocks to clone himself into prince Goldenlocks II. When the King reaches the age of a pensioner, he decides to clone himself into his successor. Because in the kingdom of New Jerusalem, the obligatory age of death is eighty-one years (9 x 9 representing a beaker near full, whereas 9 x 10 is a beaker spilling over), the retired King has about ten or so years left to educate his successor by his own self. The education process includes, of course, learning how to write and keep a diary.
This blogger hopes that the reader has noted the close relationship between the fairytale of Prince Goldenlocks with that of King Oedipus Rex another of my series of  blogsays.
This is how in nine generations the self-sacrificial Goldilocks became one of the wisest men on Earth. Also, if not yet immortal, this is as close to it as we are ever going to get.
Blog 28 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
At the Heart of a Tree.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Ojars Ozolins (b. 1936) and discuss with him the importance of Johns Days. Ozolins lives with his wife, a retired librarian, near in Kauguri pagasts, near Valmiera. Ozolins interests center on the early days of the Balts, especially from the time of  the stone age. He is author of “Krīvu lāsts” (The Curse of the Krihvs). A review of the work and some insightful comments by Juris Shlesers is available at .
I asked Ozolins to comment on the meaning of Johns and ‘Jāņu bērni’ (Children of Johns) and received the following response (my translation; all text abbreviations are my edits):
“The present meaning of Johns Children has a history all its own. The arch-Indo word for child was ‘bahls’ (bāls-singular) and ‘Bahlji’ (bāliņi-plural).’ The word was in existence also among the ancestors of the Balts, re proto-Indo-Europeans, and can still be found in Kauguru pagasts, Latvija, as the name of a household, re Bahlji (Bāļi); also a nearby railroad station called ‘Bahle’ (Bāle)’ In the early part of the 20th century, one could hear a Johns song:
Līhgo, Johns, lihgo balji,/ Lihgo, lihgo;/ All who await John,/ Lihgo!”
Ozolins comments: “One may conclude from this song, that the ritual of awaiting Johns reflected the fact that the participants were in the process of dividing (splitting) into several factions: the direct descendants of arch-Balts; those who with the arrival of Christianity were given the name Johns; and those who were neither Johns nor bahli, but were awaiting the figure of John reflected among the figures seen in the stars.”
Ozolins devotes eleven pages to the Johns Day ritual in his book “The Curse of the Krihvs” (227-238). Here we discover that Ozolins identifies the figure of John with the constellation of Taurus, the bull (possibly as a fertility figure), who later was suffused with the constellation of Orion, because both figures are adjacent to each other . In this context, John represents the son of God, and, in thist sense, represents the primordial father figure [Cadmus , for example] of a people or nation.
Accoding to Ozolins, the word “Jānīša” (Yahnihsha-a posessive) consists of two words: Yan + ihsha, meaning man or lord (yan) augmented by a suffix “ihsha”, meaning primordial.
Yanihsha brings to mind the Hindu word Ganesha, also consisting of two parts (Gan/ Yan) + esha (ihsha). The Festival of Ganesha Chaturthi in India occurs on the sixth lunar month according to the Hindu calendar and the time of the celebration may vary from year to year, usually in the month of August or September.
The reader will note that Ozolins and my ideas of Johns diverge on a number of issues, which does not necessarily mean that we are in a fundamental disagreement. I surely concur that “The mythical and real became united in the cult of Johns and included the primordial fathers—Johns—of all peoples….” (p. 236) I also suspect that if Ojars Ozolins had access to a personal computer [a removal of taxes on this tool in Latvia would greatly facilitate the distribution of information], a tool that I use extensively, some of his deductions would change, not to say that ours would likely merge.
One point on which we diverge is my insistence on the importance of self-sacrifice in the formation and maintenance of community. (Admittedly, I have not read Ozolins entire work.) To quote from the Preface—to “Violent Origins”, a must read book—written by Robert Hammerton-Kelly: “The essence of religion was [formerly] the Sacred, together with its modes of Manifestation and the forms of human Response to it. Ritual was interesting mainly as a symbolic expression of and ‘participation’ in the Sacred, ritual sacrifice was mainly an embarrassment….”
However, at a time when ‘ritual’ has become identical with violence and war, it is time to forget about misplaced embarrassment. At this time, it is no longer sacrifice (self-sacrifice), but the exercise of war and violence that is the embarrassment.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog 27 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012

The Saw Cross as a Marker for a Axed Tree

One of the intellectually and morally most important questions facing Latvians is why is it that a people whose total number is less than two million cannot create a goal oriented society and nation among themselves?
I realize that to aim for and get a goal takes determination and long practice. So, let me replace the word ‘goal’ with ‘vision’. Why are Latvians so visionless? Why is it so difficult for Latvians to see ahead?
Another no less important question facing Latvians is why the Latvian Saeima is so supportive of inequality and uncritical of pro neo-liberalism? After all, as emphasized in most of the previous blogs, Latvian geographic history is based on people living in the forest, who, when they emerged from there, become farmers. The typical Latvian farm house in the not so distant past was located in the middle of a squre of trees, evidence that once upon a time the farmhouse started as a ‘sokle’ a clearing in the forest.
While Latvian history records the presence of boyars, large land holders, the boyars were soon replaced by Germanic barons. Both boyars and barons were the equivalent of oligarchs in a landscape populated by small farm households.
A third question belongs to this same cluster of questions, i.e., why is the Latvian information media mute as to the above two questions? Why does the arm of the Latvian government lie so heavily on the shoulders of the Latvian media as the following article contends:
In so far as the above questions are rhetorical, they all arise from the central question asked in my previous blogs and is the central theme of this blogesay—Why is self-sacrifice among those who belong to the Latvian government lacking, but is so incessantly demanded by the government of the Latvian people?
Let us start off with the question about ‘vision’. As the following shows, visualizing the future today has been reduced to ‘visual analytics’ . This is all about data streaming out of a given system, but it has little to do with human beings, who are never central.
However, what Latvia needs is, let us be frank, a Copernicus—an individual or team of individuals who can bypass the analytical and political jungles, both; and see that the future is not flat, but in every sense very different from the present given system.
This takes lots of imagination and redundancy, because imagination needs to be assimilated before it can turn itself into a projection. Take for example my insistence that the future has more to do with the horse than space travel. For me the horse is not horsepower in the sense of how much work an engine may do, but how well a gelding may draw my wagon. [When I was very young, I had my hair cut by a barber, who saved hair to make horse collars.] I see the horse draw, at best, a plow with two knives, not ten or more as my neighbor’s tractor does now. In the former world (as well as the one to come), the countryside has many people, whereas the latter has seasonal foreign workers.
In my projection of the future, I see less inequality, whereas visual analytics sees, more than likely, cheaper labor and greater disparity in individual income. Indeed, in a reforested environment, my projection enables one to visualize a society with more democracy, whereas great income disparity is just a hair’s breadth from a picture that shows a clerk bowing to the baron .
When visualization cannot get past visual analytics, one may be sure that democracy for all is blocked by a democracy for relatively few, which is the very definition of a ‘parliamentary’  democracy. Moreover, a democracy for a relatively few will attempt to block democracy by attempting to control the information media and down talk populism , because the public at large knows in its animal gut that it is being lied to.
Indeed, this ‘lie’ is at the root of the Latvian tragedy and mystery: why there were so few Latvians who overtly resisted the Bolsheviks , when the Soviet army arrived in Latvia and let the country’s leadership be decapitated , so to speak.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog 26 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
Lilacs, Leaves, and Sky.
The most difficult of issue in our times is to imagine a return of self-sacrifice as a social practice.
How is this to be accomplished after two hundred years of confidently irresponsible action by those who (following the Arab scientists, the medieval alchemists, Bacon, Paracelsus, Descartes, Leibniz) believed that “…man had reached the point at which he could be confident of his progressive ability to control nature”? (--Clarence Glacken, Preface to “Traces….”) Are we not at the point at which most everyone recognizes the disaster brought by overconfidence, as Peter Bruegel the Elder did when painting (16th c.) the Fall of Icarus?  
A realistic interpretation of Icarus’ fate is the sight of his leg (port and stern of the sailing ship) sticking out of the water. It is evidence beyond doubt that he is drowning and can no longer be rescued.
Icarus father , Daedalus (were he able to predict the consequences of his son’s overconfidence), would have had no other choice than to warn his son by not offering advice not to fly too close to the sun, but by self-sacrificing himself. Only by giving his life as evidence of the seriousness of his word as to the consequences, could Daedalus perhaps have avoided his son growing up overconfident and careless.
The situation of humankind vis a viss the planet Earth runs a close, yet even worse parallel to the fate of Icarus. If Icarus were to fall today, Bruegel would have him fall into the plastic vortex in the middle of the Pacific Ocean .
In spite of the dire circumstances of our planet, is self-sacrifice an extreme counteraction? At other times and other places, I have called self-sacrifice a ‘not-violent’ act (see Esos’s Chronicles). Unfortunately, Judaism and Western Christianity has for a thousand years been preaching otherwise. Christianity’s first example of ‘suicide’ is by way of projecting it as the deserved fate of a traitor, Judas , the other example is the refusal of Western religions to offer suicides a burial place in the churchyard.
The harsh opinion cast by many religions on ‘suicide’, has prevented our ‘civilization’ from contemplating the role of self-sacrifice as a serious tool by humankind in assuring a stable, egalitarian, and nature respecting society.
In spite of the censure, there are many examples when society has welcomed self-sacrificial acts by individuals as occasions for a given society’s awakening and rebirth. This generally occurs when some student, protesting oppression, commits “suicide”, as for example, the death of Romas Kalanta  in Lithuania under Soviet rule. However, when Ādolfs Buķis did the same (1993) in post-Soviet Latvia to protest Latvian government corruption and allegedly named a several persons who believed to be guilty, he was called mentally unstable, and the promised police investigation never occurred.
Needless to say, ‘suicide’ is today closely linked to ‘terrorists’, because in the presence of a repressive attitude, it is impossible to engage in discussing the subject, whether in theological circles, let alone in the public media. Suicide is also used by governments in ‘false flag’ operations , because it enables these to further repress self-sacrifice by calling it a terrorist operation.
There is no doubt, that as long as ‘suicide’—be it out of the individual’s desire to self-sacrifice him- or herself or because of hate against whoever the individual may believe to be his or society’s enemy—the taking of innocent lives is an act contra the interests of self sacrifice. Indeed, if there were not evidence from the long ago that self-sacrifice also acts as a community creating and maintaining event, the evidence for it today would be wholly negative.
Thus, for self-sacrifice to return as a socially accepted practice, it will require the event to occur not as an event with political ends, but as an event arising out of the unconscious.
This, indeed, has begun to happen, if we take into consideration military and civilian ‘suicides’ (see blog 25), which cannot exclude the possibility of being the result of an over-virtualized man-made society or, for that matter, the intervention of the Will of God to release humankind from a man-made prison.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blog 25 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
A Young Oak Tree
The reader of my blogs is be familiar with my insistence that Latvians are not of a peasant extraction, but are a forest people deprived of forests by their own and foreign born robber barons. Quite often the people react with a certain amount of incredulity. Hmm, what about the book “Straumeni” by Edvarts Virza ?
True enough. When I was not yet ten years old, I had managed to read the book and was hugely enthusiastic about it. With similar enthusiasm coming from my school teachers at Ergli elementary school, there was a period, when I wrote my essays (“domu raksti”) in Virzaesque sentences: they were long with words as if falling out of a basket known as cornucopia. I usually received the highest mark, a 5. I was too young to know that Virza was describing the Latvian countryside of the 1880s, because it seemed to be the same in 1942.
Since I was earning my keep at my aunt’s farm as a cow herd, and the brook Naruzhina was but a stone’s throw from the grazing fields, I was in the middle of romantic peasant countryside. Every time I turned a stone in the brook, there was almost always a surprised crayfish under it. Some were the almost the size of a one-pound lobster, well, make it half a pound. If I was not quick about it, the crustacean would make a dash for the root covered shore line and try hide in a hole among roots there.  The brook ran through a “grava”, about twenty meters (yards) deep and a hundred to two hundred meters wide forest covered ancient ravine—sometimes through a pine forest, sometimes through hazel brush, and when I followed it far enough, it ended  at an old fashioned dam with an old fashioned waterwheel made of wood, but no longer turning.
Seventy years ago, one hardly ever saw an automobile in Latvia, except at harvest time when the old steam locomotive  came chugging up the country road, and a couple of horses pulled the cultivator behind it. The automobile came along with WW2, even though my father was well enough off to own a Chrysler that leaked enough gasoline to make me carsick almost every time it took me on a visit to grandfather’s home in Kurzeme (Kurland).
My obsession with Latvian forests came when I started reading books about old Europe and the relationship between nature and culture (re: “Landscame & Memory” by Simon Schama and “Traces on the Rhodian Shore” by Clarence Glacken), and how, for example, it took three months to get from France to Poland or beyond, and that the Baltic shoreline or travel by boat was actually the only way to get around Old Europe. It was then that remembrances of earlier unnoted country scenes returned to mind. The same old ravine that Naruzhina flowed through had spruce trees with trunks the size of an arm chair. Of course, the loss of tree cover was not only a Latvian problem. When some ten years ago, I went to visit Esslingen, Germany, the town and displaced persons camp that I spent nearly three post-war years in, had lost all of the forests that had covered the southern shore of the Neckar River Valley. A Mercedes Benz car factory had replaced the old camp site and the forests (granted, not large) where I ran my first 4 km marathon, and in an effort to get my “historian” badge as a Boy Scout, searched the surround for ruins left from Roman times.
As the airplane neared Stuttgart, and I looked to see the once so familiar landscape of the Neckar, I was amazed how—in spite of the vineyards still on the sunny side of the river—overbuilt it had become.
My interest in forests has a lot to do with seeing how the urban environment and Information Technology (IT) saturated environment of our day is unable to maintain democracy , and how propaganda-cream filled democracy had become.
To return to Virza ; of the quotes at the link, the one that strikes me particularly relevant is the following:  “Mūsu mazais skaits mums jāatvieto ar lielām īpašībām.” Translated: We need to make use of our small numbers by becoming exceptionally unique.
So, Question: What is unique about Latvians? Answer: Nothing really, but for the curiosity of Midsummer New Year and Johns Days, which for all the banality of Latvia’s politicians and desperate poverty of Latvia’s citizens, remains a day, when Latvians seem not to mind being called Jāņu bērni (Children of Johns).
The Sanscrit word for young, ‘jauns’ in Latvian, is yuvan. Thus, my educated guess is that Children of Johns may translate as born again children, born again on the Eve of Johns.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog 24 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
The Eye of a Sawn Off Limb.
Will the “miracles” of the secular age never cease? Yesterday (June 24, 2012), browsing the Internet, I came across the following item:
Washington—Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday promised a new focus on suicide prevention by military leaders, not just to benefit troops and veterans, but also the country as a whole.
The article appeared in the Stars and Stripes. Quoth the Stars and Stripes on behalf of the Defense Secretary:
“’My long term goal is for the Department of Defense to be a game-changing innovator in this field,’” he said during remarks at an annual interagency suicide prevention conference. ’Just as we helped foster the jet age, the space age and the Internet, I want us to break new ground in understanding the human mind.” Panetta:
What I find remarkable about Panetta’s comments is his presumption that having mentioned three earlier “miracles” by the Department of Defense  (the “we” of the Defense Secretary), he is about to “break new ground” in understanding the human mind” as a fourth “miracle”.
It is no doubt a coincidence that in a series of blogs in which I try to explain the rise of Western Christianity by way of Christianity having been usurped by a Western coup d’etad, just as I am about to close the series, there appears one from the West, who will engineer an “understanding [of] the human mind.” No lesser man, than the Pope of American Defense Leon Panetta, is prepared, through profound meditation, to gain an “understanding of the human mind.”
I could not have been presented with a more perfect example of American Christian hubris. I bet no American Christian will take a note of it, because it is such a habit of this—as some say—“Christian nation” to collaborate with secular princes, oligarchs, corporate CEOs, ministers of state, state secretaries, et al.
As the article notes, the suicide rate among American military service men and woman is increasing. Altogether some 10.3 million Americans last year are said to have tried it. The authorities are baffled why such suicides should also be increasing among the military, who have never participated directly in bloody military combat.
To give the Defence Secretary a helping hand, I would, first, suggest that he check out whether the suicide rate in a modern army does not have something to do with urban naiveté propagated by doctrinaire imaging presented and made universal by corporate  advertising, and whether the virtual nature of life in a city built of concrete, glass, and plaster board when nthed  by the sterility of barracks life is not, by itself, an intolerable form of death.
Secondly, Panetta ought to check out whether what he calls ‘suicide’ may not have something to do with self-sacrifice—as difficult as it may be for him to imagine this. What I have in mind is that ever since the repression of Eastern Christianity and petrification of self=sacrifice into sacrifice and suicide, a military ‘suicide’ is denied the right to imagine his-her death in terms of self-sacrifice. After all, how is one to justify suicide as an act of protest against the Terminator of terrorism?
Nevertheless, such a justification may be imagined. It results from having a President who can name anyone a terrorist, and all military men and women unavoidably become the executors of the Terminator’s Will.
Let me presume that the President of Latvia decides to  call me a ‘terrorist’ and the military is asked to remove my presence from Latvia. Are the military then not the executors of a President’s will, and thereby take on the role of legitimized sacrificers sent to get me?
Which makes me wonder, whether the individual or team of individuals who receive the order to execute me are not actually priests of Templo Mayor (re Pentagon-NATO) , but must remain unaware of the Lacanian role  assigned them by NATO psychologists?
In other words, the current plague of suicides in the military is a radical form of unconscious or Lacanian protest by X (re: a female praying mantis, see above link, facing you wearing a mask of an Aztec priest) against a government attempting to exploit human kind?.
Are not the young men and women who take their lives while serving their country committing suicide because they are made of such a ‘human mind’ (as assigned them by Panetta) as does not know the difference between suicide and self-sacrifice? Which is why they are not really committing suicide, but self-sacrificing themselves?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blog 23 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
The Weaver of the Crown and the Crowned.
The Catholic or universal  lie, both, over history and Christian ideology is clearly notable in George Hayman’s book “The Power of Sacrifice” (see blog 22) as that book’s author attempts to explain the meaning of the “body of Christ” and “living sacrifice”.
The execution and subsequent valorization of Jesus does not find a “pivotal place… in Letters to the Hebrews .” According to Hayman: given the Letter’s understanding: “”…. There was no need for sacrificial repetition, since Jesus’’ death accomplished once and for all the reconciliation between God and humanity that the High Priest had to ritualize each year. One of the underlying assumptions generated by Hebrews is that the sacrificial system of Israel really worked, but that the offering of Jesus has now superceded it.”
All of that may be true if it does not occur to us or if we deliberately overlook the probability that the ‘assumption’ does not originate with early Christians, but with apologists for secularism. For example, the assumption by Paul (1 Cor. 5-7): “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed” (i.e., it needs no repetition) or (Romans ) that Jesus’ death effected an atonement or “expiation by his blood”.
This is to say, Let us do away with all kinds of sacrifice and be as we are; our sins have been forgiven; let us ask for forgiveness after we have done what we have done.
This accurately describes our world today: having taken no care to think forward, there are about five  billion people too many on our planet; the privatization has taken over all corners of Earth and therewith taken “the good news” with it. Even the Pope in Rome is beginning to take note that his forebears gave all his powers away to corporations by way of his predatory spiritual predecessors, most of who were brothers or cousins of secular kings.
No sacrifice and all sins expiated by one man’s blood, symbolically smeared to cover everyone as if to make them responsible, at the same time one man in America presumes to call anyone in the world that he chooses a “terrorist”, and tanks make practice maneuvers on America’s city streets The consequences of Paul’s betrayal of Eastern Christendom on behalf of the Roman elite of the West, and the subsequent campaigns by the Crusaders and the Inquisition is what has got us where we are today. The skeptic may remember that Paul is none other than Saul of Tarsus , who did not have a personal conversion by way of a vision on the road to Dsmascus. Paul’s vision is as much propaganda fabrication as the forced conversion of the Christian East to Roman thinking. The widespread presence of Germans throughout the European East is due to Western Catholic control.
The capture of the East by the West was not only by way of Crusades, but also by way of secret services of the West: the priests of newly established Rome in Italy. Anatoly Fomenko in the 1st volume of “History: Fiction or Science?” argues (p. 356) that Rome was founded in the West about the late 13th and early 14th centuries. He writes: “The foundation of Rome = Constantinople, later called the New Rome, thus became split in two: chronologically and geographically.” According to Fomenko, the renaming of Constantinople as New Rome is due to a yet older Rome, being moved from Alexandria, Egypt to the Bosphorus, not from Italy, where Rome did not exist at that time.
If the readers remember Robert Graves’ opinion (blog 20) that poets used to be  coders and decoders of sacred names, they will be able to guess that there was also an agreement on a code of honor that the decoding of a secret by whoever  enabled the whoever to seize an opponent’s property without a bloody fight. However, as far as Western Christians are concerned, might and violent sacrifice over self-sacrifice continue to make might right. Therefore, the ‘miracle’ or supra-riddle, in place of honesty, had Saul (on his way to Damascus) overpower the incredulous through a miracle. Not unlike his violent persecution of Eastern Christians, Saul’s ‘change of mind’ comes violently, that is, unbelievably. Paradoxically, in Latvia, Johns Day is often called a “mistehriya”, which is described as “fertility, productivity, and light” (Chairwoman Aboltina of the Latvian Saeima), but leaves out “self-sacrifice”. Alas, Latvians are still unable to guess the missing word and have the banks undo them from being sovereign people.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blog 22 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012

My Crocodile; i.e.: Do not spare me, spare my Devil.

The mystery for modern man, who has been put together by the “ticky tacky” of advertising lobby on behalf of not only politicians, but the powers that pay the advertisers and sponsor the politicians, is how the sacrificial rhetoric came to be such an integral part of early Christianity and then was dismissed.
Robert Hayman in his book “The Power of Sacrifice” writes (p. 95): “Sacrifice was also an integral part of Judaism. As Jews, the earliest Christians were not unfamiliar with sacrifice since it was a constant feature of daily worship in the Jerusalem Temple. As citizens of the Roman Empire, Christians would have also been familiar with the sacrifices performed twice daily in the Temple on behalf of the emperor. As the early Christians began to reflect on the symbolic power of Jesus’ life and death, it was not surprising that their letters and narratives revealed sacrificial themes. Jesus of Nazareth was killed as a common criminal, but those who reflected on his death were able to valorize it by interpreting it with sacrificial symbolism. As the “body of Christ” on earth, Christians also began to see themselves as a “living sacrifice”.
Heyman, however, ads to the above a disclaimer (p. 97): “….it is not my intention to attempt to discern whether the historical Jesus considered his impending death to be a sacrifice or not.”
Through the disclaimer, Heyman abandons early Eastern Christianity, which he at first as if joins, but then gets cold feet and rushes back to the Catholic camp created by the princes and boyars, who most definitely do not wish to have anything to do with sacrifice, especially not if it is self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice carries with it, when acknowledged in the public arena, a rather awesome charisma..
Aside from this blogger’s belief that Jesus was not hung on a cross, but was thrown into a burning pit of fire, no other writer to my knowledge has explored the probability that Jesus cum John did not necessarily offer himself as a sacrifice, but was daring the authorities to make him a sacrifice. Daring is, of course, the expression of a fighter’s opposition and challenge.of the enemy.
John’s challenge is best reflected in Anna Comnena’s “The Alexiad” and her description of the behavior of John(?) Basil when he is brought before the burning pit at the Hippodrome in Constantinople. Writes Anna: “On the other side [of the burning pit] a cross had been set up and the godless fellow was given an opportunity to recant: if by some chance through dread of the fire he changed his mind and walked over to the cross, he could still escape the burning…. Far from giving way, it was obvious that he despised all punishment and threats, and while he was still some distance from the flames he laughed at them and boasted that angels would rescue him from the midst of the fire…. But when the crowd stood aside and let him see clearly the awe-inspiring sight (for even afar off he could feel the fire and saw the flames rising and shooting out fiery sparks with a noise like thunder…), then for all his boldness he seemed to flinch before the pyre. He was plainly troubled. Like a man at his wit’s end he darted his eyes now here, now there, struck his hands together and beat his thighs. And yet, affected though he was at the mere sight of it, he was still hard as steel; his iron will was not softened by the fire, nor did the messages sent by the emperor break his resolve….”
In other words, the Johns fires that are being lit these days in Latvia and elsewhere in the world as a symbolic commemoration of the solstice and for the entertainment of city youths and picnickers, was not what faced John Basil (later renamed Jesus), a man who was honoured as “King” by his followers, because of his commitment to endure death for his beliefs.
And so it came to be. The challenge offered by one John and one Jesus to the secular authorities was turned into a joke by the authorities. They took both men up on their challenge, killed them, and scared the rest of the world into silence.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blog 21 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012

Life at the Beginning.
The Johns Days are an interesting time to cast a panoramic eye over the landscape—both in Latvia and the rest of the world--and observe what the Latvian media projects concerning the condition of Latvian identity.
From a cynic’s point of view, what you see is what you get. And what you get is what advertisers wish you to see. The Police advertise caution and self-control when it comes to the use of alcohol. The beer companies intensify their advertising campaigns to increase beer consumption.
The Riga City Gallery opens a show of Baltic women’s head pieces, crowns, but offers no explanation of the significance of this object—as if women in the European East wore these every day. Indeed, the crowns are likely representations of how Baltic women once visualized their chief Goddesses: Saule, Laima, Mara, and Dekla. Of the four, nothing is known about Dekla. Except for the Sun Goddess, the names of the other Goddesses cannot be translated into English, but may mean, in a collective sense, “Dearest Goddess”  Given that Dekla is forgotten, one may venture to guess that her name is related to the Latvian words: dēka, dēkotājs—an adventure, an adventurer. Perhaps Dekla was a proto-Latvian Crazy Jane, who also could not stay put, and, more than likely, was involved in witchcraft and eating Fly Agaric , the mushroom that urbanites not knowing it to be lethal would like to eat because it is “pretty”.
On the political front, the unexpected resignation of the Minister of Justice surprised almost everyone.
Gaidis Berziņš mentions the issue of returning private property to the Hebrew community as the reason for his resignation. The minister belongs to the Latvian nationalist party (Visu Latvijai), and is of the Nationalist Coalition. Contrary to Berzins’ and the Coalition’s position, the Prime Minister Dombrovskis (Vienotiba) has given instructions for the minister to draw up a list of properties to be returned. One commentator (Ozolins of “Ir” magazine) calls Berzins a minister, who has jumped aboard a train to a place called an “anti-Semitic fundamentalist zoo” by way of another “golden bridge” project by Latvian oligarchs. is featuring an article by Janis Brizga. The article reports on the goals and dreams of the NAP [National Development (attīstības) Plan]. From this blogger’s point of view, the goal of raising the growth quotient in Latvia  to 5% by 2020 is not only unrealistic, but given the ecological exhaustion of our planet, capacity to overproduce by developed nations, a financial and economic crisis just at its beginning, and the abundance of workers in China who receive 40 x less  income than the workers in the U.S., is frankly, absurd.
So much for the isolationist and cosmopolitan views of Latvians today. The teeth of the wheels do not mesh, but grind and squeal.
This blogger has always stood on the sidelines of the political factions, because he has not found any of them to be single minded enough to put the economic and community development in Latvia as their foremost goal. If they have thought of it, it is soon put aside, because to realize it will take sacrifice.
Of neither a capitalist, communist, technocrat, or traditional traditionalist mindset, my position has always been one to seek for ways to transform the consequences of said to create a self-sustaining community within a recovering ecological system. I have been in enough forests in my day not to believe that a plantation forest makes for “more forests in Latvia than ever in recent times”.
Among the tools to the end of achieving a recovery for the Latvian people, I perceive a necessity to return to the “sacred”. I take this position in spite of the fact that the self-sacrifice of Adolfs Buķis continues to go unacknowledged. All the same, 1993 marks the year when the government of Latvia turned away from any notions of self-sacrifice, thus keeping religion and politics divided as per the crusading notions of princeling fascists a la West.]
Because the origin of the Festival of Johns is from the realm of the sacred, as well as a celebration of nature, which is diametrically opposed to the plague of our times—urbanist naiveté, I prefer to live among the trees of a forest rather than little boxes made of ticky tacky.
Previous blogs accessible at:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog 20 Midsummer New Year of Johns 2012
The following blogspots center on a variety of subjects, which I have initiated. You are invited to look and respond. Not-Violence main subject Temple of Janis (John) site Arguments for systems change Sacrificial crisis in Latvia Oedipus Rex Rewritten Midsummer 2012

Three Three Days Ago Hatchlings.

The art of the lie, to escape its traitorous ethical nature, often presents itself as the art of a riddle. A riddle untold is very possibly a secret of a violent nature,; while a riddle told, never has one answer, but has answers that are open to speculation that sometimes answer true, sometimes not.
It seems that lies were invented by poets or better, by those who forced poets to lie for believing in the words they said or which came to their minds.. As I have written in previous blogs, those who forced the poets to lie were the same secularists, who forced self-sacrificial Christianity to deny its belief in the necessity of self-sacrifice. As most of us can easily guess, poets need a community, such a community being the poets’ audience. From this perspective, it is clear why the early poets were the same as priests and shamans, who knew the right words that could lay on a curse or a healing word.
As Robert Graves tells us in his “A Historical Grammar of poetic myth” (The White Goddess), the first poet was one Gwion [or John], also known as Taliesin. “Taliesin was author of the Hanes Taliesin” or “The Tale of Taliesin”, writes Graves. While Graves is difficult enough in his decipherings, even more difficulties may be piled on the riddles of ancient names.
Because the letter R was difficult to pronounce to our forebears, the current city of AmsteRdam was once called AmsteLdam. When the same difficulty is applied to the name of TaLiesin, we discover the name to be TaRiesin or, if you will, the high priest TiResias in playwright Sophocles tragedy “Oedipus Rex”. While students today are being taught that the riddle asked of passers-by by the Sphinx, it is more probable that it is being asked by the priest of the Temple of the Sphinx—[?John] Tiresias, who in the play acts as the mouthpiece of the writer Sophocles, who, too, writes a riddle.
To the descendants of Latvians today, especially those who know little or nothing of the forest or rural environment, it may come as a shock that the above mentioned “’Hanes’ of Taliesin” may also rhyme with the famed Latvian folk poems “dainas” (hainas)--if we assume that the letter H is silent and may at one time have been substituted with the latter D. Poet Graves has no doubt about such a possibility. He explains (WG, p. 49):
“In ancient times, once a god’s secret name has been discovered, the enemies of his people could do destructive magic against them with it. The Romans made a regular practice of discovering the secret names of enemy gods and summoning them to Rome with seductive promises, a process technically known as elicio…. ” [The first known Latvian traitor (many defend his actions) Kaupo comes to mind!] In another context Graves writes (p. 50): “The subject of this [?] myth, then, is a battle for religious mastery between the armies of Don, the people who appear in Irish legend as the Tuatha de Danaan, ‘the folk of the God whose mother is Danu…. The Tuatha de Danaan were a confederacy of tribes…. The Goddess Danu was eventually masculinized into Don, or Donnus….”
According to the Irish tradition recorded in the “Book of Invasions”, the Danaan’s were driven by an invasion of Syrians from Greece northward, eventually settling down in Denmark. Did some of the Johns people also settle in Latvia, where Dionysius became Yonysius and Jahnis? As the Latvian saying has it: “Jahņi nāk ar joni”==Johns Day comes in a hurry.  Here the pronoun Yahnis translates into a verb, yonis. If (as suggested in blog2) the month of May was celebate, then surely the arrival of June came on the wings of an impatient prayer, and John broke the spell.
One of the “destructive magics” that could be done against a people, the name of whose God had been discovered [re: who had been conquered], was to change it, for example, make John read Don, or Gwion, or Huan, or whatever.
The changing of names goes on even in our own day. The Latvians, who, for example, surrender their Midsummer Festival or Johns Day by calling it a“Lihgo” (Halleluia) Festival or try to commercialize it  are not doing their heritage any favors, but further surrender Latvians to wannabe neo-capitalist sponsors and irresponsible politicians. Not a whiff of the nature of the “sacred” remains.
Incidentally, the actual day of the summer solstice in Latvia happened yesterday. The small bird that laid six or seven eggs in the small basket hanging in my patio, had three of the eggs hatch. I have put a wire fence around the post the basket hangs from. I have asked my neighbour to take care of my feline cat, when the small ones start to practice flight.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog 19 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
The Last of the Johns in Latvia, called a 'Beggar' in 1929.
The ideological consequences of the Great Schism and the near (never quite) victory of the West over the East.(the East saved the rhetoric of its spiritual teaching, but had to abandon its application in practice), are best captured by the Greek playwright Sophocles (sophist par excellance in his famous tragedy “Oedipus Rex” or Oedipus the King.

The link informs that the early sophists were itinerant teachers, which makes them close kin to, if not necessarily identical with, the itinerant Johns, their Baltic, Slavic, Latin and other wandering brethren.

Itinerancy derives from the sense of freedom that living in the forest, or plain, on the farm brings to young men who are born to it. Even today, I have had the privilege of meeting two such would be wanderers at my countryside home. A young man, of Ukrainian descent, a ne’er-do-well at school and kept behind in his class several times running, visited me looking for work. I know the youth to be of hard working parents and a hard worker himself when with a scythe in hand or in a tractor. Unfortunately—with the destruction of the Latvian countryside culture by the Latvian city folk, and no way of recovering a culture in a demoralized state and deliberately kept that way by a Jesuitical (it never looks the other way) criminal police* headquartered at the regional capital—I could not help the young man. He advised me that once he and a friend had reached the age of eighteen, they would go to England. Since both speak Russian, I ventured to suggest that they travel East instead and try to find a job on the rail line the Chinese plan to built from the Far East to the Far West, or go to the Amur region of Russia, where many Latvian deportees (1949) make their home still.

Sophistry probably has its origin in ancient bards and shamans, who, when threatened by the ecclesiasts of Westernized Christianity in-hire-of-princes, forced them to start writing their oral knowledge in a riddling style, which in the course of time the orthodoxy of court poets and university academicians garbled beyond recognition. The poet Robert Graves, whose poetic muse follows us throughout this series of blogs, mused in his preface to “The White Goddess” that: “…the ancient language [of myth] survived purely enough in the secret Mystery-cults of Eleusis, Corinth, Samothrace and elsewhere and when these were suppressed by the early Christian Emperors, it was still taught in the poetic colleges of Ireland and Wales, and the witch-covens of Western Europe. As a popular religious tradition, it all but flickered out at the close of the seventeenth century….” The date coincides with the time when, too, the remains of Eastern Christianity “flickered out” in Latvia

However, let us return to the poet and playwright Sophocles and his famous tragedy. The secret code used by Sophocles involved substituting the just issued edict (taboo) against self-sacrifice, by camouflaging self-sacrifice inside the preoccupation of Western Christianity (inventor—with the help of the prince-oligarch--of the urban environment and nuclear family) with the incest taboo. The mother, Iocaste, who in the story saves her son Oedipus (Yodi or Yoni) from risking death by exposure to the elements and/or wild beasts, but loses thereby the throne of the King of Thebes for him, attempts to regain the throne through incest. The psychologist Freud, for all his genius, did not see through the sophistication of the Sophoclean riddle—probably because in the secret corners of his mind, he continued to be preoccupied with incest.

The original intent of Sophocles in writing his play was an attempt to preserve the tradition of self-sacrifice as a factor that determined whether a ruling authority or authorities indeed had the authority to rule.

In our day self-sacrifice is said to have been replaced by reason However, reason has in our time been subject to unrelenting authority (silnaya ruka) of violence reserved for the exclusive use of so-called ‘democratic’ authorities. The presumption of authority by governmental violence is an unethical device to the core, especially when the core of the authority (presidents, ministers, members of senates, etc.) goes unpunished and is free to expect for itself a perpetual future.

*Jesuitical criminal police—in a country as economically hard up as Latvia, the duty of the police is to help guarantee the survival of “the people”, because in the best sense of the word, the police, the gendarmerie, jannisery are of the people.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog 18 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
The Vine of Life on a Saw Cross
In an attempt to illustrate the far reaching consequences that issued from the attempt to repress the traditions of self-sacrifice, which repression culminated in the human sacrifice by burning at the Hippodrome in Istanbul of Basil, later rewritten as the Passion of one Jesus Christ, I have wandered rather far from the Midsummer Festival of Johns in Latvia 2012.

It is perhaps time to steer our story into a wind that blows us back to Latvia.

On the map of the world, Latvia is but a dot made tinier by the small number of individuals who make up its population. Even this small remnant of a population—that once occupied territories that stretched from the Volga River basin in Russia to Old Prussia on the southern shores of the Baltic Seais in a state of demographic decline or, more accurately, in a state of demographic catastrophe. When speaking of culture, Latvia is of no significance whatever. Except for one curious remnant of the culture that prevailed on this planet about a thousand years ago, in the days when Russia, one of the largest countries in the world today, was just beginning to form itself around  the small nucleus of nobles, who gathered around its first ruler, one St. Vladimir of Kiev.

Some of my preceding blogs give a rough outline of why and how the early leadership of Kievan Rus came to be from out of the defeat of an early version of Christianity by the Crusading princes of the West. Forced to cede their spiritual understanding of how the human community came to emerge out of a long tradition of self-sacrifice, the Russian people, along with the Balts, joined what we call today “the capitalist tradition”. This joining of the East to the West was and remains a torturous and violent event, made especially difficult by the breakdown of what was once a forest and nature based community as a result of the pressures brought against it  by the ‘privatization’ of our planet. The last event of resistance by egalitarian democrats against parliamentarian democrats resulted in vast slaughter of most everyone who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Though the Cromwellian Stalin took pityless advantage of the deeply burning resentment of the people of the Holy land of Russia, the bloody purification rites did not take hold of the land and failed to inspire resonance elsewhere. In the end, the West won the day once more, and in a fury of energy devoured what remained of nature in but a few decades. I read these decades as the period between 1990 (the demise of the Soviet Union) and 2008 (the beginning of the demise of neo-capitalism in the Western Europe and the U.S.).

At the time of this writing, the people of the West (Latvia including) are gripped by disbelief that the wealth financed propaganda (advertisement for one’s self) of several centuries duration has proved to be an empty cornucopia.
The disbelief is best illustrated by the futile marches of the so-called masses in the main cities the world over; and the continued “faith” of the leaders of a Latvian remnant that “it cannot be” that their dreams of freedom have ended in their and their people’s enslavement to Scandinavian banks; not to mention the seemingly “new power” of a capitalist China a crumbling wreck before it has completed its first full step.

In the present atmosphere of spiritual confusion and crumbling economies, disbelief and misdirection are the norm of the day. In Latvia, the history of the Festival of Johns remains a mystery, and the media, screwed to the floor by the Catholicism of capitalism and advertisers, raise no questions and deny all populist tendencies appearing among the Latvian public. One hears the argument that it is “way too soon” to speak of the collapse of the West, never mind a return of Johns as a political force.

And yet! In Greece, the country that may indeed have authored the playwright Sophocles, who wrote the political tragedy known as “Oedipus Rex” (not more than two thousand years ago as academicians continue to insist, but more likely at the time of the incineration of John Basil) about a thousand years ago, two elderly men, have offered themselves as self-sacrificial protestors against the vacuity of the current Greek leadership.

Can Latvia be far behind—what with 10 to 20% of its population driven from the land by an untoucheable and unpunisheable kleptocrat elite, which has seized the Parliament and is now ensconced in the Saeima?