Thursday, 6 February 2014

Lessons from a godless town.

I find my mind wondering to the sunken lake at Eridu, 9000 years ago and to the broad bright sky and the rivers of stars. To the leap of fire from precious, scented wood, full of oils; to the weird flash of golden lightning within quartz.

Perhaps all religions began with something of the cargo cult about them; an observation, a sense of the numinous, a misunderstanding. Though what it was that was observed and subtly misunderstood is hard to decipher.

And then there are those who see Superman as Christ.
Does it matter?

Despite my beginning, or perhaps because of it (I read a lot of Jung when I was a teen) I have little patience for the Jungian interpretation of religion and ritual when it is used to reduce the gods to phonemes in a language of self-revelation; even if it is empirically true that a person upset by the destruction of an old building could be said to be acting under the sway of the goddess of memory, Mnemosyne and needs to catalogue such buildings and create a way to remember...and a person who suddenly desires the most beautiful, revealing dress has been called by Aphrodite.

There is something way too small about this.
It just wont do.

Forgive my arrogance.

The other way to look at it is- and yes, this is the version I try to use- is to know that it isn't easy to see through things (a re-hash of the metaphor of the veil, the inability to drop habitual tendencies). If Clark Kent appears to be Jesus to you because you believe at this point in time that the gods are aspects of humanity writ large, and gods are internal 'complexes' projected interpretation is that you just don't know any better :)

But you could
If you wanted to.

It will cost a lot of time, feel like you have fallen down a rabbit hole, you will attend the mad hatter's tea party again and again.

You will find yourself dragged into doing dumb stuff and probably have to spend hours reading obscure books, and waste money buying candles and incense, and you wont be able to talk to anyone about it if you are in some godless small town...

Post Reformation, over here the dominant concept of this world has become scientism. This world is imaged as the true book of god, and the imperative to- as the Buddha put it- to seek out your own salvation with diligence. In the light of that upbringing, better to recognise divinity just for a second- no matter how obscured by cultural fog- than not.

Post Reformation, the ancestors are beyond prayer, their words are given merit only for historical or artistic content alone. The past was a pathological place full of mistakes, so I'm told...

I keep on reading.

I read because I want to get closer. In reading I relate everything I've so far read to what I understand in the words of the writer whose precious words have come to me...

Daughter of Sargon, take it away...

To run, to escape, to quiet and to pacify are yours, Inana.
To rove around, to rush, to rise up, to fall down and to ...... a companion are yours, Inana.
To open up roads and paths, a place of peace for the journey, a companion for the weak, are yours, Inana.
To keep paths and ways in good order, to shatter earth and to make it firm are yours, Inana.
To destroy, to build up, to tear out and to settle are yours, Inana.
To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana.
Desirability and arousal, goods and property are yours, Inana.
Gain, profit, great wealth and greater wealth are yours, Inana.
Gaining wealth and having success in wealth, financial loss and reduced wealth are yours, Inana.
Observation, choice, offering, inspection and approval are yours, Inana.
Assigning virility, dignity, guardian angels, protective deities and cult centres are yours, Inana.... Enheduana.