(Written by the same author: The Inquisition, the dark side of the Church)
Digital reprint. 2011, revised
Is not only an honor, but a pleasure that you can freely read, archive, transfer and cite this book, although it cannot be marketed without the written permission of the author: email@example.com
Diagramming and digital composition for the Internet: Miguel del Valle
Campelo, to whom I am profoundly grateful for his unbinding, generous and well to do cybernetic craft.
@Primitivo Martínez Fernández, Ph. D.
BL311.M3 1996 291.1’3
Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publishing Data
Martínez Fernández, Primitivo, Ph.D.
Produced in Puerto Rico
To Zulema and Gabriel, my children.
A preliminary consideration: AND WHAT ABOUT THE SIN?
THE MYTH OF URANUS
GAIA, THE EARTH
PROMETHEUS AND PANDORA
SYMBOLISM OF THE MYTH OF PROMETHEUS
THE MYTHS IN THE ILIAD
THE MOIRAE IN THE ILIAD
AGAMEMNON AND CLYTEMNESTRA
DIALOGUE OVER THE MYTH OF ANTIGONE
THE SACRIFICE OF ABRAHAM
THE MYTH OF THE SIN OF KNOWLEDGE
THE MYTH OF THE UNIVERSAL REGENERATION
RADIOGRAPHY OF THE MYTH
THE TREE SYMBOLOGY
THE REASON , THE SLAVE OF FAITH
POPOL VUH MYTHS
UNIVERSAL BOOK OF THE RENEWAL OF TIME
THE MYTH OF THE FIRE QUICHE
THE TAINO MYTHS
THE TAINO MYTH OF THE FLOOD
THE TAINO AFTERLIFE
THE PHENOMENOM OF CEMIISM IN ITS RITUAL APPEARANCE
MYTHS AND BELIEFS OF NORTHAMERICAN INDIANS
THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD
THE UTOPIA OF AMERICA
THE INDIAN SLAVERY
THE SERMON OF MONTESINOS
THE INDIGENOUS BESTIALITY
THE INDIAN HOLOCAUST
THE CROSS AND THE SWORD
THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
THE BIOLOGY OF BENEVOLENCE
THE GREAT THEATRE OF THE WORLD
THE ANTICHRIST OF NIETZSCHE
BUDDHIST WORLD VIEW
BECKET, THE SEMANTIC GAP
APHORISMS OF CIORAN’S TRAGIC THOUGHT
JESUS, THE MAN
A MISSED DEATH
THE TOMB OF JESUS IS FOUND
I had launched the hypothesis that it is the Oedipus complex
which has suggested to humanity as a whole, at the beginning of
its history, the consciousness of its guilt, that ultimate source
of religion and morality’.
Freud, Totem and taboo, 1913.
"The myth and symbol belong to the essence of human life
and never disappear from psychic reality, they are therefore
inherent to human being, "
C.G. Jung, Symbols of Transformation, 1985.
' The person who administers the rituals carries the sense of culture’
Joseph Campbell, Transformations of Myth Through Time, 1990.
'(Quand nous parlons de Dieu, ce n'est pas de Dieu que nous parlons) ',
' When we speak about God, it is not about God that we speak '
Gabriel Marcel, Journal Metaphysique, 1927.
"Focused on its living part, the myth is not an
explanation to satisfy a scientific curiosity, but
a story that makes revive an original reality and that answers
to a deep religious need, to moral aspirations, to
constraints and imperatives of social order, and even to demands
practices. In early civilizations, myth plays a
indispensable function: it expresses, constructs and encodes the belief;
It safeguards the moral principles and imposes them, it ensures
effectiveness of ceremonies, and offers practical rules
for use of man. The myth is thus an essential element of
human civilization, far from being a vain fable, is, however,
a living reality which is always present; it is not
by no means an abstract theory or a parade of images,
but a real encoding of primitive religion and
practical wisdom "
Bronislaw Malinowski, Myth in Primitive Psychology, 1926.
(1).-The letter blackened ("bold") of the textual quotations is always, across this work, from the author.
Of the fascinating myths, that seduce and illuminate human existence, Rilke emphasized their poetic side "Be your morning once again, gods!", he said. We will stress their prosaic appearance, the manipulative variable, which produces a disturbing tingling. The myth, in every tribe and people with a germ of stratification, has, among others, the fundamental function of social control mechanism. It is managed by a group that, controlling and administering the ritual symbols, shapes the values, worldview, culture and human life itself.
The theme of this editorial project is the manipulative factor of myth in different religions, cultures and at different stages and events in the history that we analyze. The myth speaks more to the feeling, desire, emotion, fear and even terror, than to intelligence: its roots are in the preconscious and its fabulous language generates beliefs always based on a hypothetical, theriomorphic or anthropomorphic god, shaped of man or animal. In the creation of the myth and in its conservation they are consistently involved intermediary bridges –pontiffs- who handle the hypersensitivity and suggestion of feeling and emotion in a particular social context of human relationships, to create images and symbols full of arcane and sacred. Such images and symbols are indisputable and have, by virtue of the sacred and subjective bias, immeasurable symbolism and meaning, with dimensions out of proportion.
The myth exceeds what was said by Malinowski in the above quotation. The myth of the sin of knowledge, for example, is the most tragic and profound thing humanity has lived: the knowledge, science, forbidden in itself - the tree of knowledge of good and evil -. All this led to the subjugation of reason to faith - the reason the slave of the faith of the dark Middle Ages - led to the primacy of beliefs not of the ideas in all religions, to the theocentrism and to the delaying of science, prohibited by the myth.
The myth of the fire in the Popol Vuh, with the god Tohil, led to human sacrifice of countless thousands of human victims.
The myth of sin is the big nose or ring that priests have placed in the consciousness of human beings to lead them to the flock of submission and destroy the root of self-esteem and dignity. Thus it corrupts and perverts human nature.
And beyond the time, about two thousand years before our era, a country: Persia; a character: Zoroaster (Zarathustra); a holy book: the Avesta; a religion: First the Mazdaism and, after Manes, the Manichaeism.
The Mazdaism postulates two realities that coexist in the human being: Spirit and Matter, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, whose two creator principles are: Hormuz and Ahriman. The two realities are not only incompatible, like oil and water, but entirely antagonistic. The Spirit and Matter -according to Mazdaism- are opposite "as a king to a pig". This doctrine and philosophy infiltrated, with their stereotypes and stigmas, and dipped the monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These stereotypes and stigmas travel through time and still trap and degrade us. Matter, they say, is intrinsically evil. Precisely the matter is just the tangible reality in our cosmos, human beings are made of. For them, only the Spirit, which belongs to the realm of myth fables, qualifies as good.
The existence of a spiritual soul in man is not only scientifically improbable, but a fable, a myth. "The existence of the spirit is an anomaly of life. How can you imagine life without the body, how can you imagine an autonomous and original existence of the spirit? ", asks Cioran with good reason.
Recently Eduardo Punset, 2006, echoes Neuroscience scientists in his book: The soul is in the brain, "which involves to unlearn many assumptions and discover many others". We know, without a doubt, that our soul is our brain, which is not spiritual or immortal; brain death is final and irreversible, says medical science. They are closed and barred the roads leading to the beyond, to the lives after death, to heaven and hell, which exists only in our lives, made of matter convertible into energy and vice versa, highly complex and mysterious.
The sub-theme, or common denominator, is the myth of Prometheus, that challenges the human attitude of subservience to the gods of that era. In modern and contemporary times, this myth symbolizes the autonomy, self-perfection and self realization of human beings against the alienating mysterious and superhuman forces, such as their gods, their beliefs (dogmas) and their priests. It is the essence of today’s secularism.
The logical objective: the demystification of myths through knowledge and
enlightenment. It is here that they come into play: Nietzsche, Beckett, Goethe,
Shelley, Kafka, Wittgenstein, Cioran...
Matriarchy, as a social phenomenon, was rooted in female deities, pre-Hellenic period; the spear warrior and the male deities disrupted in patriarchy, Hellenistic period.
Pandora, Eve and other creation myths in which the woman comes from the man, made women to be marginalized until today.
The myth of the hereafter decried the human and human life in the here and
now. The spirit degraded matter and the "immaculate conception" sullied the
conception and sex. We are conceived in sin, says Catholic theology.
Besides the collective unconscious, with its archetypes, producers of the driving force of the symbol and imago, there were aware shamans, gurus or bards, medicine-men, sorcerers, behiques, druids, seers, priests and prophets who interpreted the silence of the gods. And it is precisely here where it lies the Gordian knot: the intermediate bridges –pontiffs- with their many and profound interests.
I consider this work more as a spreading than as a research. I analyze texts by various authors that I quote, comment and, sometimes, synthesize. I drank refreshing water in their springs and their trails provided me with lengthy and varied landscape of ideas to share with you, as we walk.
Initially, the myths were stories passed down orally from generation to generation. The myths have kaleidoscopic nature and multiple perspectives of different meaning: sacred stories, fantasy metamorphosed into reality, early science fiction, even symbolic and literal representations of reality. But there were the real aspects of the myths that have kept them meaningful for mankind for thousands of years. They are products of highly sophisticated and brilliant minds and they are treasures of revealing realities of experiences, fantasies, fears and hopes of humanity. They present human nature as a constant in the becoming future of humanity.
In the pristine origins, myths explained and taught the origin and order of the universe, the creation of human beings, natural phenomena, human behavior... The mythical explanation of the natural world was always presented in terms of religious beliefs that provided human beings early responses to universal questions. Unable to explain natural phenomena scientifically, man populated the world with a multitude of immortal gods, which, created at his own image, each of them controlled one aspect of the natural environment, put order without chaos and provided a rational scheme of life instead of confusion and unanswered questions.
Myths explained also the political aspect of their lives, the origin of the kingdoms, their history and that of the neighboring peoples. They also explained how to behave socially through directive moral doctrine, the Greek gods did not give an authoritative moral code as the Hebrew God did. Greek myths have positive and negative models for humans and they create significant patterns of behavior in a world of values they originate themselves. With the homo sapiens the first signs of mythological thinking appear in the burials, which include offerings and sacrifices that start the divine magical presence of extraordinary beauty. The rites and worship are offered to the animals, unknown forces of nature, the spirits of life and death. They are rituals of death and resurrection. Myths represent ignorance and creative genius at the same time, impotence and great creative, artistic combination of imagination and reality, attempts at playing with the spirits to attract the good ones and ward off the evil, to recognize the essentiality of nothing and nowhere and create immortality as a defense mechanism against the existential crisis.
The element of myth is that of our life, our body, of the environment of heroes and gods. The Greek, circa 1600 before our era, with their bronze and copper weapons, brought a new religion dominated by the masculine deities: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades…with their respective myths. Their lives were dominated by a heroic weapon, the spear.
Previous native agricultural Greeks were peaceful, professing a religion dominated by goddesses. The supreme deity was the goddess Mother Earth, called the Mother Goddess and the Great Goddess. Warriors invade, conquer and impose a patriarchal religion; their court was Mycenae, 1,600 BC. They were heroic warriors, aggressive conquerors. The most prominent warrior could become the leader of the community. They were the antithesis of the agricultural town whose matriarchal social structure reflected maternal principles, particularly the superiority of women, and it promoted respect and appreciation for the beauty of life and peace. Sparta,on the contray, became the symbol of the values of war and of a military lifestyle.
Originally religion was the property of individuals, then moved to families, then to tribes and then to the State, builder of temples, gods and manipulative myths. Each farming community was small and enough isolated from its neighbors to develop a strong sense of independence with their local deities. But this did not prevent the sharing of beliefs and myths of surrounding communities, thus affecting their social, ethical values and morals of their daily lives.
The appreciation and reverence for the land was natural in women, being farmers themselves. Mother Earth made up for them shelter and food needed to survive. It was the Mother Earth that made reborn life every spring and fed it to reach maturity. These people felt a deep bond with everything related to nature. They also were born, grew, and died, as well as animals and plants in their environment. Earth was also responsible for their fertility, as for the plant and animal kingdom. And they also, like plants and presumably like animals, must be reborn in some way after death. Their religion was centered on the belief of eternity, using the cycle of birth, maturity, death and rebirth or reincarnation. Their safety depended on the continued operation of this cycle. Mother Earth, goddess of fertility, becomes the supreme goddess of life and death and she receives prayers and rituals, sacrifices that she rewards with blessings like the fertility of plants, animals and man, like good health and economic prosperity.
The religious life of the Mediterranean people was dominated by the belief of
a Great Mother Goddess. Agrarian society reflects these religious
attitudes in its structure and values. The community was ruled by a queen who
was the greatest priestess of the Great Mother Goddess. Probably the one who
received her position of authority from the last priestess-queen was the
youngest daughter, to ensure the longest reign. All mortal women were considered
daughters of the Mother Goddess. Their position in their societies reflected the
community's attitude towards the matriarchal Great Goddess. Moreover, women
dominated all the religious and social rituals and all the institutions.
The family was vital in the matriarchal community.
Social status, inheritance and the name came from the mother, who, accompanied by a brother, ruled the family. The father's role was negligible, there was complete sexual freedom. A woman could love so many men as she wanted. In the early days, it was even thought that man was not necessary for procreation. Motherhood was a mystery, a miraculous event, possibly aided by the fertilizing wind and water.
In this society, the first ethical and moral obligation was to its own group, especially to mother and sisters, including the protection and, if necessary, revenge. Therefore, the greatest crime was that of the son against his mother. This theme creates a central argument of the Oresteia; and Antigone, buring her brother,superimposes the family laws to those of her country.
Despite taking the law into their own hands - restorative justice and human sacrifices - the matriarchal society tended to be a peaceful, centered on the same family rather than in the conquest of their neighbors. Family life focused on the mother figure, in the land and home. Maternal love was a humane and peaceful influence, creating an aura of honor, trust, hospitality, generosity, concern and reverence for all life. Life centered on matriarchal communities, also on earth. Life emerged from the depths of the earth and death reinstated to the earth what it had sprouted from it. The earth was a dark mother, a region where the sun never penetrated. Therefore, the man was approaching the Great Goddess in the dark. The time was measured at night. Religious rituals and meetings, important religious, secular and political events, were held at night. The moon was more important than the sun. The months were calculated by the cycles of the moon that produced seven-day uniform weeks, uniform months of twentyeight days, and a lunar year of thirteen months plus one day.
Queen joins a young husband to achieve her fertility and to replace her in her sacred roles on occasion, wearing her royal robes, using fake breasts and wearing her symbols. This holy king, in the early matriarchy, was sacrificed still young to enthrone another young successor. The priestess tore his body and ate his members to acquire raw and fertility powers. And his blood was sprinkled on the land and on animals to fertilize them. And it was annually. Later, the matriarchal society allowed extend the reign of the holy king from a year of thirteen months to a large year of one hundred moon months, eight years approximately. To fertilize the fields and animals annually, a young man replaced the king one day on the throne, then he was sacrificed and his blood was sprinkled on fields and animals, and the king, who pretended to be dead that day, returned to the throne. Finally, the matriarchal society allowed the use of animals instead of young boys in the sacrifices and the second king could reign for a second term.
The myth of fertility regulated in Thracian that the sacred king was to be killed by horses. The king's body would be tied to the tails of four horses, which, galloping in opposite directions, dismembered him and thus he fertilized the soil with his blood. In a similar ceremony, the priestess, equipped with horse masks, they could hunt the king, kill him and eat his flesh. With the arrival of the warrior tribes to Greece, it was eliminated the matriarchal system. The main deity is male, Zeus, the chief oracle, Apollo at Delphi. With the support of the Olympic myths, the king set himself as the chief ruler of the community and his eldest son becomes his heir. The daughters are, with the passage of time, owned by their brothers and they marry who parents choose. The wives will belong to their husbands on property. Already about 1300 BC, the kings ruled for life; and in 1200 BC, the eldest son was the rightful heir to the throne. The society became more aggressive, more militarized, it promoted heroic deeds in battles with neighbors and it was ambitious of riches of conquest. Myths and their manipulation changed the gender perspective 180 degrees.
THE MYTH OF URANUS
SATURN (CRONUS) DEVOURING HIS SON(S), BY GOYA.
The black stains intensify the terrifying interpretation of the mythological theme: the god as symbol of shady character and of the forces of destruction. The struggle for power, warp and weft of our lives, was projected onto the gods, theomachy.
The myth of the reign of Uranus represents the attempt of the ancient Greeks
- the Mycenaeans - to explain the origin of the universe. The creation of the
myth represents natural values superimposed on the creation myth of
matriarchal agrarian era, in which Gaia, the great goddess, created and nurtured
to Uranus, but he becomes king and rules with brutal force. He does not want
peace because his wife did not submit fully to his domination, and he feared
that his children dethroned him and therefore he chained them in the depths of
the earth. Gaia, who loved her children, did not pardon him, made him lose the
gift of fathering children and left him. Cronus, the son of Uranus and Gaea,
aided by his mother, dethroned his father. (2)
Uranus was dismembered, as had been the sacred kings, and their blood fertilized the land and sea. From now on, the world will belong to men.
Cronus, smarter than his father, instead of burying his sons in the depths of the earth, incorporates them in himself by eating them. Zeus, saved by his mother, shows more wisdom than his father Cronus and, aided by the wisest immortal Metis, dethroned his father. With the rise of Zeus as lord of Olympus, the progression from chaos to an orderly universe was completed. He established a council composed of twelve major gods, including himself, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Ares, Athena, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Dionysus.
We must recognize that the Greek myths were the product of an ancient highly developed civilization. Most of them were related to the nature of man, his role in society and his relationship with the gods.
The ancient Greeks were perceived as human beings, not omnipotent. They were often subject to events beyond their control, such as weather, disease, war, famine, death ... They attribute many of these problems to immortal beings adorned with human attributes and human forms, anthropomorphism. But although these gods were much more powerful than man, they were not omnipotent. There were many gods who had different personalities and different role in the universal order
Each god demanded different attitudes of men, as different kind of sacrifices. What was pleasing to a god could displease another.
The man could make any effort to please the gods through prayer, appropriate sacrifices and other rituals, and hope for the best.They accepted their world and that of their Gods as they were, and they concentrated on doing the best on each situation. In many aspects, the attitudes and actions of the gods corresponded to themselves and were a reflection of the predominant morality and the ethical values of the times. The major difference existed in the type of marriage. The Micenic Greeks were monogamous and the union bondage was sacred. The promiscuity of the immortals in their myths projected the religious conflicts of the past, in which the matriarchal values combined with the emerging patriarchal ones. Plato and Aristotle were impressed greatly by the behavior of the gods in the Greek myths; they did not see in them any positive value, only the corruption of customs.
Many of the Greek myths taught men to accept their limitation, including mortality, and that they could not surpass the gods in any aspect, knowledge, health, art or beauty.
The gods live eternally and without change, while man flows rapidly, as if he was a dream or a shadow. Since he is going to die, he must obtain what is better for his life. He must enjoy the happiness he finds in his surroundings, whatever the way, within the current ethics.
Despite the fact that man cannot escape his destiny, as with death, the Micenic Greeks contended that man was free, throughout his life, and was able to make decisions that could determine the quality of his life. A moral code, authoritarian and divinely inspired to guide the human conduct, did not exist. Nevertheless, many of the Greek myths taught man how to behave in society and with the gods, examining the mortal choices, and presenting different alternatives and their consequences. Even though a divinely inspired moral code did not exist, the obligation of man with himself, with society, and his gods, was clear. The human being has an obligation to make an effort for excellence (arete) in all aspects of his life, avoid the extremes and get the golden middle term, and not forget his mortality and human condition. He is not a god, and excessive excellence could conduct him to an excessive pride (hybris), that could make him forget his humanity. It could seem arrogant and insolent, showing little respect with men or gods, which could bring their own destruction, as it happened in diverse mythologies. (3)
GAIA, THE EARTH
WINGED GODDESS OF FERTILITY
(Beginnings of II millenium B.C.). The delicate feminine
beauty contrasts with the brutal note of animal organs
and above all the paws, symbolizing the
double aspect of love.
The birth of man from earth is a universal belief. Children are thought to
come from the depths of the earth, the caves, the seas, the fountains and rivers.
Death is the reunion with Mother Earth, "flesh and bones return back to Earth again," it is said in Chinese funeral ceremonies.
And the human mother only makes repeat the primordial act of the emergence of life in the bosom of the earth.
The woman is mystically attached to the Earth; the birth is a variety of earthy fertility.
According to He
TWO REPRESENTATIONS OF THE GREAT MOTHER
Found in Cyprus (III millennium and XIV-XIII centuries BC respectively).
The ancient Greeks, unlike the ancient Hebrews, never received strict orders from their gods, only guiding principles by which they could live. They lived according to moral and ethical codes that they set for themselves, but that did not apply to the gods who could be cruel and capricious, or kind and fair. And they did not expect perfection, or of themselves or of the gods.
PROMETHEUS AND PANDORA
By Jacob Jordaens, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
"Prometheus foresees the fall of all power based on violence," Schajowicz.
According to Hesiod (Works and Days), originally the earth produced its fruit in abundance and without effort, then Zeus took away the men the easy life, due to Prometheus’ trick at Mecona regarding the sacrifices. He also removed the fire from men, the fire they hold during the golden age under the reign of Cronus. Mankind had lived free of evils, pains and diseases until the arrival of the female, Pandora.
The progressive degradation of man begins with the challenge of Prometheus to
Zeus about who knew more. The Titan prepared two batches of a large bull that
had just killed. The first contained the best pieces of meat and offal, wrapped
in skin; the other was very attractive, all covered with grease, that the Greeks
were fond of, but inside it contained only bones. Prometheus invited Zeus to
choose the one he liked. Zeus was wrong and chose the worst. So men burned only
the bones in the sacrifices, as a result of this etiological myth (causal myth).
But Prometheus had to pay for his daring to overcome Zeus in knowledge. In Mecon
it was completed for humans to feast with the gods. Prometheus and humans will
suffer. Effortlessly life and youth will be gone by; the old age, sickness and
pain will be present and future. Cronus is replaced by Zeus and the golden age
comes to an end.
The chronology of Hesiod is a puzzle, because the men of the golden age should not have women. Anyway, although in the Theogony it is not mentioned the name of Pandora (all gifts), it is said that women are drones who consume the substance of men without giving them anything in return. Hesiod concludes that the man who has a good wife has a mixture of good and evil, she looks after him in old age and her wealth is distributed among the heirs and she restores the balance of man alone. But women are an expensive and misleading luxury and they impose on men by displaying their attractions.
Greek literature directly and unequivocally accepts the mortality of man. Homer, Pindar and the tragic writers state that between gods and men there is an unbridgeable gap: death. The life that awaits the men after death can only be a miserable life. Death is a topic feature of melancholy, and the contemplation of the light of day for the last time is a matter of regret, but even the most privileged men, in the golden age, had to die. What was significant was to die young, without effort or pain; the miserable old age did not reach them and died as if they were overcome by sleep (5). Once dead, they became deities or spirits, although they belonged to the underworld.
The hybris, antisocial arrogance or insolence selfish, is the con-causing of human deterioration, the lack of respect for the opinion of the gods and others. The myth of Pandora, in the version of Works and Days, explains the current state of t
Prometheus creates man assisted by all the gods
Roman sarcophagus of the 3rd century BC
It was Prometheus who fashioned the first men of clay, giving them the
upright position to look upon the gods. Zeus gave them the breath of life, like
The first humans were still primitive beings who lived on what they could kill (with their wood bows, their horn axes and their knives) and on the few crops they managed to grow. They did not know the fire, so they ate raw meat and wrapped in thick fur to keep warm in the cold. They were incapable of making pots or bowls and did not know metal working to obtain useful tools and weapons. Zeus was glad that they lived in that state, fearing that someone could grow enough to rival him. But Prometheus had learned to love mankind and knew that, with his help, men (humans) could progress. He and Zeus had created the human race, not just animals.
"We should teach them the secret of fire," said Prometheus to Zeus, otherwise, they will always be helpless children. We should finish what we started. "They're happy with what they have," said Zeus, "why bother?" Prometheus knew that he would fail to convince Zeus and then secretly went to Olympus, where the fire burned day and night, and lit a torch. He lighted on a piece of charcoal with it to make a firebrand; he hid it among the stalks of a fennel plant and brought it to men. That first firebrand would provide fire to men and Prometheus taught them to use it. He also helped them in other ways. For example, when sacrifices were made, the better part of the slaughtered animal's meat was always intended for the gods, and the worst for men. Using the aforementioned hoax, Prometheus achieved for the men the most appropriate part, the pile of flesh, not the one of disguised bones.
With the help of Prometheus man made rapid progress. He learned to shape vases and bowls, to build houses with blocks of fired clay and with the roof of bricks instead of twisted reeds. He learned to work metal for defence and hunting. But one night, when Zeus was watching from heaven, he saw a fire burning on the earth and realized he had been deceived. He called Prometheus. – "Do not you know I forbade you to give man the secret of fire?", he asked. "They say you are wise, but do not you understand that with your help someday man will challenge the gods?" – "It must not happen, if we love him and we give him good instruction", said Prometheus.
But Zeus was greatly angered and did not want to hear any more explanations. He ordered Prometheus to be taken to the eastern mountains and chained to a rock. A fierce eagle fed every day with his liver, and liver grew back overnight so that torture could start again. There were many years before Prometheus was released; some say that there were thirty thousand and it is unclear how it happened. According to a legend the mighty Hercules came to release him. However, Zeus was not satisfied with his revenge and made the human race go on suffering.
In his will, his son Hephaestus fashioned a girl with a mixture of clay and water. Athena breathed on her the breath of life and instructed her in the feminine arts of sewing and cooking. Hermes, the winged god, taught her the craft of deceit and Aphrodite showed her how to make all men wish her. Other goddesses dressed her with silver and they girded her head with a garland of flowers, then they took her to the presence of Zeus. "Take this casket," he said, handing him a box of polished copper, he said, it's yours, bring it along, but do not open it under any pretext. Do not ask me why and be happy, because the gods have given you what all women want. Pandora, such was the name the girl, smiled. She thought the casket would be full of jewels and precious stones. Then Zeus said: "Now we have to find a husband who loves you, and I know the right man: Epimetheus. He will make you happy". Epimetheus was the brother of Prometheus, but he lacked all the prudence of his brother. Prometheus had warned him not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but he, a bit flattered and perhaps fearful of rejecting the offer, accepted Pandora as his wife. Hermes accompanied the girl to the brilliant husband’s house in the world of men.
"Well, friend Epimetheus, do not forget that Pandora has a case that she should not open under any circumstances", he said. Epimetheus took the case and placed it in a safe place. At first, Pandora was happy living with him and forgot about the case, later it began to undermine her itch of curiosity. "Why cannot we see at least what it contains?", she said to her husband.
Then, while Epimetheus was sleeping, she opened the casket and, swift as the wind, they went out all the ills that afflict us since then: fatigue, poverty, old age, illness, jealousy, vice, passion, suspicion. .. Desperate, Pandora attempts to close the casket, but it was too late. Its contents had been scattered everywhere. The revenge of Zeus had been done, the human race could not be noble as Prometheus had wanted. Life would be a struggle against difficulties of every kind. There was little chance that the man could aspire to the throne of Zeus.
But the triumph of the king of the gods was not complete. A little something was left at the bottom of the box and Pandora managed to shut it up. It was hope. With it, mankind had found a way to survive in this hostile world. Hope gave them a reason to live. (6).
SYMBOLISM OF THE MYTH OF
The myth of Prometheus reveals general truths about human nature and its
relationship with the world in which they live. It recognizes that man is
helpless against the cold and hunger.
Zeus feared to help the man because he could rebel and rival against his authority. The father of the gods does not love the man and he wants to destroy him, as they had done other gods of other religions with the flood, "because men had become bad." To Prometheus, by contrast, the human being is so important that the divine orders may be disobeyed if they adversely affect humanity. The myths of ancient Greece taught us that we can not require more than what the gods can allow without receiving a divine punishment and even total destruction. Prometheus rebelled against the inhumanity of Zeus and symbolizes, in modern and contemporary ages, the autonomy, self-perfection and
Prometheus, son of Japeto, tried to deceive and really deceived Zeus when he met him in Mecon with other gods and men to establish the ritual of sacrifices. And so, the archetype of sacrifice was established for all times, they are burnt in the altar as an offering the non edible parts, saving the meats. And the wrath of Zeus did not wait; nobody deceives unscathed the gods and Zeus showed no merci of human gender, not only of Prometheus, for another type of original sin, original fraud. (7).
Prometheus desecrates the first sacrifice in his condition of proto man, the biblic Adam. The expected blessing converts into a damnation, eternal justice irony, apparent triumph, realization of failure: The expulsion of paradise. The human being has remained homeless and without protective gods. Zeus, as a punishment, withdraws the burning fire they shared with the gods themselves. Prometheus, redeemer, compassionate towards men, steals the fire from the gods and restitutes it to the men. The Promethean myth relates to the creation of men and the surge of civilization. Because of this struggle, Zeus, enraged, chastised humanity with the bad contents in Pandora’s coffer and ordered Hephaestus to tie up Prometheus to the highest peak of the Caucasus Mountains, where a vulture would devour his liver which at night was regenerated to repeat the daily torment. Aeschylus in the Enslaved Prometheus transforms a deceitful Prometheus in the maximum benefactor o f humanity, the future Christian Jesus, the just crucified.
Prometheus has inherited from his mother the gift of prophecy and he refuses
Zeus the unveiling of a fatal and disastrous marriage to the god, because a son
of his would dethrone him, as he had done with his father Cronus.
The Prometheus of Aeschylus is a super-titan, bearer of civilization and human culture. Prometheus sees the fall of all power based on violence. Fate is above the gods. The Promethean spirit is above the autocracy of Zeus. The fire symbolizes the very substance of culture and Prometheus, rather than a thief, is the bearer of fire, he is the one with a torch in his hand, normal attribute of the god of fire and fire arts, the discovery and use of iron, copper, silver and gold…(8)
Prometheus is the inaugurator of the culture of men as opposed to Zeus and other Olympians gods who were anti-human progress. There was an eternal conflict between gods and men. The function and role of Prometheus is a call to all human beings to fight all the gods, killers of human, of his creativity, happiness and fulfillment. Every God created by humans turns out to be a tyrant against humanity, terrible paradox. So, why create them? The priests and the political elite are well aware of the infinite power of attraction, of cohesion and submission that the gods and their religions have for the people. So they created them and, at the same time, they set themselves as their plenipotentiaries. This was the best recipe they could invent against individualism and democracy. All power comes from God: think of Paul of Tarsus, Constantine and Muhammad ... The circle closes perfectly and without any cracks… by the grace of myths and their proper and timely handling.
And all peoples, all cultures, including pre-Columbian America, include
almost the same myths narrated in different ways, but with similarities in the
background: creation of the world by the gods, the flood, the sin, the origin of
women from man, the theft of fire ... The Taino mythology myths are narrated by
Fray Ramon Pane in his Account about the Antiquities of the Indians.
The coincidence of the different cultures in these areas could be explained by Jung's collective unconscious and his archetypes of archaic schemes, the use of the arcane and sacred with religious and political purposes of subjugation and alienation of the ignorant and fearful masses. In Lévi-Strauss' structuralism such coincidences are due to the fact that human beings respond in a similar way to similar circumstances.
In Greek mythology, according to Hesiod, there was the principle of harmony
between gods and men, the race of gold and the subsequent of silver until
arrived the bronze race, which was warlike, insolent and cruel. The fourth race
was more noble and generous. The fifth race is the current iron, unworthy
descendants of the fourth, degenerate, cruel, unjust, lustful, wicked and cruel
children. The intent of human beings to conquer the self-government through
the culture was judged by Olympus as a chaos (hybris). Zeus, emerging
victorious from the fight against the gods (theomachy), cocky, arrogant and
without the experience that gives the suffering and loss, uses the power
(cratos) and the violence (bia) tyrannically. He opposes the perfectibility of
human beings, but he ends up liberating his father Cronus and all the Titans
thrown into Tartarus. He reconciles with Prometheus, allowing Heracles kill with
an arrow the eagle tormentor, and so he is reconciled with humanity. Yahweh will
do so after the death of the righteous on the cross. Zeus is kept in power
because he learned to be human; gods need human beings so much as these need
The obstinacy of Uranus and Cronus prevented them from recognizing the law of Moira. Zeus suffers evolution, becomes less evil and more god, and that is his own salvation. The Christian Yahweh always pure act, always ecstatic, immutable, punitive and vindictive, repels and terrifies. He is an archaic God, for a unique people.
You should not forget that no one comes to possess the mythos, the sacred. Faced with the sacred it can only be an attitude of openness. There is a logic of myth, as in poetry and sacred, different from the modern scientific or mathematical logic. To the Greek world, as to all cultures, we must approach with their ideas and values, their peculiar social frame of reference. For those Greeks, the myth was their truth, their world and the principle of identification as a people; they are living myths. But if the Greeks of today maintained the same faith in those myths, it would be at least dysfunctional, among other things; they are dead myths. The same applies to the myths of all religions, but believers, clinging to archaic beliefs, refuse to interpret the rhythm of the signs of the times and they refuse to analyze them in the light of new scientific discoveries. Well, is not easy, we must remember that the myth is innate to humans, especially to the masses. The mythical and the scientific reality belong to different galaxies. Imposing beliefs on scientific ideas involves bigotry, and all religions, some more than others, have their history full of acts of violation of fundamental human rights that cause fear. Religions turn out to be disastrous for humanity, despite the sacred shield and the constantly invoked God.
The fire of Prometheus, the Promethean torch, is repeated in the Christian
Pentecost. The tongues of fire above the heads of the early Christians and the
infusion of grace, gifts and charismas, make apostles torchbearers of Christ. In
recent centuries, with Goethe and Shelley, Prometheus myth emerges as an
idealized anti-god, a bearer of human protest against the supreme power of the
dogmatic theology of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Shelley's Prometheus has messianic characteristics compared to Jupiter who has the characteristics of Jehovah in the Old Testament. The hostility to institutionalized Christianity is obvious and, as a common denominator, it is sought the emancipation of humanity from the chains of obscurantism.
Goethe’s Prometheus reproaches Jupiter, the Latinized Zeus, to be jealous of his property on fire, the creative and pristine force of universe. He is the prophet of the human spirit against the mystery of divine silence. Schajowicz asks: Which is the counterpart of Prometheus in the religion of the Hebrews? "The Titan who rebelled against Zeus has been compared with Lucifer; the proto-man, thrown from the divine presence, with Adam; the savior of humanity, with Christ. But who sees Prometheus as the proto-thinker will find his analogue, within the Judeo-Christian tradition, in the figure of Job. Only Job is allowed to interrogate to the point that the constant assertion of his innocence calls into question God's justice. However, no satisfactory response is received, nor from his friends or from God himself. God does not say why the righteous must suffer so terribly, but he requires of all his creatures the submission to his inscrutable will. This evades a possible dialogue and discourages the questioning attitude as such. "
Jehovah does not answer the real question and he reaffirms his power when it is his righteousness which is in question. It is reaffirmed the theo-centrism of the prophet Ezekiel: "You like it or not, by force, I will be your king!"
Here is the promethean spirit: Searching against possession, dialogue against apologetic attitudes and spirit of indoctrination, insecurity against recipes for salvation, emancipation from domination and alienation. There is no freedom without rebellion and the same rebellion is of divine origin. (9).
THE MYTHS IN THE ILIAD
HELENA SERVING PRIAMUS
Painting of a Greek vase.
But Homer was neither a theologian nor a mythographer. He never systematically presented mythological or theological discipline, but, as Plato says, he educated all over Greece and especially his favorite audience: the members of the military and feudal aristocracy. He captivated everybody, with a never matched fascination with his literary genius. And he should be credited with having unified and articulate the Greek culture with the creation of timeless archetypes through the gods and myths. His creations were sung by the genius of the great artists of classical times.
The Iliad and the Odyssey are Homeric poems sung by Homer in his role of aedo (minstrel or bard of the time), although perhaps they were not written by him. These epics were for the Greeks what the Bible is for the Jews and the Koran for the Arabs: Elements of ideological cohesion, configuration and awareness as a people. They are at the same time the origin of belief for those peoples. They constitute the subordination of ideas to beliefs, of the scientific knowledge to the mythical, antagonistic heart of past and future. But the perception of the gods is kaleidoscopic. According to Schelling, it is not the man who created the mythos, but it is quite the opposite: the mythos created the man, human society presupposes a prior disclosure of the divine. The mythos is primary and original and the history is its derivative. It is the theogonic process which coincides with the cosmogony. Therefore, the myths would not be either projections (psychology) or superstructures (sociology). Rilke would say, "Be your morning once again, gods! We repeat. Only you are the origin". The mythos relates a hierophany, modality of the sacred, and the situation of man in relation to the sacred.
Although Zarathustra sentence: "God and all the gods are dead", when we say
mythos we say inspiration. According to Goethe, the eye could not
perceive light if it were not essentially solar; we could not rapt in the divine
if we were not encouraged by the very power of God. It is the poetic aspect that
escalated to a high degree the virtuality of myth. But the psycho-sociological
reality of the myth says something quite different.
All religions have insisted in the theriomorphic and anthropomorphic character of their gods. The gods are projections of men, with all their human weight, virtues and vices, instincts and passions. But they are much more, because what is perceived as real is real in its consequences. The gods are constituted as the highest symbol of the spiritual possibilities of man himself. That is why he becomes an adorateur animal, according to Baudelaire, because the gods are illuminating images of life. Goethe speaking of Zeus, of his statue at Olympia, said: "God became man to turn man into God." The same is stated in the Catholic religion when they talk about Jesus, God-man, man-God (Council of Nicea, 325), but not woman. The fact of women to remain faithful, despite everything that all religions have said against them and despite the marginalization and vilification they have been subjected to, is very surprising and inexplicable today.
The mythos is a pre-rational and pre-scientific way of understanding the world, as we have repeated. It is not always easy to separate the poetry of the prose in the mythos, sometimes they mingle subtly.
The Iliad is not a frivolous book in which the gods do not take human life seriously. The gods are factional and take part in the fight as warriors. It means the precariousness of the gods in the Homeric world: " Priam called Helena and said to her: Come, dear daughter, sit beside me so you see your former husband and his relatives and friends, because I do not consider you guilty but the gods, who promoted against us the mourning war of the Achaeans ...", Chant III, 161-166. "Once again Menelaus attacked Paris to kill him with the bronzed spear, but Aphrodite took his son with great ease, as she was a goddess, and brought him, wrapped in thick fog, to the fragrant and perfumed thalamus", Chant III, 379-384. Menelaus wins this time with the help of Athena, "another day I will overcome her, because we also have Gods to protect us," says Paris. Aphrodite put Aeneas out of the fray. Cypris, goddess, was wounded in battle, in the palm of her hand, and "divine blood flowed", or rather, the ichor, as this is what they have the gods, who do not eat bread nor drink black wine and so have no blood and are immortal. Zeus, the father of men and gods, called Aphrodite and told her: "To you, my dear, they have not been assigned military actions, devote yourself to the sweet work of matrimony, and the impetuous Ares and Athena will take care of those "Chant V, 428-430.
The God of the Hebrews, Yahveh, also fought for his people against the
Egyptians and other neighbouring peoples, as Allah did for his people in the
Islamic holy wars. The Homeric gods have been criticized for being indifferent
to the salvation of man. The Greeks theology was not based on the assumption
that the man needs redemption; that he is to be redeemed. Such
Christian assumption assumes that you are lost and so it is needed the myth and
invention of original sin and other sins. The Greek worldview, of exquisite
spirituality, does not promise heaven or eternal life. The reading of the
Homeric works frees us from false fears (Dante's hell) and false hope (heaven
and eternal life.) At birth, we have the germ of destruction; the time of birth
is beginning to be the time of death. And this life is an end in itself, not a
bridge, or transit to the other. The priestly castes of religions, which play
with the hope of the beyond to perpetuate their powers and privileges, do not
enter the lucid Greek mentality. In the Greek world, everything is beautiful:
the life, the human body and instincts. Sin has not ruined, flawed and corrupt
Hölderlin conceived Christ as the last of the Greek gods. The divinity of Christ, about which they did not speak anything in the first centuries except in the Council of Nicaea (AD 325), also belongs to the mythical world. Renan said in his book, The Life of Jesus, “if he was not God, he deserved to be”; yes, he deserved to be, we add. No doubt that Nicaea mythified and deified Jesus, a Jewish prophet, and that the Church boasts of being founded by God. Muslims, however, never deified their prophet, and the Jews themselves did not believe in this Jesus-God invented by Christians to give divine origin of their religion with a church "Establishment". His own apostles, and it is logical, did not hail him as a god, totally unthinkable in that Yahvist time. But the power of myth is infinite and humans have an enormous fabulating capacity, which could be very beneficial to its creators.
The myth of original sin implies:
Kafka, anti ideologue, says that all power is evil, even of that of God.
There is pain, but no hope or freedom. For Beckett and Wittgenstein there is
abandonment of God, no way, atavistic guilt. For Nietzsche there are insights
and illusions of perspective. For God there is infinite hope, but not for
humans. Only for us there is no hope, says Kafka, who also says: "For men there
is no personal growth. He only experiences the descent. Therefore, he violates
the cosmic order. This is the original sin. "
"The cosmic order and harmony are incompatible with human existence. The human consciousness that they will die, the knowledge of death is the original sin, and its consequence is the shame. Human suffering, especially physical, is the only indisputable fact, that hurt animal, locked in a cell with no doors or windows. That is its fate and its sin, and its weariness that consumes us." (10).
"The human being has not committed the original sin. It is against him that the original sin was committed; he has been seriously and unjustly offended by the inventor of the myth of original sin."
Kafka is based on Greek tragedy, especially in the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ulysses, the classic survivor extremely fatigued of the Homeric epic, prefers to go on living, by using a subtle flexibility, prudent caution and wisdom to return to Ithaca, his home. Achilles, which has his equivalent in the shame, knowing oracle of his mother Thetis, opts for fame and is willing to die young, but full of glory. Both epics begin with an invocation to the muse of poetry, a practice supported by the ancient belief that to create poetry and to achieve relative immortality of characters of the story, they had to use a divine and mysterious art that could only be performed with the supernatural help.
The Iliad’s sole purpose is: To sing "the wrath of Achilles son of Peleus, deadly cholera that caused innumerable evils to the Greeks ... since they parted, disputing, Agamemnon ... and Achilles." It is also the story of a war, heroism and cowardice, greed and avarice, of filial love, pain and hatred; it is a reflection of man in the universe and a revelation of the acts and thoughts of the gods.
The Iliad is the great poem of war and, at the same time, of peace. The final scene between Achilles and Priam, Andromache's pain at her husband Hector, killed by Achilles, and the lamentations of Helena are a universal pain chant. In the Chant XXII, Hecuba, Hector's mother, is sobbing and moaning, while she is tearing her hair and she burns her clothes symbolically in honor of her beloved husband. Achilles takes revenge on Hector's body, because the Greeks believed that the soul's fate depended on the treatment that was given to the corpse. The Greeks were intended to be heroes, full of infinite self-esteem.
The Iliad is the manifestation of a powerful genius who wraps in poetry a world of war, meanness and misfortunes. It contains all the complexity of human existence with its grandeur and misery.
MOIRA IN THE ILIAD
The intervention of the gods mingle with the combatants, who have human passions and who are closer to the men than the God of the Old Testament, is subject to the course of destiny, or moira, which even they cannot change.
"With disastrous Fate I gave you birth in the palace ", Tethys, I, 417.
"Zeus and other gods know to which of them the fate has prepared the death", Priam, III, 309. "We gods are continually suffering horrible evils that we cause each other to please men", V, 873.
The great Hector, of the gleaming helmet, tells Helena: "I do not know if I shall return to battle, or the gods will make me succumb to the hands of the Achaeans", VI, 368.
Hector put the child in the arms of beloved wife, who, upon receiving him in the scented breast, was smiling with his face still wet with tears. Hector noticed it and, sympathetic, caressed her with his hand and he spoke thus: "dear wife! Not too much grieve your heart, nobody will send me to Hades before the fate dispose, because no man, coward or brave, once born, can escape his fate...", VI, 482-492.
Helenus, beloved son of Priam, tells his brother Hector; "Challenge the bravest
of them to fight you in terrible combat, because fate has not yet dispose you to
die and get to the final limit of your life", VII, 50 -52.
Athena, the goddess of the shining eyes, says to Zeus:" But we are sorry for the warlike Achaeans, they will die and their tragic fate will be fulfilled", VIII, 34.
Hera's wrath did not fit in her chest and she cried to Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and he replied her, speaking of the Patroclus corpse: "So the fate ordered it, and I do not matter you get irritate."
The Moira, Morae, Fate or destiny, involved a total order book on the particular human being, determining him; humans do not realize or know the total order or its irreversible strength, which makes the moira be blind.
Hector, dear to Zeus, leaning on his spear of eleven cubits, whose gleaming bronzed point was fastened by golden ring, harangues the Trojans: "...I shall cast out here those rabid dogs brought by fate in the black ships" VIII, 492-496 and 527-529.
Achilles refuses to accept the apologies and presents of Agamemnon through
Ulysses, led by his pride and greed and also supported on the advice of his
mother, the goddess Thetis: "My mother Thetis, the goddess of silvery feet, says
that the Fate has ordained that my life ends in one of these two ways: if I stay
to fight around the city of Troy, I will not return to the motherland, but my
glory will be immortal; if I come back I will lose the illustrious reputation,
but my life will be long, since death will not surprise me so soon, "IX,
The Trojan dit not follow the advice, "because his unhappy fate caused him to die pierced by the spear of illustrious Idomeneus of Lampsacus", XII, 115.
The augurs interpreted the flight of birds: "... an ominous bird: an eagle soaring high...".
The Greeks often cry and fear death, because they do not consider a pleasure the afterlife. "Sing, O Muse, the wrath of Achilles. " Anger is the fulfillment of the will of Zeus. Achilles tells Priam: "Men fight for everything, and the gods ... have woven the pain in the plot of our lives. " The man turns out to be a puppet in the hands of fate or destiny, that even the gods themselves may not change. That is the tragic fate of human freedom. The obvious question is this: who provides, if not the gods, that total order with its infinite and blind power? And how is it saved the freedom of human beings? The equivalent to fate, in the Catholic theology,it is the omniscient Providence and, in the Reformation, it is the predestination.
God knows and cares for the world and humans, he knows what we are going to do, he knows our destiny, he chooses and destines us; and it is so because he is omniscient and provident. Catholic theologians come to the rescue with this device: God knows because he foresees what will happen, it does not happen because He determines it. And so human freedom is saved. But if it will happen, it cannot fail to happen, it is necessary, not free at all.
TETIS IMPLORING ZEUS
By Ingres, Aix-en-Provence Museum
is the owner of the being and of the ways of being, he can know what will
happen, respecting freedom and the way of being, are saying the theologians.
This could be in the logic of God, whom we do not know "when we speak of God it
is not of God we speak about", but has no logical consistency in human thinking.
If there is the moira, the fate, providence and predestination, there is no
The dilemma is insoluble, and precisely for this reason, it is tragic. This problem belongs to the mythical thinking, not to the scientific one, and it is, therefore, about absurd propositions or judgments.
Everything was perfect in the tragedy. The actor adopted heroic words and gestures, just as the poet looking for his characters, not out of humanity, but above it. The constant theme was the moral struggle between freedom and destiny, unyielding power to which the gods themselves bowed their foreheads. Asian belief in the supreme deity can not accuse the gods of injustice even when they press the right man on behalf of the wicked one, and it could be believed that the tragic poets were in line to guard the spirit against the instability of human affairs. The Agamemnon of Aeschylus, when he entered the palace, he exclaims: "Honour me, not as a God, but as a man. The first gift of the gods is moderation; do not proclaim anybody happy except the one who has reached the end of his days in the middle of quiet prosperity”. The Trachiniae, Sophocles' drama, begins with the words of Deyanira: "They always said it could not judge the good or evil of our life until we have reached its fatal end."
In Euripides, Andromache exclaims: "You should never call anyone happy before the end of his days" and in Oedipus of Sophocles there are directed these words to the audience: "After so many great things, behold what abyss was Oedipus precipitated. Learn, blind mortals, to turn your eyes to the last day of your life and do not call anyone happy before the deadline arrives." It seems that the exquisite sense of beauty excluded from the Greek tragedy normal misfortunes, as well as any matter which approached our ordinary condition. The Tragic Muse complied more readily with the adventures of heroes and gods.
The popular element was emphasized more particularly in the choir, the true character of Athens drama. The chorus, representing public meetings, exerts its supremacy over the highest characters: it judges, criticizes, encourages and praises, while it moderates violent emotions resulting from the tragic events. And it set itself up as impartial arbiter of good or bad actions in the midst of the fierce struggle of dramatic passions. (11).
AGAMEMNON AND CLYTEMNESTRA
Agamemnon and Menelaus, Atreus’ sons, were raised together with Aegisthus, son of Thyestes.
Agamemnon first fought against Tantalus, king of Pisa, and son of his ugly uncle
Broteas, whom he killed in battle and forcibly married his widow Clytemnestra,
daughter of Leda and of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta. The Dioscuri (Castor and
Pollux), brothers of Clytemnestra, marched on Mycenae, but Agamemnon had come
and beseeched Tyndareus his benefactor, who forgave him and allowed him to stay
with Clytemnestra. After the death of the Dioscuri, Menelaus married his sister
Helena and Tyndareus abdicated in his favor.
Clytemnestra gave Agamemnon a son, Orestes, and three daughters: Electra or Laodice, Iphigeneia or Iphianassa and Chrysothemis. Some say that Iphigenia was the niece of Clytemnestra, daughter of Theseus and Helena, of whom she took pity and adopted.
When Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy, abducted Helen, and thus caused the Trojan War, Agamemnon and Menelaus were ten years away from their homeland, but Aegisthus did not join the expedition and chose to stay in Argos to find ways to avenge the House of Atreus.
When Aegisthus learned that Clytemnestra was among the most eager to be convinced by Nafplion, he proposed himself not only be her lover, but also to kill Agamemnon with her help as soon as the war of Troy finished.
Hermes, sent by the omniscient Zeus to Aegisthus, advised him to give up his plans on the grounds that when Orestes came to manhood certainly would avenge his father. But despite all his eloquence, Hermes could not deter Aegisthus, who went to Mycenae with valuable gifts, but with hatred in his heart. Clytemnestra then surrendered to the arms of Aegisthus and he celebrated his unexpected victory with burnt offerings and gifts to Aphrodite and gold tapestries to Artemis, who felt bitter about the House of Atreus. Clytemnestra had few reasons to love Agamemnon, who, after killing her former husband Tantalus and the newborn child who was breastfeeding, had married her by force and then he had gone to a war that promised to go on forever. Consequently, Clytemnestra conspired with Aegisthus to kill Agamemnon and Cassandra.
Clytemnestra received her husband, tired of the trip, pretending that she was very happy. She made spread a purple carpet for him and took him to the bathhouse, where slaves had prepared a hot bath. Cassandra stood outside the palace, steeped in a prophetic ecstasy, and refused to come into, screaming that she smelled blood and the curse of Thyestes hung over the dining room. When Agamemnon was washed and removed a foot of the tub, ready to participate in the banquet served at the tables, Clytemnestra approached as to wrap him in a towel, but instead she threw on his head a piece of mesh woven by herself which had no opening for neck and arms. And so, entangled in this network as a fish, Agamemnon was killed by Aegisthus, who struck him twice with a double-edged sword. He fell back on the silver-walled bathroom, where Clytemnestra avenged her grievances cutting off his head with his ax.
Then she ran outside to kill Cassandra with the same weapon, not bothering to close the eyes and mouth of her husband, but she wiped with her hair the blood that had splashed, to imply that he had been responsible for his death. This massacre took place on 13th of the month gamelion (January), and without fear of divine punishment, Clytemnestra decreed to be held on that day a monthly festival with dances and offerings of sheep to their guardian deities. Some applaud her decision, but others argue that she inflicted eternal disgrace to all women, even the virtuous. Aegisthus also thanked the goddess who had helped him.
Clytemnestra had dreamed of giving birth to a serpent she wrapped around in diapers and nursed. Suddenly she shouted in his sleep and alarmed the whole palace saying that the snake had taken blood in addition to milk out of her breast. The opinion of the seers who were consulted was that she had incurred the wrath of the dead and, consequently, the mourner slaves were going on her behalf to make libations at the tomb of Agamemnon, hoping to appease his soul.
When the slaves referred the dream of Clytemnestra to Orestes he recognized himself in the snake and said that, in fact, he would play the role of the wily serpent and would draw blood from the perfidious body of his mother.
Not suspecting anything, Aegisthus entered the palace, where, to create a new distraction, Pylades had just arrived with a bronze urn. Pylades told Clytemnestra that the urn contained the ashes of Orestes, which Strophius had decided to send to Mycenae. This apparent confirmation of the first message made entirely trust Aegisthus. Orestes therefore had no difficulty to draw his sword and kill her. Clytemnestra then recognized her son and tried to placate discovering her chest and appealing to his filial duty, but Orestes decapitated her with a single blow with the same sword and his mother fell on the body of her lover. Standing on the corpses, Orestes spoke to the servants of the palace, holding up the network still stained with blood in which Agamemnon had died and eloquently apologized for the murder of Clytemnestra, reminding them of her treachery and adding that Aegisthus had suffered the sentence prescribed by law for adultery.
1. This is a crucial myth in various ways. The Olympianism had developed as a religion of transition from the pre-Hellenic matriarchal principle to the Hellenic paternal principle. The divine family at the beginning consisted of six gods and six goddesses. A subtle balance of power remained until Athena was reborn from the head of Zeus, and Dionysus, reborn from his thigh, took the place of Hestia in the Divine Council. Thereafter the male preponderance in all discussions was assured –situation that was reflected in the Earth- and they could successfully challenge the old powers of the goddesses.
2. Matrilineal inheritance was one of the axioms drawn from pre-Hellenic religion. Since all the kings had to be necessarily foreigners who ruled under his marriage to an heiress to the throne, the royal princes, learned to consider their mother as the mainstay of the kingdom and matricide as an unimaginable crime. They were raised in accordance with the rites of religion before, according to which the sacred king had always been deceived by his goddess wife, killed by his heir and avenged by his son. They knew that the son never punished his adulterous mother, who had acted with the authority of the goddess to whom he served.
3. It seems, therefore, that this myth, which circulated widely, had placed the mother in such a strong position when a family dispute arose, the priesthood of Apollo and Athena born from Zeus (traitor to the old religion) decided to terminate it. They succeeded making Orestes not be limited to bring Clytemnestra to justice, but even kill her and then get an acquittal in the most venerable court of Greece, with the support of Zeus and the personal intervention of Apollo, who had also encouraged Alcmeon to murder his traitorous mother Eriphyle.
The intention of the priests was nullify, once and for all, the religious axiom that motherhood is more divine than paternity.
In due course the trial was conducted. Apollo was presented himself as a defender and the oldest of the Furies as a prosecutor. In an eloquent speech, Apollo denied the importance of motherhood, saying the woman was only the inert groove in which the man places his seed, and declared that the action of Orestes was indeed justified and that the father was the only parent worthy of the name. As the votes were divided equally, Athena was declared fully in favor of the father and her deciding vote favored Orestes. And honorably acquitted, he returned happily to Argos and vowed that it would be a staunch ally of Athens while he lived. The Erinyes or Furies, however, strongly deplored the abolition of the old law carried out by some alien gods, and Erigone hung herself driven by mortification. (12).
The Furies were the embodiment of the remorse of conscience, able, as yet in Melanesia, to kill a man who has violated a taboo recklessly or inadvertently. Orestes refused to eat and drink, wrapped in a blanket. Paul of Tarsus in the chase and fall, Acts 9.3 to 5, spent three days without sight, without eating or drinking, until Ananias came.
There were three Furies: Tisiphone, Alectoy and Meger who lived in the Erebus. They had dog's head, bat wings and hair of snakes.
The purification was intended to escape the wrath of the Furies.
In Brauron, Orestes was hailed as the annual pharmacos, expiation victim for the guilt of the people.
DIALOGUE ON THE MYTH OF ANTIGONE
Sophhocles’ Antigone ( 442 BC). Two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices died fighting each other at opposite sides for the throne in Tebes’ civil war. Their uncle, Creon, who came to power after their dead, allowed Eteocles to be buried at once, in order he would obtain honor among the shades, but he orders a herald to forbid any funeral rites or burial to the corpse of Polynices: “Let him without mourning, unburied, a toothsome morsel for the birds of heaven, and who touches him will perish by the cruel death of stoning.”
Antigone, knowing the terrible punishment, damage and dishonor that her brother entails in this and the afterlife, guided by the love, she decides to disobey the decree of her uncle the king Creon and to perform funerals rites over her dead brother.
Antigone has broken the laws, while fulfilling the laws of gods, of city ( polis) and of people, for, according to the ideas of the Greek, to sprinkle dust thrice over the body of the dead was equivalent to burial.
"Antigone, vierge mère de l'ordre" ( Antigone, virgin-mother of order ),
"The accepted interpretation of Sophocles' Antigone is a total contradiction”, say Maurras. Who rebel against the cynical order and the law is not Antigone, but Creon, who has against him the gods of religion, the fundamental laws of the polis (city-state) and the feelings of the live polis. That is the true spirit of the work and its lesson, as well as the punishment of the tyrant, a violator of human and divine law. Creon is a monstrous illegality, and Antigone is the virgin-mother of order, who embodies the harmonious conscious laws of the man, of the gods and the city.
Antigone teaches us that history is a tissue of contradictions, of crimes committed with total clarity; evil is there and brings pleasure. Therefore, the idea of a trial -as Boutang would say- seems inconceivable unless you turn it upside down: the almighty Creator would apologize for having freely exposed men to so much misery on a planet so badly done as the earth. And the divine incarnation in a man is an irreparable impiety. A crucified God is an outrage, an obscenity, and somewhat useless, since there were no changes in the world. Christianity was a heresy of Judaism, that’s why Jesus died for his own sins (as Nietzsche would say), not for those of the others.
In all geographical areas of the world, throughout history, emerge archetypal scenes of savagery, irrationality, brutality and degeneracy, which proclaim to the distant galaxies that the gods of this world are voiceless and powerless, Boutang would say.
When the ideological foundations crumble, you hear the trumpet sounds of revenge against the demolition of the sacred power, of the theocracy, which is identified with the monarchy, with the power of one God, one king who receives the power from God and not from the people ("non est potestas nisi a Deo" says Paul.) It is identified with a single pope, first vicar of Peter, after of Jesus and later of the Trinity on earth, who speaks and acts in Gods name. There is no place for the republics, or to democracies that emerged against the doctrine of the Church, which endorses Paul blindly. They are the monarchist fundamentalisms, the trumpets of fundamentalism, spears and swords, ovens and pistols, the pistols and crematory ovens of fundamentalisms always emerging. We attend a juggling of words, puns, words with stereotypes, without ideas or concepts. It is the logo-cratic juggling.
After Auschwitz all comes late, except the anti-theos, the anti-gods. Human suffering is greater than the understanding such sufferings (the divine understanding), Boutang.
"What has prevented the Christianity to react effectively to the horror? To a horror linked in part to the myth of deicide, in part to the great theme of the rejection of the Messiah. They have a horror of horror, the entropy of sin. The darkness has gone through the light and not the reverse." (13).
The modern television introduces daily in our homes the apocalypse, the invasion of Creons with their tyrannies and mini-creons swarming everywhere.
Will it be a long time to the twilight of any religious fundamentalisms, which lack any internal connection both logical and rational, and ethical or aesthetical?
days journey of Abraham with his son Isaac to Mount Moriah. The God of the Jews
is testing Abraham, but for his foresight he knew what would happen, what for
the inhuman test? ... To refer to the secrets of God, to his inscrutable mind,
is a solemn and cynical stupidity, says Boutang.
Kant added: "If there has been a voice that has told his father to sacrifice his son is, by definition, the voice of the devil, it can not be the voice of God."
Kierkegaard says, however, it is the voice of God. We might add that it is the voice of myth. God asks him the submission in exchange for becoming the father of a great people: Abraham, "the father of all believers."
"After these things it came to pass that God tempted Abraham and said," Abraham, Abraham! "He said," Here I am. "He told him, 'Take your son, your only son, you love, Isaac, go to Moria country and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I tell you. "
Abraham got up, early morning, saddled his donkey and took two servants and his son Isaac. He broke the wood of the Holocaust and he walked to the place God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his servants: "Stay here with the donkey. I and the boy will go there, will worship and return them to you."
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, laid it on Isaac his son, took in his hand the fire and the knife and left the two together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father". He replied: "What, son?"
- "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And kept walking both together.
Having reached the place God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, then bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to sacrifice his son.
Then the angel of the Lord called him from heaven saying, "Abraham, Abraham!" He said, 'Here I am ‘. The angel said: "Do not lay your hand on the child, or do anything, now I know that you fear God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only."Abraham lifted up his eyes, looked up and saw a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and sacrificed it instead of his son. Abraham called that place "The Lord provides," and still it is said today: "On the mountain the Lord provides."
This story justifies the requirement of redemption of the firstborn for the Jews. The Canaanites, the neighboring town, practiced child sacrifice. It also justifies the mental anguish of Abraham who when he was a hundred years had a son of her half-sister, by the father, Sarah, who was barren. The omniscience of God makes absurd the torturing trial, almost infinite in distress. This psychological phenomenon is very difficult to explain, it is full of paradoxes. And instead of speaking about the faith of Abraham, it would be better to speak about the murderous irrationality of the patriarch who does not forgive his own son. Yes, a perfect symbol of submission. But Abraham is the anti human model of father and of human being; a vital anti-value, an authentic alienated religious man.
Kierkegaard speaks of a teleological suspension of ethics: "Abraham violates, by the act of his obedience, not just a moral law, in order to comply with a superior, but he breaks the whole moral, revealing himself, precisely at this moment of destruction, as a true homo religiosus. Abraham's action expressed in ethical terms is this: he wanted to kill Isaac, but expressed in religious terms is this: he wanted to sacrifice Isaac."
Kierkegaard explains the difference between ethics and religious experience. "The first is a general rule, the religious one represents here a justified exception, private relationship with the deity that legitimizes what Kierkegaard called teleological suspension of ethics. The patriarch is morally reprehensible for violating the general moral standard, but his faith is a saving paradox, by virtue of which, its uniqueness, prior subject to the general, rises above ethical standards. "
This is the religious argumentative key of all the fundamentalisms: God sent me to kill, I murderer in God's name.
This juggling of words and absurd lawsuits is typical of scholasticism. They are simple attempts to justify the unjustifiable, to do science where there are only myths. The philosopher acts as a theologian, he introduces an ethical subjectivism of unpredictable consequences, by justifying the death of a child, innocent child, with an empty semantic juggling; but his speech is legendary, root and source of religious fundamentalisms.
Here comes into play that sentence of Saint Anselm, XI century: Credo quia absurdum, (I believe because it is absurd). That’s the theology of the absurd. The self-realized man will always say: Do not murder. Then they will conclude: Facio quia absurdum (I do it because it is absurd). So we face the ethics of the absurd. The absurd ends invading everything, the vital invasion of the absurd. The child is not father's property as this could sacrifice (murder) him.
It is difficult to understand how so many talents, for so long, devoted their time and lives to fable, to enunciate unverifiable statements or propositions, meaningless, absurd. So long time devoted to dark metaphysics, to the detriment of all other sciences and, therefore, the quality of human life, always subject to the not verifiable mythical spirit. An irrefutable proof of the immense power of the myths is the fact that, even geniuses, could not be deprived of them or ignore them; moreover, they felt compelled in conscience to follow their principles and to live them slavishly. And this is not only past, it also happens in the XXI century. This is very tragic and fatal to humanity.
Ethical judgments merely express wishes, feelings, or mandates, and, therefore, can not be true or false. The root and source of morals and theology are the myths and mythical thinking, and they serve for the expression of an emotional attitude towards life, as it was stated in the Vienna Circle (1925-1936). Descriptive ethics is admissible as part of Sociology and Anthropology, synthetic judgments, but not the normative. If ethical judgments are analytic, they are not moral guidance. Knowledge has no normative parts, it can not provide guidelines. The order is not a trial or the imperatives, which have no cognitive instrumental meaning, as they can be understood by others and, therefore, they have a meaning, but this is not verifiable.
Moral systems belong to certain sociological groups: Greek bourgeois society, the Catholic Church, the middle class pre-industrial, industrial and proletariat ... Who seeks ethics laws should not imitate the method of science. Science tells us what it is, but not what it should be.
Hans Reichenbach, in The Scientific Philosophy, says: "If ethics were a form of knowledge, it should not be what moral philosophers want it to be: the source of moral guidelines. Knowledge is composed of synthetic and analytic judgments, the synthetic judgments tell us on facts, the analytic are empty. What kind of knowledge should be the ethics? If it was synthetic it should inform us about facts. This species is descriptive ethics, which tells us about the ethical behavior of peoples and social classes, this ethics is part of sociology, but it is not of normative nature. If ethics were of analytical knowledge, however, would be empty and could not tell us what to do. If ethical judgments are analytic, are not moral guidelines."
Linguistic expressions concerning ethics are not judgments, they are guidelines and they are neither true nor false. The meaning of a proposition lies in the method of verification; thus, it can only state an empirical fact. The propositions that are true solely by virtue of their form (tautologies) according to Wittgenstein, which correspond to Kant's analytic judgments, they say nothing about reality. The formulas of logic and mathematics are in this class. The reverse or contradictory of these propositions are false by virtue of their form.
The unpretentious formula: "I absolve you from your sins", false and full of contradictions, only can be explained by a system of penance within the Church as a valid instrument for submission. The sacrament of penance, the sins reserved to the local ordinary (bishop) and others reserved to the Pope are enough proof of that submission. They constitute what Nietzsche, in a language full of plasticity, called the big nose, a ring that they put us in our conscience to guide us into the fold of the submission and to break our will and self-esteem as well. And the excommunication was applied with great historic success. The Kingdom depended on the Priesthood, namely the kings and emperors were subjected, in the Middle Ages, to the Pope, who can depose them and decouple the subjects of the deposed kings from the oath of allegiance. We could evoke the Pope Gregory VII and the King Henry IV at Canossa, 1077. And they who did not revolt against the king or emperor would also be excommunicated. The excommunication was used as a major political weapon.
THE MYTH OF SIN OF THE KNOWLEDGE
Humanity has never imagined something deeper than the biblical myth of the sin of knowledge.
The euphoria of the optimists and enthusiasts is due precisely to the fact that they ignore the tragedy of knowledge. It is the tragic game of opposition between internal and external, represented in Job and Faust as a bet of God. It is, in essence, the energetic vital process, the tension of opposites is essential for self-regulation.
We face the Persian dualism, the Chinese, the one of all moral religious myths: good and evil, light and darkness, the struggle of the gods among themselves, with humans and the devil: Symbols everywhere.
Already in the Popol Vuh the creator gods were suspicious of the perfect generation they created with divine attributes, "it can not be so good. We will make a change in their existential nature. We shall only diminish their capacity slightly, because - discussed the gods – we do not feel good if they have as much wisdom as us "... "So humans lost the wisdom and understanding of the hidden things of the universe."
There are strong parallels with the Hebrew myth, expressed in a language full of images, metaphors and archetypal symbols. It is a literary genre dominated by myth.
Images and symbols spin in a whirlwind around the tree in the middle of the garden, the tree of wisdom or knowledge.
"God created man in his image - says the Catholic Catechism - and established him in his friendship. Spiritual creature, man can not live this friendship only in the form of free submission to God. This is clear in that man's prohibition of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, because the day you ate it, you shall die. "
By Titian, XVI century.
eating is tantamount to submission. Knowledge is equal to disobedience and
rebellion. This is the first sin: knowledge. They are images of a primordial
event, at the beginning of history.
Scripture speaks of a sin of the angels. The phrase "be like God" reflects his rebellion against God. Knowledge is the great equalizer, "ye shall be as gods." Sin is not disobedience, as we have been led to believe, it is wisdom. The gods need the ignorance of their servants - and this is tragic- to praise them and offer sacrifices in perfect submission.
Adam and Eve immediately lose the original holiness, Rom. 3.23. They are afraid of the God jealous of his prerogatives, Gen. 3.5. Because of man, creation is subjected "to the servitude of corruption," Rom. 8.21. Death makes its entrance in the history of mankind, Rom. 5.12. And Paul, cursed by Nietzsche in the Antichrist, culminates the symbol: "Through the disobedience of one man many were made sinners”, Rom. 5.19; "as by one man sin entered into the world and death through sin and so death passed upon all men, because all sinned" Rom.5.12; “so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people." Rom. 5.18. O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer! It is said in the Easter liturgy.
It is a sin to be transmitted, according to the Catechism, by propagation to all mankind, so it is called original, according to Augustine of Hippo. "But where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more," Rom. 5.20, involves the relationship between the first Adam and Christ.
Sin is an offense to God: "Against you – you above all– I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight" (Ps. 5l.4). Sin sets itself against the love God has for us and sets our hearts away from Him. The first sin is disobedience, a revolt against God by the desire to be as gods, knowing and determining good and evil (Gen. 3.5). Sin is thus "love of oneself even to contempt of God" (Augustine, civ. 1, 14.28). For this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus to the salvation (cf. Phil. 2.6 to 9). Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The quote of Genesis 3.5 says: "for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil." Sin, of course, is knowledge. They were forbidden to know and determine the right and wrong, because this would make them equal to God. Science is the great leveler, but science is the forbidden per se. Knowledge is a sin, according to this myth.
The literary imagination of Saul, of Tarsus, has no limits in his effort to change anything to carry water to his mill. Paul's literary imagination is distorted and fabulous. It is a Babel tower of myths: The Paradise, the tree of good and evil, the invention of original sin, Jesus as Redeemer, warp and weft of symbols in which there is no shortage of fallen angels and the forces of evil.
The death of Jesus was for strictly personal problems, of religious and political type, the Palm Sunday was proclaimed king himself, because he was a descendant of David. And in the interrogation of Pontius Pilate, when he asked: "Are you the king of the Jews?”. Jesus replied: "Yes, as you say”, Mark, 15, 2. Hence the INRI (Jesus Natharenus Rex Iudeorum) written on the top of his cross. Our sins had absolutely nothing to do with his death, he died for his sins, Nietzsche would say. Sins that never existed, it was only the myth of sin. Sin, which destroys the natural and human dignity, is the deadliest weapon invented by the monotheistic religions to oppress, enslave and dominate their flock.
The underlying problem is the denial of the gods to allow the perfectibility of man, and he is resisting and fighting for self-fulfillment in the freedom, that does not always succeed, because the gods forbade him the way to reach it: science, which prevents religious myth. The knowledge makes us equal to the gods, what do we want them for? That is the root of the sin of knowledge and the twilight of the gods. Science overrides the content of myths, gods included.
The priests, who are those who interpret the silence of the gods on moral and faith, struggle to reserve the right to decide what is good or bad and see the rest of human beings as usurpers, who apostatize their status as creatures, when these humans claim the primary and inalienable right to determine the good and bad in their lives. It is here where it comes the dynamics of the big nose and the founded analysis of Nietzsche's Antichrist, that we will see later.
And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. When he drove the man out, he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life. Gen. 3, 22-24.
By Nikolaus Manuel Deutsch. Cabinet Prints
"The man is already one of us," Gen.3, 22. These words clearly imply the knowledge, which levels everything. Men are also banned from eating from the "tree of life", because by eating from it they could live for ever. Yahweh, the God of the Jews and of the Christians as well, clearly rejects, through this myth, that man (human being) can be immortal, which invalidates any subsequent myth of immortality, we must not forget it.
The Hebrew God, according to the myth, prohibits humans the knowledge, immortality and paradise. He is not different from other gods in their anti-humanism. This myth, the sin of knowledge, presupposes the creation myth, whereby the man is a creature of God. So they ignore the scientific theory of Big Bang (cosmic big bang) and the theory of evolution of species. It is ignored that man is the master of his life and destiny, and not a slave, even of the gods. Slavery is always slavery and freedom is the conditio sine qua non of the individual.
Prometheus’ torch lights the way of human autonomy. Recall that the concept of
creation was not only foreign to classical Greek thought in general but
to science itself, which posits that matter is neither created nor destroyed,
These myths, alive to the believers, are what, naturally, transforms these mythical, subjective and inter-subjective realities, into objective and metaphysical realities. But they have the same reality that the gods of Olympus and other contents of the archaic mythical human thought (dead myths). They are myths difficult to eradicate because of their direct relationship to the unconscious, feelings, emotions; because they are the thoughts of our ancestors (thus our ancestors have prescribed it) and because of the indoctrination we have been subjected to, authentic brainwashing. Add the power of the magnetism of the sacred about the human mind to understand the difficulty of secularism and the demystification.
THE MYTH OF THE UNIVERSAL
Early Christian theologians decided to join the history of the preaching of Jesus and his nascent Church to the sacred history of Israel. They Christianized Asian and Mediterranean symbols, rituals and myths, and their feasts, like Easter, joined their history. The Christological mystery involved the fate of the cosmos: "All nature sighs awaiting the Resurrection", that is the reason of the Easter liturgy and religious folklore of Eastern Christendom. The eschatology (end of the world) and soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) acquired cosmic proportions. Everything turns about man's salvation through Christ: a world which is good because it has been created by the Father and redeemed by the Son; an existence that is full of Christian meaning. There is the nostalgia of Paradise, a transfigured nature, invulnerable to pain, death and war. It is a passive rebellion against the tragedy of history. It is the myth of universal regeneration.
X-RAY OF MYTH
Term myth has undergone changes in concept; in the nineteenth century, for example, it amounts to fiction, fable or invention. Today, as in archaic societies, it is a true story as a mythic reality and, in the minds of believers, is a sacred tradition, primordial revelation, exemplary model.
The Greeks, from Xenophanes (565-470 BC), who was the first who questioned and rejected the mythological expressions of divinity in Homer and Hesiod, were gradually emptying the mythos of any religious value. The mythos, opposed in principle to the logos and then history, finally meant what it can not exist in reality. For Judeo-Christianity it was a lie, fiction or illusion, everything that was not contained in the Old or New Testament, which was the only criteria of certainty or truth.
The myths provided the archaic man of the past and present (believers) models, archetypes of human behavior and, at the same time, value and meaning to human existence. In their performances they came to mythical justifications. Orgiastic excess in cultures of Congo today are meaningful, because, according to myth, the day of the New Era, all women will belong to all men. Their mythical background explains and justifies their excesses, and gives them a religious value: the ancestors so have prescribed it.
Every myth has a peculiar socio-religious context you need to know to interpret it. It is a very complex cultural reality, whose understanding requires addressing multiple and complementary perspectives. The myth tells a sacred story, relates original events and explains how, thanks to supernatural beings, a reality exists. It is the story of creation which reveals the sacredness of supernatural beings and their works, their supernatural irruptions in the cosmos, and this makes the mortal human being, sexual and cultural, become a consequence of the intervention of supernatural beings. The myth is considered a true sacred history that speaks of real and mythical realities, which are real for those who perceive them as such.
The creation myth, for example, is true because the world is there, but the explanation is not scientific. The Indians distinguish between the myths, true stories, and tales or fables, false stories. In the former, beings are divine; in the second, they are heroes or animals. The coyote, for example, is a symbol of cunning and wisdom among American Indians, the Cherokee. In many African tribes the myth is not recited before the women and children, the uninitiated. The myths are recited in a sacred time, the nights of autumn or winter, being longer and cooler. They tell the origin of the world, plants, and humans, as well as the primary events, due to which man has become a human being, organized in society. The cosmos, and more specifically humans, exist because the gods were creating the beginnings. The human being is the result of these mythical events, moreover, is made up of these events. The concept of life and death, the power of conceiving and longing for immortality, the sacred and its worship, work and production, respect for the sacred norms and mutual respect, all have their origin and justification in ancient myths . Even the fishing and hunting were practiced because the ancestors had prescribed it, when they lived with their gods in those mythical times in a sacred history. Just as modern man is made by history, in a way, the archaic human being was made up of myths. Archaic humans not only recall the mythical history of their tribe, but they updated it, on occasion, periodically.
By knowing the myth one knows the origin of things, the secret origin: esotericism. Once you know it, you can control and better manage the events, since this knowledge is accompanied by a magic-religious power capable of domination and propagation or multiplication. Lucky is the one who best knows the source of hunting, and domestication of animals depends on the knowledge one has of their origins. If you do not know the source of the drug, it should not be used. You can not perform a ritual, if you do not know its source, i.e., the myth that explains it. And if you ignore the origin of the dance, do not dance. You have to know the myth; it is the whole reason for being of archaic activity, its values and worldviews.
Living myths involves a religious experience, since they are dominated and impregnated with a sacred power that enhances the events that are remembered and updated; they become present in a magic way. It is not only a memorial, but a repetition of those same events. The time involved is not the chronological time, but that primordial and original time in which the facts were made for the first time, a meta-historic phenomenon. When Christians celebrate the Mass, they not only recall the Last Supper but repeat the same event meta-historically, even the formulation is in present tense: this is my body, this is my blood ... Is the logic of myth. In some North American tribes, and in that of the Melanesians, they speak of the food as a sacrament.
PSICOSTASIS OR WEIGHT OF SOULS
Chapter CXXV Book of the Dead.
mythical stories, concerning the origin of something, presuppose the cosmogony,
creation of the world, and prolong it. Everything that makes the man repeats, in
some ways, the archetypal gesture of the god creator, the creation of the world.
The cosmos is a masterpiece of God, is sacred.
The Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, Israelites and other peoples of the Middle East talk about the need for periodic renewal of the world. In the Egyptian and Mesopotamian people, the cults of the New Year symbolized the creation. So do the Israelites by enthroning Yahweh as the king of the world, symbolic representation of the historic victory over their enemies and the forces of chaos. The result was the renewal of partnerships and fertility rites. And in the eschatology of the prophets, the restoration of Israel by Yahweh was seen as a new creation and a sort of return to Paradise, the Paradise Lost. It is believed in the possibility of recovering the beginning, which means its previous destruction.
beginning glimpses the end, and the end is implicit in the beginning. Paradise
means no wear, archetypal image of the time. The passage of time is a
progressive distancing from the beginning, its consequent deterioration and loss
of original perfection, which is magically retrieved with the New Year. It is a
recovery life cycle, a cosmic cycle. The new is born from the ruins of the old.
An absolute beginning presupposes a total destruction, so we can say that
eschatology, the end of the world, is the foreshadowing of a future cosmology.
In some ways the origin not only can be found in a mythical past, but also in a
fabulous future, an idea cherished by the neo-Stoics and Pythagoreans when they
speak of eternal recurrence.
The end of the world, in part, has already existed. The myths of the cosmic cataclysm talk to us about it. The flood myths are universal in almost all cultures, except in Africa, where only some privileged partners are saved from it. Other myths of the cosmic cataclysm talk about the destruction of mankind by earthquakes, epidemics and fire. It is the destruction of humanity, followed by the emergence of a new one. There was sin, decrepitude of the cosmos, which brought the wrath of the gods and a regeneration of mankind.
The Andamanese believe that, after the disastrous end of the world, the dead will rise, and there will be no disease, old age or death, and they will enjoy paradise. The Arab and Jewish people think the same.
In the culture of some Carolinas islands is believed that the creator will destroy the mankind for its sins, the gods still live and there will be a new creation. According to Aztec traditions, there have been many destructions of the world, three or four, and another is expected. Each world is ruled by a sun whose end aims to drag the world. The Indo-Europeans, from the Vedas to Germanic mythology, did not ignore the doomsday myth.
The myth of perfection in the beginning is clear in Mesopotamia, Israel and Greece: loss of the earthly paradise, decreased life expectancy, the destructive flood of humanity. Hesiod in the Works described the progressive degeneration of humanity in the course of the five ages. The first, under the aegis of Cronus, was a kind of paradise, humans did not age, they lived many years and their life was similar to that of the gods.
In India, the primitive human beings were of great stature and longevity, hundreds or even thousands of years. There is also the phenomenon of perfection in the beginning, and progressive deterioration of intellectual and moral. The same happens with Israel, before sin man was even immortal, " but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die. " Gen. 3.3. Methuselah lived 969 years. God takes Enoch and Elijah to heaven and their return is waited to prepare the coming of the Messiah, millennialism and eschatology.
The Stoics took from Heraclitus the idea of the end of the world by fire, and Plato (Timaeus) talks about the end by the flood. The two disasters have occurred in the two solstices, in that of summer, by fire, and in the winter solstice, by the flood. For Jewish Christians the end is to be unique, as unique is its creation, the new world is the same as the first, but regenerated, purified and restored to its initial glory. It is the new Paradise, endless and without new sins. Time is linear and irreversible, there is no eternal cyclical returns. There will be a final trial and the men will be judged according to their deeds, and only the chosen, faithful to the Scriptures, faithful to the kingdom, obedient and submissive, will enjoy the sight, face to face, of their God. There is no regeneration of the community; it is only for the submissive to the priests, who handle the Scriptures at their convenience. Any interpretation, when sectarian, involves manipulation.
There is a restoration of Paradise, preceded by the coming of the Messiah who came for Christians but not for Jews. For Christians there will be a second coming of Christ and final trial, but the end of the world will happen before. There will be new heavens and new earth, abundance and happiness in Eden, where wild animals will live together in peace with humans. And there will be no more sickness, no more deformities, no more crying or tears. The new Israel will be rebuilt on Mount Zion (see Isaiah and the Apocalypse of John). Peter says: " But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” 2P. 3.7. This destructive fire is an important element in the sibylline oracles and in the stoicism, and it is thought that its origin is Iranian.
The Antichrist, symbolized by a dragon or demon, is equivalent to the return of chaos. The period immediately preceding the end will be governed by the antichrist, but Christ will purify the world by fire. The false messiah, the Antichrist, will lead to a total subversion of religious, moral and social. Before the initial chaos, God fought against the angels and archangels, not against the cherubim, and now in the new chaos, he returns to fight the Antichrist. The cosmic catastrophes are a syndrome and a prelude of the return of Christ and the millennium. It's a return to origins, to Paradise, a beautiful time of the gods, the golden age (myth of original time.) But restarting presupposes the end, the relationship between eschatology and cosmology. But there is optimism rather than pessimism. The world by its own duration wears out and degenerates, so it must be recreated on a periodic basis: first yearly, and then kept pace with the new springs and new moons. The idea of destruction is captured because they know the cosmogony, the secret of the origin and survival in what it has of paradise. Bliss is at the origin, archaic man thinks.
Apodictic value of myth is reconfirmed by periodic rituals. The ritual manages to abolish the chronological time and to recover the sacred time of myth. The man makes himself a contemporary of the gods, he repeats archetypal gestures and he becomes creator in some way. The world reveals itself as a language. Every cosmic object has a mythical plot. For the archaic man nature reveals and conceals, at the same time, the supernatural, and therein lies the fundamental and irreversible mystery of the world. The myths reveal all that has happened in illo tempore, at that time, from cosmology to the foundation of cultural institutions. The cosmos speaks to humans through its stars, rivers, animals, rocks, nights and seasons. The human being responds to it with his imaginary life, his dreams, his ancestors, his totems and rituals. They use a common language: symbols that, according to Gurvitch, reveal awaking and awake revealing. Mythology belongs to the symbolic thinking, not to the scientific knowledge.
But the myth is not a guarantee of morality or goodness. Wars, mass killings, cruel and bloody sacrifices of animals and humans, the inquisitions, sought and obtained a religious justification. Its function is to provide archetypal patterns and thus give meaning to the cosmos and human existence. Thanks to the myth of the ideas of reality, value and significance are rooted in human beings. But the myth can be manipulated, as the creation and recitation of mythological traditions are the heritage of a few people who are the elite or working for them: Shamans, gurus, bards, medicine-men, sorcerers, members of fraternities, behiques , Druids, augurs ...
It is logic to point out, according to Rudolf Carnap of the Vienna Circle, that metaphysics arose from the myth. The primitive man works to ingratiate himself with the menacing evil of earthquakes or worship, grateful, the god of the fertilizing rains. These poetic personifications of natural phenomena are the expression of emotional relationships between human beings and their environment. The legacy of the myth is taken up in part by the poetry, thus enhancing its vital effectiveness, and in part by theology, by which the myth is transformed into a system. The myth, like metaphysics, arises from the need to give expression to an emotional activity toward life, or to an emotional and volitional stance of human beings toward their environment. The mythographer, as the metaphysical, believes to move in the realm of true and false, when in fact he has not shown anything, but he has just expressed something, as does the artist.
The waters existed before the earth, "Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water" (Gen. 1.2). "But there was a dark void of emptiness in the sky. No one knew the surface of the earth, there was just the sea with its lying waters, restful, in absolute calm, under the dark immensity of the vacuum of the heaven vault. Those gods were moved over the surface of the water surrounded by a diffuse light, "Popol Vuh. The waters are the source and origin, the universal top of virtualities, the support for creation. Immersion and baptism symbolize regression to the pre-existence.
Emerging from waters repeats the cosmogonic act of formal expression. Therefore, the symbolism of water implies both death and rebirth. The immersion fertilizes and multiplies the potential of life and implies regeneration, a new birth. To the Flood, the periodic submersion of the continents, it corresponds the second death. Immersion in water leads to a reintegration into the indistinct, followed by a new creation, new life and new man. The Flood, as a symbol, is comparable to the spring ritual baths that provided health and fertility or to Christian baptism. Water symbolism in Christianity is very rich in content and is used in many of their rites, beginning with the initiation, baptism, involving the death of sinful human being and the birth of the Son of God, the new Man. And it highlights the parallels of Adam - Christ, according to Pauline theology. Baptism involves the forgiveness of original sin and other sins. Water kills: it deletes all forms and dissolves, but is rich in germs and virtues: it is creative.
Trees have always played a big role in the cult and myth. The Paradise tree or the tree of life is typical of the myth, as they are the Mitra trees, the Nordic ash Yggdrasill, the Tree of Life Light of the Quiche (Popol Vuh).
of life and
South India Bronze (s. XVII AD).
Many myths say that the man was born from the tree, and funeral customs prescribed burial in hollow trees, and the coffin was made of wood.
tree is a symbol of the mother. In a way - says Jung, the deceased is locked in
order to be reborn. Osiris and Isis copulate in the maternal womb of Rea and
Horus will be born. Prior to extrauterine existence, Osiris commits incest with
his sister Isis and, after his death, Typhon, the god of the underworld, kills
Osiris and encloses him in a chest, that he throws into the Nile and so it
arrived in the sea. Osiris, already in hell, coupled with her second sister
Nephthys. Death is the second intrauterine existence, according to Jung. Sibling
incest was well regarded in antiquity. Zarathustra recommended the marriage
between relatives. It is the incestuous trend toward the mother which is
prohibited by law. Typhoon tears apart the body and scattered the pieces. Isis,
the mother, assisted by Anubis, the jackal-headed god, looks for the pieces of
the corpse. The jackals and dogs participate in the reconstruction, the new
procreation, and the Egyptian vulture symbolizes the mother. Death is seen as a
return to the maternal womb to be reborn. Osiris and Horus match the father-son
In the morning, the goddess is mother when Horus, the sun god, arises. At midday she is the sister-wife, and in the evening she is again the mother who takes in the dead in her womb.
Osiris lies between the branches of trees surrounding him in its growth. In Greek legend, the meliads are nymphs of ash trees. They state that the ash trees are the mothers of humanity in the Bronze Age. In the Iranian myths, the first humans are symbolized by the tree Reiver. In the Norse myths, when the end of the world arrive, the couple, who will create the new human race, would hide in the Yggdrasill, universal ash, thus becoming preservative mother, tree of death and life.
The Christian legend changes the tree of death, the wooden cross, into the tree of life. Christ is often depicted crucified on a flowering tree loaded with fruit. Mistletoe provided the piece of female wood destined for the preparation of the ritual fire. And in Gaul, only after the conclusion of a solemn sacrifice, the Celtic druid priest could climb the sacred oak to cut the ritual mistletoe, a remedy against sterility. Mistletoe is a parasitic climbing plant and it's like the dream of the mother, the son of the mother without father, as the children of the gods of Asia Minor: Tammuz, Attis, Adonis and Christ. Mitra was born from the top of the tree.
Divinity is the metaphysical problem of knowledge of the unknowable.
THE REASON, SLAVE OF THE FAITH
The issue reason and faith. Already in the first half of the ninth century, Irish John Scotus Eriugena arises the following difficulty: should we rely more on reason or on authority, which speaks on behalf of the faith? And he answers: "We must follow the reason that seeks the truth and is not oppressed by any authority." This was the subject of discussion during the Middle Ages. But Scotus eventually sustains the primacy of faith over reason, to argue that the true philosophy is true religion. The true philosopher will believe the truth that the Scriptures teach and try to understand it.
Christianity rested on truths revealed by God and, therefore, indisputable. This offered resistance to the philosophy, understood by the Greeks as free inquiry of reason. For Christians, the philosophical discourse arises when you wonder about the meaning of revealed truth.
The medieval sentence that summarizes this attitude is this: Credo ut intelligam (I believe to understand), which resulted in fact in the application of rational dialectics to the mysteries of the Christian faith to somehow make them intelligible. Faith is not the starting point of rational inquiry, but the place of arrival. Thus, there is compatibility between reason and faith, mutual planning, one is made for the other (Tagaste Augustine, 354 - 430). Thomas Aquinas would say that reason is subordinate to faith. Things change with the thinkers of the last and critical period of the medieval philosophy: John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, both Franciscan British. Both distinguish the discourse of reason and discourse of faith, as Averroes had done among the Arabs, and claim that both statements are independent. Ockham, with amazing clarity, says in a passage of his Logic: "Articles of faith are not principles of demonstration, or conclusions, they are not even likely, as they seem false to all or most, or the wise; I understand by wise those who are entrusted to natural reason."
But it was Thomas, not Scotus or Ockham, the official philosopher of the Church until today. To him, the reason is the slave of faith, philosophy (science in general) handmaid of theology.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992, states:
"By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being, man gives his assent to God who reveals (cf. DV 5). Sacred Scripture calls the obedience of faith to this human response to God who reveals (cf. Rom. 1.5, 16.26). "
"To obey (ob-audire) in faith is to submit freely to the word heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, the Truth itself. Abraham is the model of obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is the perfect embodiment of it."
Abraham, "father of all believers."
Paul of Tarsus, the ideologue of Christianity, distorted the Old Testament for the sake of the New. The church ended up thinking like Paul, and ,in its dynamics of deformation, the Church changed the history with its Christ-centrism and particular Christian worldview.
Related to the subject reason-faith, from Augustine of Tagaste, Bishop of Hippo, Century V, a faithful follower of Plato, through Thomas Aquinas, thirteenth century, author of the Summa Theologica and the Summa contra gentiles, a disciple of Aristotle, until today, with rare but notable exceptions, it has been defended the supremacy of faith over reason. The philosophy turned out to be ancilla theologiae, the handmaid of theology. The role of the reason is to serve the faith; the reason is slave, the slavery of reason. This is the greatest sin, the greatest fraud, the biggest disgrace that the Church as institution inflicted on human beings, and on the life and on science itself. The darkness of the Middle Ages (V-XV century), with the exception of some very good light periods, is owed to the Church in the majority. In Spain, the medieval mentality lasted until the seventeenth. Modern science had to fight its way through darkness, reluctant to accept the light of science; Galileo and Copernicus are only one exponent; Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the Inquisition, 1600, because of his pantheistic ideas and other philosophical and theological assumptions considered heterodox. The imprisonment of reason, for long and endless centuries, is the great crime of the institutional church. It has always been the brake in the march of life, the anti accelerator in the history of science and of art, of all sciences, except the theology, that in the modern sense is not science, because it is not verifiable. It was also a planter of some Manichaean prejudices, deniers of human dignity and creators of antihuman stereotypes still existing.
All sciences and all arts were, in the Middle Ages, at the total and absolute service of the Church and the Monarchy, which was its political wing. The Church, in addition to religious omnipotence - God on earth-, had its own political wing. Until The Spirit of the Laws of Montesquieu, 1750, already in times of secularism or secular state, it was not yet clear the theory of separation of powers.
The Inquisition, this shameful court, this historical disgrace, was the jailer of the reason, of the arts and life for many centuries, but the church inquisitorial spirit preceded it and survived until today.
Faith and reason are incompatible. Faith is based on myths and arguments from authority, and generates beliefs. Science is based on scientific data, scientific methodology, and produce ideas. There is no possibility of reconciliation or reconciliations. Faith and science are opposite when they are about the same object. The faith nullifies the science and the science demystifies the faith.
Moses at Sinai - the Alliance and the Ten Commandments - comes to the supernatural to strengthen his power. Yahweh said to Moses, "The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and so that they will always believe in you.”, Exodus 19.9. Yahweh has just given Moses the key, he has just revealed the secret of the power-authority to him: so that people give you credit for ever. Eureka.
"Now Mount Sinai was completely covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire, and its smoke went up like the smoke of a great furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.", Exodus 19.18. "When the sound of the horn grew louder and louder, Moses was speaking and God was answering him with a voice.” Exodus 19.19. What did the people saw in the thick cloud and what did Moses hear from the thunder? That is the question. The tables that God wrote with his fingers, the Decalogue, the dense cloud, the smoke from the mountain, the nature exploding... are all perfect ingredients of the language and mythic thinking. "Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets." Exodus 32.16. But Moses took advantage of the manifestation of God.
POPOL VUH MYTHS
The Popol Vuh is the sacred book of the Quiché, which appeared in Chichicastenango (Guatemala), a book of the suns, or ages, which follow one after another without end. It is the Tree of Life of light, the visible universe. The light is the cause and origin of physical life, light which in turn comes from the darkness. Everything is light. Tzacol is the universal creative mind, and Bitola, the universal forming mind.
"Those gods were moving on the surface of the water, surrounded by a diffuse light." Then came the word and the powerful gods filled the emptiness of the Sphere. Then they began to think and meditate, and then spoke to consult and understand. That was how the gods made and conceived the idea of the universe. It appeared the clarity of light and they decide the creation of the universe.
Hurricane is mentioned as the only Living Triune God. By the power of Gods word appeared the Earth, when they spoke.
But because the animals could not appoint, nor praise, "it is necessary, the gods continued to speak, that there be a being in creation that can worship us with obedience, praise, and say hello in his invocations, and that this being be similar in glory, wisdom and workmanship to us."
"Then the creators and shapers punched the ground, and prepared the clay of the earth to make mud which formed the body, from churning mud were made man fleshes." But the mud melted in contact with water. Then they made them of plump stick of wood. These had no memory and were sentenced to die, because they did not remember their creators, the gods, so they became an experiment, these people-wooden dolls-scarecrows. The new creatures of different woods, as they could not praise the gods, were killed by the gloomy flood: a perpetual rainstorm poured water on Earth by day and night." That creation proved to be defective." Then they would make them of corn cobs, perfect food of man, beings with divine essence of intelligence and wisdom of understanding, divine men that were humanized and became perfect men, endowed with the gift of speech, the miracle of sight, hearing, touch and the gait of locomotion. These four divine men had the divine spiritual power of wisdom and understanding, they are the rajahuales, kings priests of the physical life, spiritual lords owners of the four elements or states of matter: fire, earth, air, water. The gods are suspicious of the four men with divine attributes: "That can not be so definitely." We will make a change in their existential nature. We shall only slightly diminish their capacity, because - discussed the gods – we do not feel good that they have as much wisdom as we have. "Then it clouded the eyes of those four men because the Heart of Heaven, the living triune God threw on them the steam of his breath to dim the light ... so they could see only at a short distance and, therefore, see clearly only the place where they were. Thus they lost the wisdom and understanding of the hidden things of the universe.
Then the gods began to think and meditate, to give them partners and wives. During the sleep of the four men, the gods took from themselves four beautiful women in the midst of their dreams, they received and married them, truly they were lovely women full of beauty, so were the wives of Quitzé Balam, Balam Ahab, Mahucutah and Iquí Balam. Upon waking they marveled with great joy and happiness in their hearts because of their wives companions: Caha Palun: Moon water; Chomihá: Water-Star; Tzununihá: The Murmur, whisper of the Air; Caquixahá: The Water Vapor. They are the parents of mankind. They are the root, origin, and the core of us, humanity, that comes from the tree of life of Light: The Quiché (our planetary solar system). The four priests were worshipers, sacrificers and fortune tellers." Popol Vuh, Part III, chap. 1, 2 and 3.
UNIVERSAL BOOK OF RENEWAL OF TIME
The eternal foundation of all creation.
would be the ultimate supreme father and mother, male and female root of the
cosmos. Cajolom, his only son, is the begetter of life in the universe.
Ixpiyacoc, is s the living spirit that fills the space. But Hurricane will be
the first living force of the only Almighty God.
The word balam means strength, power, so they call balam the jaguar or American spotted leopard, a very fierce animal, which is the sign of the amazing Mayan civilization.
THE MYTH OF FIRE QUICHE
Cabahuil: The god of the Quiche
The light from the tree of life, the light of the universe.
the god of fire, was the first who brought forth his fire, and no one knew how
he made it, because the fire was dropping large red flames flickering light,
when Balam Quitzé and Balam Ahab found it. "Thank you, God, and we now receive
it in your goodness to warm ourselves, very nearly were to die of cold." And
thanks to Tohil all tribes heated. Great was the joy of all on receiving the
fire. The four priests will charge the other tribes for the fire, as advised by
a spokesman demon emissary of the demons underworld, a place of imprisonment of
spirit into matter. In exchange of fire, Tohil asked them for the surrender of
the heart, not of gold, to keep them united with him. "We will join him,"
replied the tribes disjointed, full of sorrow and lamentation, exhausted, half
dead and numb with inconceivable cold that they could not bear; it suits them be
tied to him. Then they received the fire at once, and then they all came into
the warmth of life.
They describe the myth of the fire thus:
... 617) They came to stand as pleading beggars, to ask the fire in the presence of Quitzé Balam, Ahab Balam, Mahucutah and Iqui Balam. (14).
618) Have mercy on us! Give us a little of your fire! Do not we all kinship with you? Have we not always been met with you? Have we not had a single dwelling in common? Was it not in the same mountain where we created and formed? Be mercy of our people! - Said the tribes
619) "Then the four rajahuales replied saying: What will you give us as payment for us to have consideration for your people? -they told to tribes.
- Well!, we will give our gold in payment to you, said the tribes.
620) - We do not want gold! They replied Quitzé Balam and Ahab Balam. So then, what is what you want? We only want you to answer to that question, said the tribes. - Very good, right now we will question Tohil and then we will let you know the answer, thus were told the tribes.
621) Then the four rajahuales asked Tohil, saying: - Oh you, Tohil!, Tell us: what is it that should give you Tohil, as payment of the tribes?, because they have come to ask of your fire - said Quitzé Balam, Ahab Balam, Mahucutah and Iqui Balam.
622) - Well! - Tohil said: Would they want to make a covenant of alliance with me, to surrender to me what they have inside the chest, under their armpits? Should not they want to surrender with all their heart, that I Tohil, bind them all to hug them, shake them in my arms and have them always together with me? I Tohil! But if they do not want and refuses my proposal by rejecting me, I either shall give them my fire, the Tohil warned them.
623) - So you will say to them! That if they accept my covenant, I shall embrace them all, they will not die, I will keep them tied to my chest under my armpits, so we were ordered by Tohil to tell you. That was the answer Tohil gave to Quitzé Balam, Ahab Balam, Mahucutah and Iqui Balam to be said to the tribes.
624) Then they gave tribes the message of Tohil. – All right! We will join him, because it suits us to be tied to him, they said when they accepted the pact of Tohil, without the slightest delay they responded to the proposal of Tohil. - All right, said the tribes, but soon!
They received the fire at once, and they all came to the warmth of life at once.
625) But there was a group of tribes who took swiped some fire amid the smoke, and the author of the theft of the divine fire was a common household bat (of the ranches), from the Spirits House of Bats: Zotzilá Ha. The god Cabahuil of the Cakchiquel is called Chamalcan: The virtuous power of persevering and continued work in silence. Chamalcán God is the symbolic image of the bat Zotz.
626) The bat passed quietly through the dense smoke, it gently slid planning to take the fire stolen with no one noticing. That is why the Cakchiquel did not ask the fire, but they stole it, and so they did not give up.
627) But all the other tribes allowed to be defeated, when they agreed to give what they had in the chest and under their armpits, so that they opened their chest and ripped out their heart. This is the covenant of union Tohil spoke about. Then all the tribes were sacrificed to Tohil, opening under the arm to extract their heart.
628) These human sacrifices had not yet begun to practice when Tohil prophesied the seizure of absolute power and dominion of the divine fire ( light and warmth of life of the physical universe) for those four rajahuales: Quitzé Balam, Ahab Balam, Mahucutah and Iqui Balam.
The four great ones made speak their god Tohil on the occasion of the divine fire to assert themselves to the rest of the tribes, which they destroy and sacrifice, on behalf of their god. So they justify it mythically. Before such deception, abuse and use of the sacred, God is presented as the best invention and discovery of the priestly caste. Humanity requires a redeemer, a Prometheus. The Promethean myth is a perennial and current meaning; the "big theocrats" are enemies of humanity and human, using myths for their own benefit and the detriment of believers. In comes the theology of the death of the gods, but the curtain is still not closed.
For Lopez-Baralt, "the myth, in any people with a germ of stratification, has the function of social control mechanism operated by a group, so we have to have the sacred and arcane nature of it." That happens in Taino society.
"Because I've seen it with my eyes, although of the other things I told only what I had heard of many, especially the principal, with whom I have treated more than others, because they believe in these fables with greater certainty than the others. " It's easy Tainos had hidden the friar Pané the meaning of their areitos, cohoba (cogioba), and their myths.
Besides the language barrier, there was the doctrinal, impossible to overcome when it is dogmatic. Neither Las Casas, the most liberal historian, advocate of indigenous people, could understand the indigenous religious phenomenon without going to the devil for its explanation.
As in Mesoamerica is easy to find the myth of the creation of man by the gods, (the four of the Popol Vuh, and Quetzalcoatl created man from the bone ash fertilized by his sperm),in the South American mythology are not many such myths; rather than myths of creation they are myths of apparition. The creation by sputum moves away from the traditional myth: Bayamanaco launches a guanguayo filled with cohoba to Demin Caracaracol that swells his back, from what the female turtle is born. The woman lives from Demin back as Eva from the rib of Adam, mythic paradigm of woman-clamp. "We know that the reason of women-clamp can be reversed in two ways: as a rolling head chasing their victims to the saving water on the one hand, and on the other, like a diver turtle which drags its victims to the bottom of water where they drown." (15)
The association of turtle to woman is found in the desana: The turtle, as uterine animal, symbolizes this aspect of the "origin of all things." It emphasizes its strong bite, a myth that, according to Levi-Strauss, covers the two Americas: the woman-clamp physically attaches to the back of the wearer, her husband.
After the flood, women are needed to explain the origin of new generations.
The association of women-clamp with the turtle is her attitude of never releasing what they grabbed ... "Among the Waiwai, a tribe of Carib linguistic family, the primordial mother or generative nucleus was, in fact, a turtle."
Pane, in Chapters VII and VIII, tells us this creation of women:
They say that one day men went to wash, and being in the water, it rained a lot, and they were very eager to have women. Many times when it rained, they had gone to look for traces of their wives, but they could not find any news of them. But that day when they were washing, they saw coming down from the trees, through the branches, some form of people who were not men or women, nor had sex female or male. They went to get them, but they fled as if they were eels. Since they could not get them, they called two or three men to the order of their chief, for them to see how many they were and to look for each one of hem a man who was Caracaracol, because their hands were rough, and thus could subject them closely. They told the chief that they were four, and so they took four men, who were Caracaracol. Caracaracol is a disease such as scabies, which makes the body very rough. After they had taken them, they had advice on how they could do to so that they became women, since they had no sex of male or female. They looked for a bird called inriri, formerly called cahubabayael inriri, in our language called Pico, which bore the trees.
They also took those women without sex either male or female, tied them, feet and hands, and brought the mentioned bird and tied it to their body. The bird, believing they were cops, began its work as usual, itching and boring at the place where usually uses to be women sex. And so, say the Indians, they had women, according to account of the oldest people. (16).
absence of written documents, the Tainos had no writing; oral tradition is the
source of information of Pane in his Account on the antiquities of the
The myth of women without men, Amazons (according to Oviedo), contains the basis of sexual regulation: the taboo of incest and punishment of inbreeding generate the practice of exogamy for the Tainos and the abduction of women. The impact of the myth is more common in the Amazon area. They might be Vestal cenobite virgins consecrated to their goddess, according to Martyr of Angleria. But in other islands, according to the same writer, there is dwelling of corrupt women, because from girls they cut their breasts to be able to exercise in the art of striking the arrows and men access them for intercourse and they not retained them; but it could be a fable, he says.
There is a very curious phenomenon: they practice female infanticide, with the resulting shortage of women so necessary for work and sexual life, and then they make war to get them. The Caribs steal them from the Tainos, and some tribes from others.
THE TAINO MYTH OF THE FLOOD
In the chapters IX and X, Pane tells the following:
How they say the sea was made:
There was a man named Yaya and his son was called Yayael, that means son of Yaya. Yayael, wanting to kill his father, was banished by him. He was banished for four months, and then his father killed him and put his bones in a gourd, that he hung from the roof of the house where it hung for some time. It happened that one day, wanting to see his son, Yaya told his wife: "I want to see our son Yayael." And she rejoiced, and poured the pumpkin down to see the bones of their son. Many large and small fish left from it. Wherefore, seeing that those bones were turned into fish, they decided to eat them.
They say that one day, having Yaya gone to his conucos, which means possessions, that were his inheritance, they arrived four children of a woman named Itiba Cahubaba, they all of one belly and twins. That woman, having died in childbirth, they opened her and pulled out the mentioned four children, and the first who was removed was Caracaracol, that means mangy, this Caracaracol had the name of Demin, the others had no name. As the four twins children of Cahubaba Itiba, who died in childbirth, went together to take the pumpkin of Yaya, where it was his son Yayael, which had been transformed into fish, but no one dared to pick it up, except Caracaracol Demin, who picked it up and all of them had their fill of fish.
While they were eating, they heard Yaya coming back from his possessions and wanting, in their need, to hang the pumpkin, they did not hung it well, so that it fell to the ground and broke. They say it was so much water that came out of the pumpkin that it filled the whole earth, and with it came many fish; and here they say it has been the origin of the sea. (17)
Let see the origin of the fire according to the version of a native informant of 70 years of the Baja Guajira, Venezuela. We only quote the parts of interest for comparison.
At first men were unaware of the fire. Imperfect beings they were eating things raw. The plight of the first men, because of their imperfection, was equal to that of animals.
Some lived tucked into the trees, in holes in the caves. Only Maleiwa had the fire in form of burning stones that he jealously guarded in a cave outside the reach of men. Maleiwa did not want to give fire to men ... (But it happened that a young Junuunay wanted to steal the fire. He approached Maleiwa and, calling him "Venerable Grandfather", asked for cassava. After several ruses he managed to steal, and Maleiwa chased him to punish him, turning him into a beetle.
Again, we observe the typical structure of the myth: 1) a grandparent in the possession of a cultural property, 2) the theft as a means to achieve this, 3) the punishment. (18)
The theft, among the Tainos, was taboo, and in Cuba and La Española -according to Oviedo- was punished by impaling the thief alive until he died. In Nicaragua, they cut him the hands, and in Mexico, for the first theft, he was enslaved, and for the second, he was hanged, if only for a corncob.
THE TAINO AFTERLIFE
Pane describes it as follows:
say that during the day the dead are imprisoned, and at night they go for a
walk, and eat a certain fruit called guava, that tastes of quince. During the
day they are … and by night they turn into fruit, they make parties and go along
with the living. And to know them they observe this rule: with your hand you
will touch their belly, and if they do not include the navel, it is said they
are operito, which means dead; so they say the dead have no navel. And so they
are mistaken sometimes, when they do not notice this, and they lie with a woman
from those of Coaybay, and when they think having them in the arms, they have
nothing, because they disappear in an instant ... (19).
On the fate of the dead, according to the Taino beliefs, the few things added by Columbus corroborate those collected by Pane:
I've worked hard to know what they believe and know about where the dead go, especially from Caonabó, who was the main king of the island of La Española, an old man of great knowledge and very sharp wit; he and others responded that they go to a certain valley, each principal chief believed to be in his country, and they assert that there they meet their parents and ancestors; they eat, lie with women, and give themselves pleasure and solace, as more abundantly contained in the following writing, that I ordered a certain Fra. Ramon, who knew the language of those, to compile all their rites and its age; although there are so many fables, you can not get something out, but that all Indians have a natural respect for the future and believe in the immortality of our souls (in History of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son Hernando.)
THE PHENOMENON OF CEMIISMO IN ITS RITUAL APPEARANCE
idol of bone with gold inlay
García Arévalo, S. D.
We call Cemiismo the particular religion of the natives of the Antilles, characterized as follows by the chronicles: Each, by worshiping the idols they have at home, called by them cemíes observes a particular way and superstition (Pane). A well known demon, called Cemi, is not better for them than this Maboia. Some of them must have particular communication with him, because they predict future events ... (Bouton, 1640, Lesser Antilles).
invoke Cemi, whom they consider, as it has been said, their good spirit; i.e.,
they consult the Devil through its wizards or doctors Boyé or Piaye who dupes
them with these names ... Each Boyé has its particular cemi or rather familiar
demon ... (Blanchard, 1674, Lesser Antilles).
"And in wood, clay and gold, and on other things, as many as they can, they sculpt or carve him scolding and with his very fierce face. They call him Cemi, whom they consider their God, and whom they ask for the water, or sun, or bread, or the victory against all enemies and all they wish; and they think that cemi helps them when he pleases; and he appears as a ghost at night ... (...) In La Epañola island, cemi as I said, is the same that we call devil ...", Oviedo, sixteenth century. (20).
behíque or Indian shaman had, according to Pane, two main functions: that of
intermediary between cemíes and men, and healer. According to Pane, the behíque
tells the patient: "You know you've eaten a thing that has produced the evil you
suffer, just watch how I got it out of your body where your cemí had put it
because you did not pray to him, or you did not construct a temple for him or
you did not give him some inheritance." Let us remember that those who
administer the rituals condition the culture; those who control fertilizing
symbols dominate worldview, and lead, the brozen law, in the manipulation of
It has been called Taino culture the material and super-structural product of the aboriginal societies that lived in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Santo Domingo (La Española). Their social stratification was the Chiefdoms; they were agro potters with tools of lacquered stone and bones; they belong to the Arawak from the linguistic point of view.
Isomorphism was used as a mythological resource to explain ancient questions about human creation, cosmology and the supernatural life. The interaction of certain animals with mythological characters is expressed in their art reflected in the ceramic. In the mythic past people are confused with animals, men turn into animals and these participate in the formation of the human race.
The rite of cohoba consisted of the inhalation, which was preceded by a purifier vomiting, of a hallucinogenic substance capable of provoking in the behíque a state of ecstasy that brought him into direct communication with cemíes or deities from whom he receives tips, warnings, support and wealth. The powder was obtained from certain hallucinogenic herbs very dry and finely ground they placed on a plate and absorbed through an inhaler, a kind of hollow pipe, which they placed in their nostrils; through the hallucinogen they came into contact with the gods. Also important lords could participate in the cohoba, with the prior authorization of the behíque or shaman.
or trigonolito of Puerto Rico
National Museum, Washington, D. C.
Tainos believed in the existence of superior deities, immortals, living in
heaven. Among them they stood out Yocahú, maker of all things, and the goddess
Atabei. They worshiped their ancestors, believing that at death they became
protective spirits, called cemíes. The cemíes were represented by figures of
various shapes and forms, carved in stone or wood or made of clay, cotton and
gold. Some of these cemíe figures represented ancient chiefs. They also believed
in a life after death and therefore they buried their dead carefully placing,
next to them, pots and other containers with water and food as well as their
weapons and personal ornaments. In the case of the chiefs, the burial was
very elaborate and, beside the corpse, it was buried alive the chief's favorite
To know the will of the gods and guardian spirits, the chief inhaled narcotic powders that put him in a trance, and in his dreams he thought he heard the mandate of the gods. This ceremony, executed by the chief after preparing himself for it by suffering from deprivation and prolonged fasting, was called cogioba… (21)
The Tainos were sedentary and lived in yucayeques or villages near the coast and inland valleys along the rivers, their houses were of wood and reeds, huts. They did not use metals, only gold to adorn the guanín (symbol of authority) of the chiefs, who had absolute power in the chiefdom and were blindly obeyed by their people. The position was inherited through the maternal line; the heir was a nephew, son of the chief's sister, not the child. Nor were the Taino writing, they only had the oral tradition. The burial of the chief's favorite wife, still alive, is indicative of the myths of the subjection of women, women-staple.
MYTHS AND BELIEFS OF
Native American Indian found in their mythology the sense of the world around them; they considered themselves servants of Mother Earth and Father Sky. "The earth is our mother. It should not be disturbed by hoe or plow. We just want to survive with what she gives us freely." In the long winter nights, myths were woven around the fire, which were intertwined with religion and had, as a reference point, the tribe or clan, and sometimes the individual. They believed in a supreme being, possessed of a mysterious force that was called Wakanda (Sioux), Manitou (Algonquois), Orenda (Iroquois), Sulia (Salishan), size (Chinook), Naualak (Kwakiutl). This mysterious being could be pursued and captured by the participants in tribal ceremonies, or by an individual or through sleep, and so they acquired some of the power and magic. Their mythology dictated them the basic rules of conduct in everyday life of the tribe and it created them a world of values and world views.
The Earth was considered a humanized being which gave life to all who fed on it, so it is mother, but it could also be perverse when taking life away, and be cannibal in the trance of devouring the bodies of the dead. From the depths of a primordial lake, a diver animal took mud, from what the earth was formed. Between Heaven and the submarine powers there is a constant antagonism.
The animals are key elements in their myths. The Thunderbird produced the thunder with the flapping of its wings and the lightning with its flashing eyes. For some, Coyote was considered the First Creator; for others, Prime Creator would be the Aged Man Up or the Man-Solo.
Their myths describe a world with three scales: the Superior containing deities and spirits, the Media which is the human habitat, vegetation and animals, and the Lower inhabited by evil spirits and animal forms of life. Mortals are in the crossfire of good and evil, aim high, but often suffer from inferior forces lying in wait. It is something like the personality structure of Freudian psychoanalysis. The birds belong to the world of good, to Superior, as the Eagle and the Hawk, but the snakes and turtles belong to the Lower World.
Nights were long, dark and cold and the moon gave no heat. In a meeting, the animals sought help from their relatives of the Upper World, and the fire came as a great beacon flashing, hitting a hollow sycamore. Who would pick it up?
The Raven volunteered to it, its feathers were blackened by the heat, but it returned without the fire. The same thing happened to the barn Owl, the Owl, the Black Horse and the Black Snake. The Water Spider wove a container and put it on its back for transporting and offering it to mankind for the first time.
In the mythology of the Southeast, a Cherokee legend says that a being called Powerful One created the first man and first woman in the mud of the Underworld, a mixture of Evil (Darkness) and Divine Spirit (God). In all creation myths, the Native American is created from soft mud of the Underworld and he is heated by the Sun God, in a composite of the two opposing worlds.
There is another constant among many: the flood; husbands are told to build a raft, a clay pot, or to use a big hollow reed to survive. With decreasing water, they send birds to find land, a carpenter or a pigeon, and they begin, with God's help, to repopulate the earth.
The pipe or calumet was very important in many tribal cultures as a symbol of peace and to confirm covenants they could not break without incurring the wrath of the gods. Giant mounds are used for rituals or cemeteries.
There is an old story among the Creek and Cherokee, when they were about to perish for lack of food. The members of the Eighth clan, they were eight, approached the elderly with a solution: "We have decided to die for our brothers to live." Then they went to the forest, metamorphosed into bears and returned. The hungry Cherokee shot and ate them. They knew who they were, so a hunter felt he could not kill them. You are my brothers, he said. It is not right to kill you. But they convinced him so: "We need you to kill us as our bodies will nourish you and our souls will not die, they will return to the Upper World where they will be coated again with meat so we can go back again and give it to you." And that's why hunters since then kneel before the dead bear and say: "Thank you, brother."
The success of the hunt, rather than the skill of the hunter, will depend on the power of the animal that gives the hunter the ability to find and kill him. If a hunter does not know the myth of hunting or follow its rituals, the bear will send him sickness and suffering.
Many ceremonies, songs and ritual dances, try the cleansing and healing. The complex rituals of snuff refer to divination, healing and exorcism. The Green Corn Dance included the cleaning of houses, and physical and mental purification.
The rite of Going to Water was of purification before ball games; with a ritual comb of seven rattle teeth they scratched their body, they submerged in the stream facing the East, and the shaman, while washing the blood from their body, asked them to be given strength, speed and agility of thought. The purpose of the ritual was to balance opposing forces and restore it when the balance was broken.
The practice of painting the sand between the Navajo has no ceremonial meaning unless it is accompanied by the recitation of the proper myth. "Animals do not have the appearance of people, but they think like them and they are actually persons inside," said Hopi. In the myths, the animals can act as messengers, guards, servants and advisers. Some are major deities such as Coyote and Spider Woman, but there are other sacred spirits: bears, antelope, deer, eagles, badgers and wolves.
In the Eskimo myths, it is stated that the shaman could separate
his spirit from his body and fly into the cosmos to consult with other spirits.
This carved mask is just the flight of the spirit.
The face in the center is the soul of the shaman
Hopi believe that there is other land in the sky. Ceremonies are held to
maintain or restore harmony. Ceremonial life is an integral part of native
The Navajos host many rituals to maintain harmony between human and spirit world with singing and creating sand paintings, which were taught by a mythical figure, a girl named Gilspa. The singer makes the paintings in the sandy soil of the hogan (house) with cornmeal, sand, coal and pollen. The manifestation of the power of spirits and its beauty attracts them. At the end of the ceremony, which can last more than a week, they are destroyed. The Indians of the Plains believed that not only animals, but the physiological and even some inanimate objects had a spiritual dimension. The ritual and ceremonial of the tribes of the Plains were established to harness this power as much as possible, both the individual and the tribe.
Blackfeet speak of myth of Marked Face to explain the origin of their habit of scalping their enemies, as proof that they had won. A young man, whose name was Marked Face, because he had a long, ugly scar on his cheek, he falls for the daughter of a chief, but she demands him to find ways to remove the scar. He leaves for Sun Domains to look for supernatural help on a journey full of odysseys, which culminate in the killing of seven hazardous large geese, and seven aggressive cranes, whose heads he brings to the Sun. The sun was so impressed by the exploits of the hero that he gave him a beautiful dress trimmed with weasel fur, with a disk layout in the chest and back, symbolizing the sun. Thus he married the daughter of the chief and he became one of the famous performers of ceremonies among the Blackfeet.
The Lakota considered themselves superior to the rest of humanity, but before the wonderful forces of nature they became supplicants humble and weak, always eager to get, through the vision or dream, one of the powers that daily they observed around. They perceived a form that permeated everything, Wakan, the power of the universe, which manifested in the color of rainbow, in the blue sky, in the rumble and echo of thunder and in the destructive power of lightning and other atmospheric phenomena such as wind and hail. All they were considered potential sources of useful power for the individual and the clan, and they were appealed through their ceremonies.
A recurring theme in the ceremonies of the Indians of the Plains was regeneration and harmony, expressed by the symbolism that the Sioux related to the circle or ring. They perceived the cosmos as a cyclical harmonious balance. The ritual ceremonies were to keep the unity of the people and the great circle of life to remain intact; if this circle was broken, the village would be destroyed.
trickster and Great Nanabush
Blake Debassige figure illustrates the subarctic of the creator-trickster
with the name he is known by the Ojibwa. The Ojibwa half saw him as half
man, half spirit, his mother was the granddaughter of the Moon and his father was
the Spirit of the West. His origins made him capable of becoming all
he wanted. In the painting he has become a giant in order to travel
afield in search of food. He is traversing the Great Lakes using
islands and stones on which he walks and come home with some "fish" to
feed himself, which are in fact whales. Nanabush is represented with
a person inside him to symbolize the duality of his personality and
also that of all men.
of the powerful spirits were items of nature, not separate deities. All products
of the Earth are children of the Sun, born from the Earth. It is said that the
mountains are the home to the spirits and supply of power. Individuals who
possess some power of a spirit became shamans, responsible for using his powers
for the benefit of the tribe and with the gift of healing, hurting, or control
the time; but the power could take a benevolent or malevolent form. Shamans
ended up being rich and powerful in the tribes. In California, one of the most
powerful spirits is called Moki, potentially very dangerous; some identified him
with the same Creator. In ceremonial dances he was personified by a man
completely wrapped in a cloak of feathers. The dancer had to observe many taboos
and strict rituals, as any mistake could be very dangerous for him and those
present at the ceremony. So great was his power that the mere act of touching
his cloak could carry diseases to the common people.
Northwest myths are stories of human and ancestral events. Their rituals are the means to make visible those stories, to give life and bring to mind the complex constellation of relationships between humans, nature and the supernatural. They had, through their myths, witty responses of the universe for them and their descendants. Without the myths, human behavior would have no laws and morals, and so it would be removed from the supernatural.
The origin stories initiate the beginning of human consciousness, by recognizing the quality of eternity, the time without beginning, the uncreated creator. They give rise to speculation about the human experience and the formulation of explanations of the evanescent and paradoxical worlds around us. The history of animal tricksters, like the coyote and the raven, illuminate the fundamental paradoxes of human life. Overall, myths provided men the natural world and their place in it, and they established a code of proper behavior towards the environment and its resources. Myths, and legends as well, provided security to give validity to the taboos and provide structure and meaning to the spiritual world. These stories came when all the amazing things could happen. Even the animals were considered intermediaries between the natural and the supernatural. (22).
MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD
When Europeans, in search of the Indies, found the New World, they found developed civilizations and cultures: Aztec, Maya, Inca ..., which did not interest at all to conquerors, they were more interested in the gold behind the shield of faith. The Indian priests practiced human sacrifice. The chronicler Fray Toribio Benavente tells us what happened in Mexico:
"Beside these and other sacrifices and ceremonies they sacrificed and killed many as here I say:
They had a large stone, one stroke long, several inches wide and a good span thick, or corner. Half of the stone was stuck in the ground, up high above the stands, before the altar of the idols.
On this rock they laid the hapless subjects to sacrifice them, their chest too tight, because they were bound feet and hands. The chief priest of idols, or his deputy, were who the most commonly sacrificed the victims, and if sometimes had to sacrifice so many that they get tired, came others who were already skilled in sacrifice, and ready with a flint stone to draw fire from this stone, from this stone it is made the big knife similar to an iron spear, not much sharp, because as it is a very sturdy stone and it blows, it can not be very sharp; I say this because many think that those were black stone knives they have in this land, and they are with the edge as thin as a razor, and they cut so sweetly as a knife, and there is the problem of nicks, but with that cruel big knife as the chest was so tight, they opened strongly the hapless and removed him his heart quickly, and the officer of this evil dropped the heart above the threshold of the altar from outside where it left a spot of blood; and the dropped heart, was a little bubbling on earth and then it was brought into a bowl in front of the altar. Sometimes they took the heart lifted it up to the sun, and sometimes they smeared the idols lips with the blood. Hearts, at times, were eaten by the old ministers; other times they buried the hearts and then took the body and threw it rolling down the steps; and once down, if he was a war prisoner, the one who picked him up, with his friends and relatives, carried him and mixed that human flesh with other foods, and the next day did a party and ate it; the one who caught him, if he had enough resources, gave the guests covers that day; and if the sacrificed was a slave, they did not throw him to roll down, but they pulled him down on arms, and they did the same dinner party as with the prisoner in war, although not so splendid of that of the slave…. As for the hearts of those who were sacrificed, I say: that after getting out the heart of the sacrificed, that demon priest took the heart in his hand, and raised it to the sun, and then returned to do the same to the idol and put it forward in a painted wooden vessel, bigger than a bowl, and from another vessel picked up the blood and gave to the main idol, smearing its lips and then to the other idols and to figures of the devil. In this event they sacrificed those taken in war or slaves, because they almost always were those who sacrificed, according to the village, in some villages about twenty, in others about thirty, in others forty, till fifty and sixty; in Mexico they sacrificed a hundred and up there.
Other days, they were sacrificed many, though not as many as at the mentioned party; and nobody thinks that none of those who sacrificed killing them and pulling out their hearts or any other death, that was not their own will, but they were forced, although they really felt the death and the terrible pain. The other sacrifices of blood drawn from the ears or tongue, or other parts, they were volunteers almost always. "(23).
The Quiche myth of fire originated floods of blood of the enemies and of the slaves of the chiefs who used the bloody, cruel and inhuman ritual with political and religious purposes of domination and subjugation.
Native Americans were masters of their lives, their land and their history, until the Europeans arrived, who planted over them the sword, language and cross, and made them a people crucified by the conquest, slavery and parcels of colonization.
Hernán Cortés relates as laudable his aggressive and insensitive attitude in the Aztec pantheon:
"The most major of these idols, towards whom they had more faith and belief, I overthrew their chairs and made them to be thrown down the stairs and it was cleaned the chapel where they had put in them ... and there I placed pictures of Our Lady and other saints, what was very regretted by Montezuma and others, who first told me I should not do that... "
What was, according to Cortes, a consolidation of Spanish power, on the contrary, according to Bernal Diaz del Castillo, that sacrilegious act caused idolatry, more human sacrifices of the Aztecs and it accelerated the rebellion war.
Idolatry, human sacrifice among the Aztecs and Incas, cannibalism and sodomy, are the variables that combines the black legend of the Indians who, besides being harmful abominations, they are legitimate reasons for just war and loss of freedom of indigenous in favor of the conquerors and the Crown.
It is obvious that there were no ethnological and anthropological studies of indigenous and nobody did seek their understanding or offered help; there were only theological and apologetic studies, showing what the Indians, with the help of Satan, had succeeded. No one practiced with the Indian cultures, including religions, any ethics of respect. European civilization and religion were imposed in a humiliating and degrading way. They never were consulted at all. They were treated as things and their rich cultures, Inca, Maya and Aztec, among others, were almost annihilated, by committing against them genocide and ethnocide, cultural and physical.
They lacked of a basic ethic of respect for their lives, people, feelings, religious values ... It is the universal dynamics of conquest, they say, but this does not justify it, a thousand murders do not justify even one more; it is always a crime. There is a reversal of values: first the economic, pure greed, after, the religious and political: to Christianize and civilize, albeit by force. The explosive meeting of two worlds shook the ethical conscience of Europe at that time; and shortly thereafter, with Africa, there would be three the worlds found.
Bartolomé de las Casas in his book About the treasures of Peru, 1563, questioned and highlighted the legal invalidity of the act o taking possession by the conquerors as formal legal act. And of course it was invalid. There is no possibility of legal or rational justification. There is only the justification invented by the lawyers at the service of the Crown and the Papacy. What is just do not always coincide with legal, as in this case.
reality of the discovery-conquest has other dimensions:
The power of the gun underpins the cobdicia (greed) of the Spanish, many times mentioned in chronicles. Lopez de Gomara, in his General History of the Indies, edition of 1554, called, with good reason, crownniclers to chroniclers, because they write for the Crown. These weapons have never been seen by the indigenous: metal armor, swords, muskets, cannons and horses against the almost Neolithic indigenous, as they were unaware of the use of iron and gunpowder, and the wheel.
The almost magical realism of indigenous people stunned by the arrival of the man-god, or sent by the gods, magical men, with magical weapons, with a beard and instruments spewing fire that kill at a distance. They make them doubt tragically before defending themselves, because they also think such men are immortal and they can not, nor must, fight their gods.
The insatiable greed of the conquistadors uses all sorts of cunning, shrewdness, deceit ... to achieve their goals. Let us see, by way of example, the wonderful description, but horrible at the same time, Lopez de Gomara makes of the capture of Atabaliba (Atahualpa) in History of the Indies, cap. CXIII:
Fray Vicente, with cross and breviary, introduces himself to Atahualpa (Atabaliba), saying he is an ambassador of God and his messenger. "And now Francisco Pizarro comes to beg you to be friend and pay tax to the King of Spain, Emperor of Rome, monarch of the world and obey the Pope and ye shall receive the faith of Christ, which is very holy, while that of yours is completely false. And notice that doing otherwise we will make war and remove your idols, so you abandon the misleading religion of your many and false gods." "Atahualpa replied, very angry, he did not want to pay taxes, because he wanted to remain free, or hear that there was another man greater than himself; though, he'd still be glad to be a friend of the emperor and to know him, as he would be a great prince, because he sent so many armies trough the world; but he would not obey the Pope, who disposed of alien properties, and he would never leave, for whom he never saw, the kingdom that had belonged to his father. And as for religion he said that his religion was very good and that he felt very well with it, and he did not want to put into dispute something so ancient and approved; and that Christ died but the sun and the moon never die, and how did the priest know that the Christian God hath created the world? Fray Vicente replied that it was meant in that book, and gave him his breviary. Atahualpa opened it, looked at, flipped, and saying that it did not say anything to him, he threw it on the floor. The friar took his breviary and went to Pizarro shouting: "The Gospels on the ground, retaliation, Christians; come on, let’s win them, they do not want our friendship or our law." Pizarro then ordered to hoist the banner and play the artillery, thinking the Indians were going to attack. As the sign was made, those on horses ran, completely furious, to break the people wheel around Atahualpa and they speared many. Then arrived Francisco Pizarro with soldiers on foot, and made big damages to the Indians with their swords with lunges. They all went for Atahualpa, who was still in his bunk, to arrest him, wishing everyone the honor and glory of his imprisonment. Because he was up the bunk, they could not reach him, so they stabbed those who hold it, but was not dropped one, that another or many others were ready to hold the litter, so that he did not fall to earth their great lord Atahualpa. Seeing this Pizarro, he grasped his clothing and knocked him down, which was the end of the fight. No Indian fought, although all had guns, something quite remarkable against their fierce customs of war. They did not fight because they were not ordered, nor was the signal that they had for it, nor need be, because of the great tocsin and alarm given to them, or because they became paralyzed by fear and the noise they made, at the same time, the trumpets, the musketry and artillery, and horses carrying collars with little bells to frighten. With this noise, then, and with the haste and wounds that they were given, they ran away leaving their king uncured. Some knocked down the others to flee, and so many charged to one side, that leaning against the wall, it collapsed and they went out through it. Fernando Pizarro and those on horses pursued them until nightfall and killed many of them. Ruminagui also fled when he heard the thunder of artillery; he conjectured what it was, when he saw thrown from the tower the one who had to give the signal. Many Indians died to the prison of Atahualpa, which happened year 1533, and in the tambo of Cajamarca, which is a large fenced yard. They died so many because they did not fight and because ours were lunging, according to the piece of advise of Brother Vincent."
They ask Atahualpa to become tax payer to the king of Spain and obedient and submissive to the Pope; that is the Gelasian theory of two swords, V century: The kingdom and the priesthood. The sovereignty, in terms of Bodin, pope-king, was not very clear in the minds of the absolute powers and they were not interested in it at all. What it was very clear is that they did not recognize the sovereignty of indigenous, natural thing since they do not recognize that of their own subjects, or that of the native chiefs. And international law of Vitoria was beginning to formulate. Atahualpa did not accept submissions, but he provided for the friendship. He should not obey the pope because "he was giving other’s people properties”, and that his religion was that of his ancestors and therefore it was not for sale or discussion. In his mythical thinking he refuted the friar Vicente that the gods were immortal, that Christ had died, and therefore he was not God. That was a very simple conclusion in the Aristotelian-Thomist logic. The Sun and Moon never died. He was amazed about that myth of God "raising" the world, that this book said it was not reason enough. He approached the book (Breviary or Bible) to his ear, but as it whispered nothing and spoke nothing to him, he threw it. And just there the revenge rang out against the "rebel."
"Not any nation extended as much as the Spanish its customs, language and weapons, and walked so far by sea and land, weapons in tow ...", Lopez de Gomara, General History of the Indies, 1552
Spain, in its fortuitous and explosive Encounter with the New World, achieves a new time and a new space. We prefer to talk of Encounter rather than Discovery, obsolete term for inaccurate. Aboriginal peoples for many centuries ago had discovered and owned it, and the Normans had gone there four centuries before, several times. And other anonymous people had gone, as that sailor, it is believed, who possessed some maps of the New World that he gave to Columbus.
A new time. Here the conditions that made possible the Encounter were developing slowly over the last centuries of the Middle Ages:
end of the Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Arabs (718-1492).
-The religious-social crusade mentality pervades medieval Spanish society.
change of mentality of the man in the final stage of the Dark Ages, where
religion is almost everything, theocentric society (God the center).
-Openness to new values and worldviews of the emerging Renaissance, where man and reason would be the focus of the historical movement of Renaissance.
-There is a huge flourishing trade, with a corresponding increase in the volume of trade, but does not increase the money supply, due to the lack of gold and silver to support the currency (the gold-silver pattern), that are to be found in Africa or Asia.
-There is an excess of population in relation to occupational opportunities in Europe.
-The new refined Renaissance society creates a need for new products: silk, precious stones and anything that comes from the East ...
-In addition there are new technical developments: the improvement of navigational instruments, the development of cartography, sailors schools ...
-The nobles become poor and it occurs throughout Europe a high degree of social conflict. And the Renaissance man seeks, compulsively, new experiences that impart honor, fame and glory, nobility.
The sixteenth century Spanish State is dogmatic, intolerant of minorities and of the differing positions, of the heterodoxy; there is only place for cent per cent Catholics, for messianic providential.
State and religion are inseparable. The denominational Crown perceives itself as missionary, powered by eight centuries of struggle against Arabs, Muslims and infidel Saracens. The crusade against Islam goes to India, stretching. Conquest and Christianization were inseparable: the cross and the sword. Granada was taken, 1492, and the Jews were exiled. Columbus is considered chosen by God to execute the Hispanic epic voyage to the Indies, and the same happens with Cortes, who, supported on the cross and faith in God, perceived self-invincible in the holy war he was making in Mexico.
The Spanish look for spices, silks, precious stones and evangelizing, the categorical imperative. Everything is mixed, everything is confused. Theological discourse comes to take precedence in the Spanish sixteenth century ideology. And here another historical-geographical variable: the Turks capture Constantinople, 1453, end of the middle Ages and beginning of the Renaissance, and close the passage to Asia. It requires the search for new paths. There is only the Atlantic Ocean, unknown and obscure, in the West. And there is America, the New World, for its own misfortune and doom.
The Trinitarian conception of the world is broken, a concept more theological
than cosmographic: Europe, Africa and Asia. Americo Vespucci invalidates the
hypothesis of Columbus that the new continent is India, and he states
categorically that it is a New World, and he steals the credit and the name of
Columbus, who found it, but Americo identified it as something different, new,
Mundus Novus, hence America, Americo Vespucci.
In the Columbus’ mentality, discovering was the equivalent of taking office, legal concept. "And of them all I have taken possession for Your Highnesses, with proclamation and extended royal flag", with all the Byzantine liturgy of power. It is a premise evident for the conquerors that the discovery is sufficient cause for possession as formal legal act. Only Bartolomé de las Casas, at the end, questioned it and insisted on its legal nullity.
Kings and conquerors consider India as res nullius, nobody’s thing, and take it by acquisition, per adquisitionem, and, if case of problems, they would take it by war, per bellum. Presumably, then, the Indians had no legal ability for control or jurisdiction.
And, to complete the liturgical ceremonial, they baptized lands with Christian names, stripping them of their own indigenous names, giving the baptismal rite the meaning of Catholic sacrament that involves domain and a new personality in the baptized.
Given that Portugal was ready to claim the new territories as theirs, because they fell under their territorial jurisdiction, as previous treaties with Castile, the Catholic Monarchs attended the pope to back up their titles of ownership, which Alexander VI, Spanish Pope, did with the second bull Inter Caetera, 1493: He donates, grants and assigns the newly discovered lands to the Catholic Kings and their descendants in perpetuity and provides them with the task of converting the Indians to the Christian faith. It talks of the lands found by sailors and captains of the Spanish Crown, previously, not subject to the temporal domain of a Christian lord. Being a Christian gave unconditional authority over the infidels, non-Christians, of any religion they were. There is the supremacy of rights of the baptized over the Indians and over all other non-baptized.
The conquerors require Aboriginal obedience to the Catholic Monarchs and the conversion to Christianity. The rejection of the Indians entails the war, confiscation of property, slavery and even death.
The indigenous or aboriginal peoples of the New World also had a new time and new space.
There were over 133 independent language families in the Mundus Novus,
with their values, customs, traditions, institutions, worldviews and cultures.
Formal culture (values), and material culture (civilizations), rich and deep as
the Olmec, Toltec, Aztec, Maya and Inca. All were evolving. They were simpler
and more backward than European civilizations, but they were theirs, their
culture, their values and their worldview. In modern anthropology is said that
you can not compare a formal culture with another, because each nation has a
right to their own worldview, their values, their religions and their
mythologies, no better, nor worse, just different. What you can compare is the
material culture: technology, science, arts ...
They lived on their land, their homes, their habitat, with their institutions and their way of life. They were the owners of a land that belonged to them. They were free, owners of themselves; they were fulfilled in their ecosystem with their social reference tables. One day, a month, a year, some strange men break their balance and harmony, by planting crosses and swords on their land and on their backs. Other will be the owners; they will no longer belong to themselves, nor their dignity or their persons, or their lives. For them it meant the psychological death, first, and physical one, after, or both at once. From the conquered standpoint, the conquest was a cataclysm, synonymous with slavery and death.
Civilization and European culture did not help them. When you are deprived of liberty and your dignity is stepped, neither any securities, or science or technology is of the least use. They lacked tact and sensitivity, beside other many things; and, above all, it lacked the practice of ethic respect for indigenous people, human beings, true persons, without the need of it being confirmed by Las Casas and Pope Paul III.
The conquest was a violent clash of cultures, clashes and very uneven confrontations, which became domination, colonization and death. Under the sign of the cross and the slogan of evangelization, the Crown undertook the conquest and colonization with the business of indigenous and African slaves, with the business of gold, silver, gems, minerals and wealth of the land.
where they passed from owners to slaves, from lords to vassals, from being human
beings to becoming things. Here is the tragedy of the conquest, without
hyperbole or euphemism.
Their lands were not res nullius, nobody’s thing, they belonged to its inhabitants for centuries, not years; they had discovered them, when they were no man's land, and they owned them with full legal ownership and jurisdiction. Everything else was a legal farce, invented by the jurists of the Crown to justify the unjustifiable before the other European crowns. Anybody at that time could know that the Indians were human beings, because they had their civilizations, religions, their values, their own cultures ... and this never was the case with animals.
In the first accounts of Columbus prevails an idyllic description of the Indians: timid, meek and docile," they show so much love that they would give their hearts."
After the usurpation of their lands and the respective rebellions, Mayonabex, friend of the also chief Guarionex in La Española, says about the Spanish: "They are tyrants who do not come but to usurp the lands of others," and describes them as "savage people, warlike." The Act of possession becomes a conquest military company. They emphasize the negative aspects of the Indian to justify their inability to domain-jurisdiction. The Indians were deeply religious, to the point of offering humans to their gods (Incas, Aztecs) - Las Casas evaluate this, without approving it as a sign of profound piety - but it was said of them, as it was said of Arabs, they were infidels. And, in clerical mentality of the time, they show and they make believe that infidels are not capable subjects of possession-domain-jurisdiction of lands, or of their own persons. And the pope arrives, gives, grants and assigns the newly discovered lands to the Catholic Monarchs and the Portuguese Kings.
The Portuguese, with bulls and papal blessings, as those black Africans were heathens and Saracens, performed slave hunts in Africa. Pope Eugene IV, 1436, described the African as God's enemies, persecutors of the Christian religion, Saracens and infidels. Nicholas V, in his Bull Romanus Pontifex, 1455, granted the Portuguese kings full power to invade, conquer, fight them, beat them and reduce them to perpetual servitude.
No one can give what he hasn’t, says a scholastic adage. The Pope was not the owner nor of Africa or of the New World. This shows that the Power can do and invent a lot of things, in spite of being totally absurd and false. It also shows how the power elite woven subtle networks made of religious, political, magical, surreal fiber... all to attain, defend and justify their economic interests and domination.
They were God on earth. More important than Zeus, who was wrong in Mecon. They are infallible in faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra; infallible not only in faith, but also in customs, everything to have all well tied and securely fastened. They too perceived themselves as supreme emperors of the world, because the cosmos, creation myth, is the work of God and they are his plenipotentiary representatives on earth. So they give, grant and assign what is not theirs, a phenomenon difficult to explain from a legal serious perspective, but which is viable absolute-power factor that the myth creates. Machiavelli had good teachers. Popes dreamed their power in the dreams of the archaic peoples, our myths, because it is obvious that they could never talk to their God without hallucinogens, or with them.
UTOPIA OF AMERICA
The American enterprise is a Renaissance fact laden with medieval moral essences; although medieval social categories were prevailing, the fact is given in the Renaissance.
The Indian defense, conducted by the missionaries with the proper laws of the Indies, is the leading exponent of the American utopia. After the arrival of Columbus, Europe invented America, from the point of view of utopia: the myth of the noble savage, the Paradise had been there, there the man was not degenerated by civilization as in the outdated and unworkable Europe, where he had become: greedy, selfish, cruel and inhuman.
The Encounter takes place in the fall of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance, in the passage from the ancient world to modern, with ‘a before it’ and ‘an after it’, a new time and new space, as we have seen.
The ‘before it’ formed by the material and ideological conditions, predisposed the Encounter to occur inevitably, with Columbus or without him. The ‘after it’ consisted of new people, new lands, found by geographical error when they were looking for the land of the Great Khan, the India and the island of Zipangu (Japan), countries of the spices, the first goal of the expedition.
The new historic event leads to a revolution in all fields of knowledge: geographic, political, legal (law of nations or peoples), theological (origin and indigenous ancestry), scientific (new world, new species, new cultures and civilizations. ..)
America, being found, historical fact, is performed by projecting on it the utopian ideals of Europe and its modernity, making it up, creating a new world. Hernán Pérez de Oliva, 1528, writes the History of the invention of the Indies, and he refers to the mental construction of the new continent. Europe, from its perspective, plays to invent the world of utopias in America.
The history of the process of implementing the utopia in America begins with the bulls of Alexander VI: the papacy, weak and aware that it alone could not carry out the business of evangelization and conversion of the Indians to the Christian faith, delegates Spanish monarchs the implementation of such a mission. But the Christianization of the Indians entails to the Kings another simultaneous and parallel intention: to civilize, which, together with the above, are what constitute the utopian ideal of America. Thus, the utopia that seeks to implement in America involves two parallel and simultaneous fronts: first, to get to the new lands the Christian religion, which they try to universalize and, secondly, to extend Western civilization. In these two fronts is recapitulated the whole ideal of the modern utopia: Christianity and European civilization.
But, at the same time, we must take into consideration another element: the enterprise of conquest is only a private enterprise; the expeditions are borne, in their material aspect, by the same expeditors who seek financial compensation (own land) and social compensation (becoming lords of vassals) in order to justify their investment. The Indian is regarded as inferior, barbaric, and abuses followed against the Indians, increased by the movement of certain legends, such as El Dorado, promising abundant riches.
Just then, theologians and jurists who, seeing a full man in the Indian, rush in their defense in new theories: Las Casas, Vitoria, Domingo de Soto ... These new theories of theologians and jurists, that open an important chapter in the Spanish political philosophy and international law, will influence the Indian laws. We are going to sequence these laws and mention, very briefly, their distinctive features:
1. Stage of Isabel law. Settlers were allowed to exploit Indian labor, but still had a great concern for the Christianization and good treatment of the Indians.
2. Stage of the regency of Ferdinand. Above all, Fernando tries to obtain economic benefit (gold and pearls) of the Indies, which leads to the exploitation of Indians, which is denounced by the Dominicans.
3. Stage of the Laws of Burgos (1512). This stage begins with the sermon of Montesinos and the exposure of the atrocities committed against the natives. As a result, they convened a board of theologians and jurists, from where come the Laws of Burgos, above all, is a sanction of the usual methods of exploitation of Indians. However, the Dominicans show disagreement with the law and it began the action of Las Casas to demonstrate the failure of the Laws of Burgos.
4. Stage of the new legislation (1542). From the thesis of Francisco de Vitoria, Carlos V announces the Board of Valladolid to draw up new laws. At this stage, the characteristic feature is the Hapsburg nature of Charles V, with full dose of centralism, which leads him to the intolerance for the feudalism, which causes the mildness of the institution of the encomienda, which favored the Indians. (24).
THE INDIAN SLAVERY
According to Peter Martyr, there are conflicting perceptions regarding freedom and slavery of the Indians.
Natural and pontifical law order that the human race be all free; the imperial law imposes slavery ... And Las Casas: "Nothing indeed is more precious in human affairs, nothing more estimable than freedom ..."
Slavery, however, was accepted and legitimized until recently in Western culture. The defeated enemy had two choices: death or slavery. Hence, Domingo de Soto concludes: "This easement is not only lawful but also the fruit of mercy." And, supported by Augustine of Hippo, he sees it as a fruit of sin which is followed by the punishment, and a punishment form is the legal slavery. In the sixteenth century, only pagans’ slavery was considered legitimate, not that among Christians.
Black slaves and Indians shared the Iberian feat since the beginning of colonization, with three violently conflicting worlds: Europe, Africa and America.
The enslavement of Indians started from the very beginning of the Spanish arrival to America with Christopher Columbus. You can, however, speak of pre-Hispanic forms of bondage and not only in the form of prisoners of war but also as the rudiments of the slave trade and human exploitation. This is attested by the letter written by Basque Núñez de Balboa to the King from Santa Maria de Darién, which in one paragraph reads:
(...) "These Indians, who catch gold, bring it in grain as they get it to melt to this chief Dadaive; he gives them as a ransom young Indian boys, and girls to serve their wives (.. .). This cacique Dadaive has a great foundry of gold at home; he has continuously a hundred men who work that gold for him (...)".
However, this pre-Columbian easement was milder for Indians than the one they subsequently underwent under the Spanish domination, because the slaves of pre-Hispanic system could keep certain possessions, like a house, and they were not continually forced to serve their master, but when he called them; on the other hand, while with the Spanish the son of a woman slave was always a slave, the children of an Indian female slave were born free.
With the Spanish conquistadors, the situation of slaves worsened. Let us now see the beginnings of the incorporation of the Indian to the west servitude regime: the first slave trader was the Admiral himself, who, seeing that the gold he had promised the monarch took a time to find it, sought other means to offset expenses of colonization, including especially the sale of Indian slaves, whose amount would be used to supply seeds, livestock and other means of support to the overseas territories.
At first, Isabella allowed such activity, and, in the warrant given on April 12, 1495, authorized for sale in Andalusia the first slaves arrived from the Indies. However, the next day came an order to the Bishop of Badajoz to suspend the sale until the Kings had consulted theologians and canon lawyers about the legitimacy of this action, in this order it is said: "We wanted to be informed from lawyers, theologians and canonists if in good conscience they can be sold as slaves or not. " The query raised at a Board on June 20, 1500, a royal decree was passed condemning the activities of slaves and to trade with them; they were declared free the Indians who until then had been sold in Spain and it was ordered the Indians to be regarded as free vassals of the Crown of Castile and returned to their homeland. Although subsequently they came back to the accepted principles of a certain slavery by allowing, (20 February, 1534), the submission of the Carib Indians, Arauca and Mindanao, which were the most wild and disobedient to the Spanish domination, Crown's position was almost always anti-slavery, holding the view that the peaceful inhabitants of America should be considered as free subjects.
This attitude was an essential part of governance of the Spanish monarchy, partly to avoid the great power they acquired the holders of Indians, who threatened the political centralization that was intended, in part, by to obey the mandate of evangelization carried out in papal bulls, where the Indians are regarded as rational beings. This issue -the nature of the Indian and rationality - is the basic question for all the subsequent development of theories on how to treat them and whether it was lawful to enslave them; therefore, the answer given was decisive in the attitude of the Crown and the policy that was followed. The Spanish, and Europeans in general, asked, since coming to America, if the Indians, with their repugnant customs shocking to the Western mind, were rational beings, capable of accepting the Christian faith and, therefore, capable of civilization . It is generally accepted their humanity and rational character, despite the voices of those who held opposing views - as, for example, Fernández de Oviedo, who comes to call them wild dogs-. (25)
From the Crown, pressured by the Spanish priests, who were the most severe and persistent critics of the sad state of their own colonies, it was legislated in favor of the Indians, but America was far from Spain, and the encomenderos (owners of the encomiendas) ignored the law, as Las Casas complaints. “I comply with, but I do carry out” is the sentence that became famous with the passage of time by its real and true content.
The encomienda is a right conferred by royal grant to certain conquerors, in virtue of which a group of indigenous families were in the service of a lord, who had the benefit of their work and their lives and, in exchange, they were receiving protection and religious instruction from him. The encomienda appeared at the beginning of colonization. It was an institutionalized system of forced labor. The term encomienda is used by the king Fernando when he authorizes Diego Columbus to regulate the distribution of aboriginal people, in 1509, but it would not be for life to distinguish it from slavery. Thus, they attempt to Christianize the natives and get material and economic benefit from them, but the encomienda, in fact, was a disguised slavery.
When Cortes asked permission to Charles V to establish encomiendas in New Spain, Mexico, the emperor said: "I command that in this land you not to do or consent Departments-encomiendas or deposits of Indians to be made, but let them live freely as our subjects live in our kingdom of Castile", and the king argues the case of the reduction of the Indians in La Española, and in other islands, due to the bad treatment and too much work to which they are subjected.
Cortes replied that he has maintained his royal instructions in secret and without implant, because the conquerors are extremely indebted, as they have financed the war against the Aztec empire with their own funds, and the only way to continue the conquest and colonization is allowing them to obtain earnings of the indigenous labor and service. He comes to the daring of making him see that the encomienda was a charity for the Indians, "commending them, the way I commend, they are taken from captivity and released... because their native kings and lords are cruel and bloodthirsty tyrants." Carlos V yields, provided that the Indians were treated well, 1526.
The Indias Council prevents to fix the perpetuity of the encomienda, which finally was eliminated by Felipe V, in 1720.
Fray Toribio de Benavente, Motolinía, writes The History of the Indians of New Spain, a member of the "Twelve", the first Franciscan mission that arrived in New Spain (Mexico), May 13, 1524. The chiefs and lords of Mexico, according to Bernal Diaz del Castillo, nicknamed him Motolinia, which means the poor friar, the antithesis of the Spanish conquistador, often greedy, violent and dishonest with the Indians. When Cortes and his men get to Mexico they found a highly organized world, a great civilization. The conquest entails the collapse of this great social and political structure, its culture. All succumbed to bigotry, ignorance and destructive intolerance of the invader. In the first Treaty, the first chapter of his mentioned book, evoking Moses in Egypt, he speaks of the ten plagues:
"God smote and punished the land and those who lived on it, natural and foreign, with ten laborious plagues.
first was smallpox ... and it was brought by an African subject wounded with
smallpox that began beating the Indians, who had never had it and they
died like flies in droves, others from starvation, due to illness. After
that a Spaniard arrived, measles wounded; many Indians were contaminated and
The second plague was the many persons who died in the conquest. There died more than in Jerusalem, when Titus and Vespasian destroyed it.
The third plague was a severe famine, due to the war, for the lack of corn.
The fourth plague was of the calpixques, or landowners, tax collectors of the conquerors, who were Spaniards, simple Castilian farmers, who have dominion over this land and order the natural lords of it as if they were their slaves, and never do anything but command, and however much they are given they are never happy; wherever they are they fester and corrupt everything, smelly as damaged meat, they do not apply to do anything but to command. They are drones who eat the honey worked by the poor bees, who are the Indians.... In the first years these calpixques (collectors and stewards of the farm) were so absolute in mistreating the Indians and loading them and sending them away from their land, and give many other works, that many Indians died because of them and with their own hands, which is worse.
The fifth was the great tributes and services that the Indians did. In fear and trembling, they gave everything they had, including gold of theirs and of the temples; but as the tributes were every eighty days, ‘so that they could fulfill it they sold their children (black added) and the land to the merchants; and failing to comply with the tax, many died because of it, some with prison torture and other with cruel tortures, because they were treated brutally and estimated less than their beasts.’
The sixth plague was the gold mines ...; that Indian slaves which have so far died in them could not be counted. And it was the gold of this land as another calf worshiped as a god, because they come from Castile to worship it through so many hardships and dangers; and as they reach it, I pray to our Lord it not be for their condemnation.
The seventh plague was the building of the great city of Mexico. It is the custom in this land, not the best in the world, because the Indians do the work, and seek the materials on their own, and pay the masons and carpenters, and if they do not bring themselves to eat they fast. All materials were brought in tow; they haul the beams and big boulders with ropes, and as they lacked the wit and there were plenty of people, if there were needed a hundred men to haul a stone or a beam, it was brought by four hundred. And they had a habit of going singing and shouting, and singing and voices hardly ceased night or day due to the fervor the people brought in the building during the early days.
The eighth plague was the slaves they made to send them to the mines. They were so hurry, during some years, in making slaves that resulted that entered Mexico, from all over, as large herds like sheep, to brand them with the iron. In the rush that they gave the Indians to bring up slaves as a tribute, a fixed number each eighty days, when the slaves were finish, they brought their children and the commoners, who are low people as the labor vassals, and the more they could raise they were brought and frightened so they should say they were slaves. And as the test was not very scrupulous and iron was well cheap, they were given on their faces so many signs, including the leading iron of the king, that their whole face was written, because they were wearing all the signs of those who bought and sold them, and so this eighth plague is not the lowest.
The ninth plague was the service of the mines, which were sixty miles far and more. The Indians had t go there, loaded, to keep maintenance. And the food they had for themselves, some finished off it in arriving at the mines, others on the way back home and other miners were stopped some days to helping them to beat the gold, or they occupied them in building or other; and if they finished the meal, or they died there in the mines or on the road, because they had no money to buy it and there was nobody who could help them. Other returned in such conditions that they died at once, and from these and from the slaves who died in the mines it came out such stench that it caused pestilence, especially in the mines of Guaxaca, where half a league of distance round and the most part of the way, you hardly could walk but on dead men or on bones. And there were so many birds and crows which came to feed on the dead bodies that it was a large shadow in the sun, so, many villages were depopulated, villages on the way and those of the region. Other Indians fled to the mountains and left their homes and property in distress.
The tenth plague was the divisions and factions that existed among the Spanish in Mexico, with their executions and exile, fighting, fights, gunfire between the conquerors; and the monks bringing peace.
We all would be glad that this had been a dream, a nightmare to most, but never a historical reality. We would like to tell Motolinía, the poor monk, that he had dreamed of it, or that he had written a novel, not history ...
The practical politics of the conquest with the native has been of integration: Christianize, Castilianized, Europeanized ...; out of their community and become a domestic servant, farm laborer, a miner ...; in uprooting of their customs, religion, values ..., thereby creating an existential vacuum and imposing by force, brutally, another religion, another civilization and another way of life. It was committed an ethnocide (all acts lead to degradation of indigenous culture). This is integration, after the destruction of indigenous culture. They did not undergo a basic ethic of respect for the indigenous and their habitat. It constitutes a grave anthropological error.
The chroniclers of the Indies: Peter Martyr, a cleric from Milan, who wrote the History of the Indies in decades, 1526, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo in his General and real history of the Indies, 1535 (1st part), Francisco Lopez de Gomara, Historia general de las Indias, 1552, and Bernal Díaz del Castillo in his The true History of the Conquest of New Spain, 1632, - he had read Lopez de Gomara but did not agree with him, hence the title of his work-, they wrote the history of the victors and from their perspective, interpreting and rationalizing the Spanish epic, in this case, always from the perspective of the power. They are employees of the Crown, the conquerors, viceroys and settlers, and members of the Church, and they work and they write. There are other praiseworthy voices in favor of the Indian, defenders of the natives: Montesinos, Bartolomé de Las Casas and the Dominican friars of La Española ... who shook with their voices the encomienda system and the abuse committed against the Indians by the conquistadors, first, and by the settlers, later.
The brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolome de Las Casas is the most representative criticism against the conquistadors and Spanish settlers, who, terribly cruel to the Indians, took advantage of them and made them work, full of greed, to the point of getting the extermination of large masses of the population.
THE SERMON OF MONTESINOS
Soon they began the complaints against the activities of the encomenderos and settlers in general, which will be moved to Spain and give rise to the making of legislation in this regard. This process started, still on American soil, with the sermon of Montesinos - which includes not only the particular position of the priest but that of the Dominicans and indigenous advocates in its entirety, and that is the trigger for the controversy to be brought to court.
It happened like this: In December 1511, a Sunday before Christmas, the Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos preached in La Española a sermon, a comment on the biblical text: Ego, vox clamantis in deserto (Me, a voice crying in the wilderness), in which, before the Governor Diego Columbus, the royal officials and settlers who attended Sunday Mass publicly protested against the conduct of his Spanish compatriots in relation to the Indians. The sermon text reads:
To give you to know them (the sins against the Indians) I come up here, me who is the voice of Christ in the desert of this island, and therefore it is advisable that, with care, with all your heart and all your senses, listen to it; a voice which will be the newest you ever heard, the more rough and tough and most terrible and dangerous than ever never you expected to hear ...
This voice says that you all are in mortal sin and live and die in it, because of the cruelty and tyranny that you use on these innocent people. Say, what right and justice do you have in such cruel and horrible servitude to these Indians? What authority have you waged such detestable wars on these people, who were all calm and peaceful in their land where infinite numbers of them, with death and destruction never heard, you have consumed? How do you have them so oppressed and weary, without food or cure of diseases, and due to the excessive work you give them they get sick and die, rather, you kill them to extract and acquire gold every day? What care do you have, when you have who indoctrinate them, and they know their God and Creator, and be baptized, and hear mass, keep the holidays and Sundays? These, are not men? Do not they have rational souls? Are you not obliged to love them as yourselves? Do not you understand this, do not you feel this? Why are you sleeping in a so deep and lethargic sleep? Be certain that in the state where you are, you can not save more than the Moors or Turks who lack and do not want the faith of Jesus Christ.
This passionate sermon provoked a reaction from the Spanish who, out of mass, concentrated in front of the house of Governor Diego Columbus to protest against that statement which, they said, questioned the authority of the Spanish monarchs. The vicar Fray Pedro de Cordoba tried to silence them, saying that the views expressed by Montesinos were those of the entire Dominican congregation in La Española, from which he was only the spokesman, however, he promised that next Sunday, Montesinos would again address the same subject in his sermon, which the settlers thought he would recant and ask excuses. Far from that, the next sermon of Montesinos was even more blunt, reaffirming all he had said and threatening to deny the confession and absolution if they persisted in their stance of ill-treatment of Indians, and he told them that they could account for this to Spanish authorities. Thus begins the so called fight for justice in America.
The reaction provoked in Spain was twofold: firstly, the provincial of the Dominicans in Spain, Fray Alonso, condemned the attitude of the Dominicans of La Española, accusing it of being inspired by the devil, because, by papal donation, the Spanish kings had, iure belli (by right of war), control over those islands and threatened to excommunicate them if they continued to hold this position. On the other hand, Ferdinand wrote to Diego Colón, considering that the distributions were permissible under the human and divine law, and asked him to persuade Montesinos to recant, and, in case he did not, he would be sent to Spain to be punished. This order was received by the Governor on March 20, 1512, and the warning was made on the 23rd of the month (26).
Nevertheless, Montesinos's sermon was the trigger to raise in philosophical and moral terms the problem of slavery of the Indians, and it would influence the formulation of Spanish thought and it would, moreover, lead to various actions, as it was the call for the Board which gave birth to the Laws of Burgos.
Indigenous peoples asked themselves whether Spanish were human or divine. Montezuma considered them as gods; that is why he hesitated to defend himself, with deadly consequences. The Peruvian Indians called them divine beings, by considering them as children of Heaven. According to Alonso de Ercilla, in his The Araucanian, the Spaniards were considered gods, which made the first victories of the Spanish easier.
And the Tainos, in Borinquen, drown Salcedo to discover that the Spanish are mortal, and then they found that they were also very greedy as well as cruel.
The Spanish, on the contrary, questioned the humanity or brutality of the Indians: "These Indians are like talking animals," "little men, just men," "devoid of humanity," "brutes," "incapable of our religion" "bestial people without trial or understanding, full of vices and abominations", "endowed with a less rational." "All are bestial and incapable and so they live and die brutally," cannibals some, sodomites others, etc.., etc. All was to figure out that they can not govern themselves and they need systems of compulsory labor, slavery and encomiendas.
Las Casas, like other theologians and canonists, and Pope Paul III recognized the full humanity of the Indian and insisted on full respect for their individual and collective freedom. "We. .., considering that the Indians are real people ... do ordain and declare with our apostolic authority that those Indians ..., although they are outside the faith of Christ, should not be deprived of freedom ... nor should they be reduced to slavery ...", Pope Paul III, 1537.
The conquistadores and friars are totally intolerant to accept religious diversity. The religions of the natives, for Hispanic Catholics, are false, products of the devil, involving infidelity and idolatry, worship of false gods. The only true and legitimate religion is the orthodox Catholic, from Ramon Pane, in the beginning of the conquest, until Geronimo de Mendieta, a Franciscan missionary and historian (1525-1604). His main work is the Historia eclesiástica Indiana (Indian Ecclesiastical History), 1596. Pané identifies the Taino’s cemíes with demons, which matches Peter Martyr’s viewpoint.
The thesis of Peter Martyr is no surprise to any of his readers, but it is surprising when Las Casas compares the religious vision of the Tainos with the diabolical deceit.
"They (the Arawaks) had not idols, but rare, and they did not worship them as gods, but by the imagination they put certain priests ... They did not make ceremonies outdoors or sensitive, but very few, and they were exercised by those priests who were put as his ministers for the devil ...", Las Casas.
Elsewhere in his Brief history of Apologetics, Las Casas develops a more complex view of idolatry, which contains three stages:
1. It comes from an impulse to know and worship God, inherent in human beings (the natural inclination to latria).
2. Such appetite for divinity is distorted by the perverse action of demons (becoming idolatry).
3. This parody of authentic worship is rooted through the custom.
In another section, Las Casas makes an interesting theological point: that Native Americans had a particular knowledge of the true God, without saying how they had obtained it. "And they came to him with their sacrifices, worship and veneration ... but, the capital enemy of mankind, Satan, in a fatal link of the abundance of sins with the lack of doctrinal continuity, led them trough the wrong ways that the devil showed them ... " Las Casas can not discharge his Orthodox Catholic vision and, ultimately, he considers idolatry as " a universal plague of the human race", its rites and ceremonies are described as "stool" and its myths are called "fictions and hoaxes."
Idolatry should be removed entirely, he agrees with other missionary colleagues, but only through the reasonable and persuasive preaching and through the patient example of genuine Christian living, excluding violence. (27)
Felipe II, supported by the Holy Office (Inquisition), banned from writing about indigenous culture, 1577. Catholic Christian myths are used as valid and effective policy instruments in the Encounter of the three worlds. Politics and religion are mixed, even confused, in this holy war and crusade in the New World, and its utopia.
"Demographic statistics lose their usual coolness and become fearful in Native America in the sixteenth century. According to Sherburne Cook and Woodrow Borah, Mexico's indigenous population was reduced from approximately 25.2 million (twenty five million two hundred thousand) in 1518, to 1,370,000 (one million three hundred and seventy thousand) in 1595. Noble David Cook estimates that the number of native people of Peru fell from 9,000,000 (nine million) in 1520, to 1300.000 (one million three hundred thousand) in 1570. Mellafe argues that the arrival of the Spanish to La Española, 1592, would have about 100,000 natives; in 1570, just reached 500. In San Juan, in 1538, there were hardly aboriginal. In an attempt to save the indigenous West Indians, a truly endangered species, the Crown issued as part of the New Laws of 1542, the order to be exempt from paying tribute and to ensure their good treatment:
"It is our will and command that the Indians who at present are living in the San Juan Islands and Cuba and La Española, for now and whatever time they will not be bothered with taxes or other real or personal services or mixed more than are the Spanish that reside in those islands and let them idle, that they can multiply and be better educated in the things of our holy Catholic faith ... "(28).
It is a futile effort and late. With greater accuracy, Oviedo points to the near extinction of native Caribbean: "Little can be done in this island (La Española), and in those of San Juan, and Cuba, and Jamayca, where has happened the same, in the death and finishing of the Indians ... “The indigenous people of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo and Cuba became ethnological curiosities of the past, museum pieces. Zavala correctly states the unfortunate result: "The theory and protective laws came late to help the Indians of the Antilles. The clash between the indigenous and Spanish races wiped out the first... The sadly ironic point is that such theories and protective laws arose precisely as a protest against the harsh condition of the natives of the Caribbean islands."
The eminent historian of Latin American culture, Pedro Henriquez Urena, has described this dramatic population decline as ethnic tragedy. The Cuban historian Fernando Ortiz called it a democide. Efren Cordova speaks of a process of genocide, not deliberately intended, but incredibly effective ... Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutierrez calls it demographic collapse. Nicolas Sanchez Albornoz speaks of demographic disaster. British Professor R. A. Zambardino refers to it as one of the worst demographic disasters known. Even more emphatically, the American scientist William M. Denevan says: The discovery of America was followed by the possibly larger demographic disaster in history. (29).
THE CROSS AND THE SWORD
The link between the cross and sword is perfectly showed in the account the Chontal Mayas make of the execution of Cuauhtémoc. The Spanish are convinced that his submission is feigned and he plans an armed revolt. They decided, therefore, to kill him. But before they do, they take the religious precaution of baptizing the Aztec ruler. Thus, the Christian sacrament joins conquering violence. It kills the body of the leader while trying to redeem his soul. The Inca king, Atahualpa, was also baptized before executing him; the sacrament, in his case, serves to moderate the punishment, instead of the fire, the garrotte. After his execution he is buried as a Christian, with appropriate liturgical ceremonies (the Governor, with the other Spanish, led him to be buried in the church with great solemnity, with all the more honor than he could receive.)
Baptism serves as an ironic exchange: the eternal salvation of the soul in exchange for the temporary death of the body. In the case of Atahualpa is implied the worship of Mammon: as a useless ransom of his life, the Indian monarch presented Francisco Pizarro with a huge amount of gold, tragic anticipation of the riches that the Spanish can acquire if they subjugate and bend the natives." (30)
Atahualpa and his men were caught by surprise, after having refused the king's exhortation to accept the Christian faith made by the friar Vicente de Valverde. According to a Quechua account:
"... Brother Vincent comes into with a cross in his right hand and the breviary in the other. And he said to the Inca Atahualpa that he is also ambassador and messenger of another lord, very great and Friend of God, that he should be his friend and worship the cross and believe in the gospel of God and not worship anything else. The Inca Atahualpa responds and says he does not have to worship anybody but the sun which never dies ... and gods (that) also have their law… that Fray Vicente... he cried and said, "Here, gentlemen, against these gentiles Indian, which are against our faith! And Don Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, at the same time, cried and said: Go, gentlemen, against these infidels, who are against our Christianity ... "
The Spanish chronicler of the conquest of Peru and Francisco Pizarro's personal secretary, Francisco de Jerez, describes this scene different in its details; he admits, however, that the order to attack Atahualpa and his warriors came after Valverde told Pizarro that the Inca chieftain had shattered the sacred Scripture. At the messianic shout of Santiago, Castilian cavalry and artillery attack by surprise and succeed in chasing and killing many warriors and imprisoning the Indian monarch.
Pizarro then explains Atahualpa the cause of his providential and religious victory
"We come to conquer this land, because all you come to the knowledge of God and his holy Catholic faith ... and you know Him and go out of bestiality and diabolical life that you live ...
And if you were made a prisoner, and your people derailed and killed, it was because ... you threw on the ground the book in which were the words of God, and that is why our Lord allowed your pride to be thrust down, and that no Indian could offend a Christian. "
Carrying the cross legitimizes the use of the sword. The request for conversion is a death sentence.
Alonso de Ercilla recounts in his famous epic poem La Araucana (1569-1589), the conversion and final execution of Caupolicán, the last of the great Araucanian leaders who rebelled against Spain. His sudden acceptance of the Catholic faith, after being beaten and arrested, caused great joy among the Spanish, who, after instructing him in his new religion, baptizing and celebrating his conversion, came, however, to execute him in an atrocious way: impaled and shot with arrows.
"But God turned him in a moment
working on him his mighty hand,
as a flame of faith and knowledge
he wanted to be baptized and be Christian;
it caused shame and great satisfaction
to the surrounding Castilian people,
it caused great admiration of all nations
and fear to barbarians there present.
Then, that sad, though happy day
when he was solemnly baptized
and a short time allowed
in the true faith he was told,
surrounded by a thick company
of well-armed people he was took out
to suffer consented death
with hope of a better life."
"On the other hand, the struggle between the Cross (priests and church defenders of the Indians) and Sword (conquerors and colonizers) is one of the most interesting chapters in the long and labyrinthine relationship between church and state, the spiritual and the earthly power, the nobility and the priesthood. There were many occasions that the missionaries tried to redeem the soul of Native American without resorting to chaining his body." (31)
Max Planck, physicist known for his revolutionary discovery of quantum theory, Nobel Prize, in his Scientific Autobiography, states: A new scientific truth does not triumph because their opponents are convinced or by making them see the light, but because they eventually die and born a new generation that is familiar with it.
Trees, sometimes, prevent us to see the forest.
THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
" Never the mass is emancipated from the myths”, Jung. (32). The strange set of images, with which are expressed the mythologies of all peoples and times, make up the collective unconscious, potentially inherited by every individual. The creative base is, everywhere, the same human psyche and the same human brain, which, with relatively minor variations, works the identical way everywhere, Jung reveals. Freud speaks of incest as individual conflict and essential root of the formidable myth: The legend of Oedipus. The mother is able to inspire the child with a passion, so consuming as unconscious, that it could disrupt his life tragically. Oedipus yesterday and today continues to live and it seems, says Jung, that among basic human conflict it exists an identity that is beyond time and space; a community indissoluble bond unites us with the archaic man; the problem of Oedipus is immortal. Dream images persist and must be understood symbolically. In Egypt and Chaldea there was the oneiromancy (foretell the future through dreams). Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, Daniel interpreted those of Nebuchadnezzar. Always and in all transcendent and prophetic peoples, they speak of dreams, wars and calamities, peace and prosperity, that the gods sent to humans. In the midst of abundant and seemingly contradictory images, there is a clear meaning in every dream, but it must be interpreted. Dreams are symbolic, we think through words, which are symbols, and images. The language is produced by thought and it produces thought.
Directed thought, or verbal thought, is the instrument of culture which provided the adaptability of humans to their environment and created science and modern techniques.
The archaic, who felt veneration for the divine cosmos, and who had high knowledge of mathematics, material mechanics, and unparalleled artistic skills, did not feel the need to move to the mechanical technique, the principles of simple machines, changing the subject inanimate to produce and reproduce artificially natural processes, creating machines, in a word. The cheap labor of slaves and their tendency to worship the divine cosmos, cosmic rites, blocked it. They were not trained in directed thinking, only in the associative and reproductive, and they could not move from dilettantism to the current technique of machines; they played with images and feelings, the image follows the image, the feeling follows the feeling, it is the dream. The dream frees trends, it is therapeutic, and the psyche remains active while we sleep. Directed thinking uses language in an attempt to acquire, adapt and transform the reality, it is productive. Associative thinking, the dream, departs from reality, it is refractory to any amendments, releases subjective tendencies, is unproductive, and is directed by unconscious motives.
According to Jung, Scholasticism, "although it drew its subjects from the fantasies of the past, subjected the mind to the dialectic discipline of the directed thought. The only success that awaited the thinker was the rhetorical triumph in the dispute and not a visible transformation of reality."
Their topics were really amazing - if angels wet or not, and how many angels fit on the tip of a pin ... and the metaphysical problem of knowledge of the unknowable (the god)- but with their dialectical discipline they influenced the modern scientific spirit, although they gave the word, symbol of language, an absolute meaning, equivalent to the biblical logos. The scholastic laid the foundations of intellectual sublimation, a prerequisite of the scientific spirit and modern technology, according to Jung. "We are not more intelligent and energetic than the former men, it is the stock of our knowledge what has changed, it is not our intelligence; it has been enriched our knowledge, not our wisdom. All the energy and interest that modern man is investing in science and technology, the ancients devoted it to their mythology. "
The activity of the mind of primitive man acted artistically par excellence; rather than the real thing, they were interested in how the real world was, to fit it aesthetically to subjective fantasies and hopes; something similar to what Christianity does. They were not interested in the idea of infinity of Giordano Bruno or in Kepler's discoveries and their impact on modern humanity.
The archaic thinking was satisfied with seeing the sun as the great father of the world and heaven, and the moon as a fertile mother.
Everything is anthropomorphic, or theriomorphic (33), man or animal. All corresponded to subjective fantasies, as does the child's thinking. They, the archaic, put wings and feet to the sun; children encourage, they give life to their toys; both live in a fantasy world, wonderful world. The child's thought is very similar to the mythological, of archaic type. Also in psychology ontogenesis corresponds to the phylogenesis: children's thinking and dreams are repetitions of earlier stages of development; in the dreams the task of primitive humanity is remade. The myth is a relative of dreams. Myths may correspond to distorted residues of the fantasies of entire peoples, to secular dreams of primitive humanity. So the myth has been described as a collective dream of a people. The myth would be a remnant of childhood mental life of the people, and the dream is the myth of the individual. Therefore, one might infer, according to Jung, that people at the time the myths were created thought the same way the dream does today.
So there are few individuals who manage to get rid of the myths. The masses will never get rid of them; the instinct of the myth endures forever dormant, but revived and exploited by religious leaders. Only a few ones achieve a demystifying knowledge. Do not forget that in antiquity the fantasy was a legitimate and universally recognized truth. What we have today in the depths of fantasy was in broad daylight once. It seems that the myth is related to the products of the unconscious.
When the child is emancipated from the family, he transforms the intense love he felt for his father in a form of the superior father, authority, the Church Fathers, and the god-father and the love for mother is directed to the Virgin and other virgins, with their rites and cults. The archetype is a psychic structure, unconscious in itself, but it has a reality independent of the attitude of the consciousness.
The father imago is cast on the divinity, on God. God is father, the central issue of the New Testament. Puerto Ricans say naturally, "If Dad God wills it”. Therefore, the deity-father is a psychological projection. Human categories, including scholastic theology, do not serve to define the divine that, as water, escapes from the basket. And the relationships do not necessarily have to be parent-child, creator-created, first cause - effect, necessary - contingent being or pure act -potential. When we speak of divine reality, the human intellect is poor and the semantics is empty. God has no sex to be a father or mother. He does not need any servants or slaves, because he can not be a tyrant or boss. We can not talk about God without projecting anthropomorphic categories, theriomorphic, or cosmic, interpersonal relationships or the ecosystem; the whole theology is a psychological projection and quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur (which is captured is adapted to the capacity and mode of the recipient), says a Scholastic adage; the human being is the measure, he had said Protagoras.
It was thought that the highest religious consecration was the sexual union with the god, and that the semen was the essence and power of God. The phallus became a sacred symbol worthy of worship. Quetzalcoatl, Mesoamerica, created man from the bone ash fertilized by sperm.
In Catholic theology, we speak of mystical betrothal, sublimated, but betrothal. The impulses of power, eroticism and sexuality invade human life; the ancients naturally captured and projected them onto the sacred. In the early centuries of our era, according to Jung, the moral decay caused a moral reaction incubated in the darkness of the lower classes of people, which was expressed, the most pure way during the second and third centuries, in the two antagonistic religions: the Christianity, on the one hand, and Mithraism, on the other. These religions aspired, precisely, to a higher form of community, under the sign of an idea (logos) projected (made flesh), and so all the more powerful instinctual forces of man could be used for the preservation of society, forces that before were throwing man from one passion to another, and that the former peoples attributed to the influence of evil stars or to fate.
Nietzsche speaks of the morality of resentment, rooted in the common people; both agree with this idea.
In general, the sense of the mysteries was to escape the compulsion of the stars, using magical power. Prayer served to break the inextricable knots of fate, mitigate the tempests of fate and hinder the fatal course of the stars. The force of destiny becomes intolerable when it goes against our will, which is why we are taught to submit to the will of the Moira, fate, or destiny, which exceeds even the gods. Even the heroes respond to the destiny in the archaic mentality. It was already predicted and predetermined the coming of the Messiah in the Jewish world, for example, and already came for Christians, but not for them.
Religion, as a magical power, tries to remove the blows of fate and ignored it, if possible; magical power, but power. The purpose and meaning of Christianity and Mithraism is clear: "the moral subjugation of the animal impulses that are described as evil and sinful. And they are forced to confess sins to one another.” (Epistle of James 5.16). Thus, asserts Jung, it is effectively prevented they get into the unconscious and so they keep alive the awareness of the conflicts of conscience.
Redeemer is the therapist to whom we transfer the conflicts of conscience,
"bore our sins in His body on the tree", Peter 2.24. This prevent the repression
and forgetfulness of sin be more torturers and traumatic. It lightens the
load by transferring it to the god who has all the answers. The divine figure is
a psychic image, a complex of representations of archetypal nature that faith
identifies with a metaphysical entity. The work of Christian education
weakened the animal instinct, called for the withdrawal from this world and
preparation for the afterlife. It is a kind of castration.
The symbol is like a resistance to instinct, as untidy instincts would lead the man to his doom, if the symbol did not give them shape. The formation of symbols, including religious, has to do with the instinctive processes.
The religious myth is one of the greatest creations of humanity. It gives men safety and force to not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the universe. The symbols, considered from the point of realism, are not external truths. They are psychologically real, because they served and serve as a bridge that leads to all the great achievements of mankind. The psychological truth does not necessarily imply the metaphysic one. The symbols transform the libido, besides their evocative and convincing action. They produce faith, the faith that can come from the experience, but usually comes from the authority of tradition which often results in spiritual indolence, comfortable inertia, and that generates cultural decline, and a damaged infantilization of the believer in his faith. (34)
The father embodies the law that puts an end to the instinct; against the son it arises the possible paternal law, the incest. And the father, as moral law, is, in the child, an objective and subjective psychological factor. Sometimes the best is the enemy of the good, so all radical innovation is a violation of the old traditional law, which may constitute a crime that brings death. This may be the psychology of the beginnings of Christianity in his controversy with Jewish law. Undoubtedly, in the eyes of the Jews, Jesus violates the law. Not without reason he is the second Adam. As the first Adam made possible the awareness thanks to his sin, or by eating from the tree, so the second Adam established the necessary relationship with a god fundamentally different. (35)
To atone for the sin of Adam, a bloody victim is hung on the tree of life. The hanging of victims from trees was a widespread ritual practice, for example, in Germanic mythology. In some cases, the ritual requires that the victim be pierced by a spear.
They say of Odin:
"I know that I hung from the tree, shaken by the wind, nine nights, pierced by the spear, consecrated to Odin, myself to myself."
The cross is, above all, the tree of life and for that reason, maternal symbol. The myth of the hero requires a very different conception and birth to the natural and normal ones. It will be the fertilizing wind, or a falling star, or sexless angels.
In the Buddha's miraculous birth, Queen Maya dreamed that:
"A star in the sky, with six points, splendid and shining like a shimmering pearl, whose symbol was the elephant with six tusks white as milk of kamadhuk, dashed through the space, penetrating into its uterus to the right and illuminating all his being. " "On land and sea blew a wind of unknown freshness." Theriomorphic symbol, the elephant gives birth to Buddha.
In the case of Jesus of Mary the Theriomorphic symbol was the angel and the dove.
The hero does not enter the world as an ordinary mortal. Has two mothers, one real, the other is the symbolic semi-divine or special. The first birth makes him a man, the second makes him immortal demigod or god. They die and are reborn. Christ will be the mystic sun. His birth and conception would be virginal, he died and, for believers, he rose.
Till not long ago, even people with great knowledge believed in psychic agents, able to influence our understanding and our lives: wizards, witches, spirits, demons, angels and even gods. To the great scientific and technological development on the one hand, corresponds, on the other, a frightening lack of wisdom and introspection. It is true that our religious doctrines speak of an immortal soul, but there are very few kind words for the real human psyche, which, if not mediate divine grace - according to Catholic theology -, would go to eternal damnation. It has always been expressed in myths the coexistence of male and female in the same body, so they spoke of the anima or soul. The true story of the spirit, according to Jung in Psychology and Religion, is not preserved in learned books, but in the living body, the state of mind, of every individual.
Our psyche is very complex and unknown even today, in 2011, we are subjects and objects of our psyche at the same time, and we have no Archimedean point to perceive us from the outside, and we can not distinguish the psyche of its manifestations.
The archetypal themes, primary images, probably - according to Jung - come from the creations of the human spirit, transmissible not only by tradition and migration but also by inheritance. And that these primary images, archetypes, have invariably a collective character, which is common to entire peoples or at least to certain times, produced by the condensation of many processes similar to each other.
It could be like a crystal axial system that predetermines the crystal formation in the water mother, without having itself material existence. The axial system determines the specific form of the glass.
"The assumption of the existence of invisible gods or demons is a formulation of the unconscious, psychologically appropriate, even being as it is an anthropomorphic projection.”, Jung, Psychology and Religion.
The relationship between type and time is irrelevant. The life of Christ, for example, is highly archetypal and equally represents the life of the archetype. But as the archetype is the unconscious assumption of all human life, his evident life reveals the essential, secret and unconscious life of every individual, that is, that what happens in the life of Christ there takes place always and everywhere.
Christ is the kind of god who dies and is transfigured. But the death of God is not an exclusively Christian symbol. In ancient times they held the search for Core, and, in the present, it is repeated the search that follows his death when a Dalai Lama dies. When it is lost the value that is thought as the top, which gives life and meaning, the search begins. The death or loss has to be repeated continuously; compared our linkage to the time, the psychic life of the archetype is timeless.
All religious assertions are irrational. When you leave a form of adaptation, there must be another to replace it not to return to barbarism; the transcendent moral should be replaced by an immanent. (An ethic of respect for the world, oneself and others, we add).
The archetype, a structural element of the psyche, is the basis of the symbol which acts suggestive and convincingly under the own specific energy of the archetype, and is a producer of faith that ends up relying on the authority of tradition with the danger of comfortable inertia and without ideas, leading to a decline of culture and is a psychological regression to childhood. The symbol, converted in dogma, looses energy and is emptied of vital content.
The symbols act as transformers, since they transfer the libido of an inferior form to a superior one. The sentiment attributes the maximum values to this function.
The guardians of symbolic truth, religions, have lost effectiveness against science. The patent implausibility of the symbolic truth is what keeps believing in it, because it speaks more to the feeling that to the mind. Humanity felt the desire of submitting the real world, tangible and perceptible by the senses, to another spiritual reality so entirely different, says Jung.
The myth and symbol belong to the essence of human life and they never really disappear from the psyche; they are therefore inherently linked to human being.
In all cultures are discovered psychic systems in action that are in some opposition to the pure instinct.
Archetypes are universally available and inherited forms which together form the structure of the unconscious. When Christ spoke to Nicodemus of the spirit and water, he was using fascinating and typical representations.
The driving force of the symbol derives from instinctive process, the symbol shapes the instincts.
Yahweh is jealous of his wife Israel and he wants to preserve her from fornication with strange gods.
The unconscious is mythological and its contents are loaded with cosmic values.
The world of the archetypes of Jung looks like the world of Platonic ideas. The archetypes are transpersonal and do not participate in the individual historical time, but in the time of the species, that is, in the organic life.
That is why religions create images that become symbols of the collective unconscious, with dimensions out of proportion, which makes very difficult to eradicate them in demystifying the process.
Myths, in a sense, are the collective dreams of the tribes, for both Freud and Jung. Freud planted this idea in Interpretation (1900), and he develops it in About Dreams (1901): "The dream symbolism extends far beyond the dreams: it is not unique to them, but also exerts a dominant influence in the representations that appear in fairy tales, in myths and legends, in jokes and folklore."
Otto Rank, in The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (1909), says: "The myth is a dream of the masses of people." Karl Abraham in Dreams and Myths (1909): myth is "a piece that has survived in the child psychic life of the race, and dreams are the myths of men." Freud would argue that myths are collective dreams, the Oedipus complex, for example. Freud wrote "it seems very likely that myths, for example, are the remains of the warped fantasies of whole nations’ desire, the secular dreams of the youth of mankind." For Jung, myths are the most mature product of the youth of mankind. It is said that collective mind may also have dreams. Durkheim, French sociologist, 1858-1917, also speaks of collective representations. Religious ideas are produced by a synthesis of individual minds in a selective action with collective life. But Jung goes further and speaks of the collective unconscious of the human race as if it were a person, in its own right, growing from childhood to adulthood.
The individual and collective, where does one end and does the other begin? Actually they intersect.
Jung, in his theory of the collective unconscious, provides that all humans have some innate tendencies to form themselves a series of general symbols and these symbols are manifested through the unconscious in myths, dreams and folklore. There are common symbols in all cultures that have the same general collective origin: the mother earth, the wise old man, the divine child, god, the sun, the soul, water, rebirth, immortality ... Jung is attacked for having more proximity to the mythological and symbolic thought than to that rational and logical, and perhaps his symbols are not as universal as he thinks.
Piaget believes that Jung's general symbols could be, in theory, the result of a joint process of symbolic assimilation, which occurred in childhood. Therefore, the symbols would not be hereditary or products of the collective unconscious.
Jungian archetypes have an instinctive direction of forming such symbolic representations as the birds in doing nests and in their songs, as the ants to organize themselves into colonies or bees in hives, the bird migration and spawning of fish ... The ways of thinking can be so innate as behavior, it is stated that there are neurons and cells genetically determined.
Ernst Cassirer thinks that religious fantasies and the myths are created by the expression of symbols that carry a concentration of meanings and emotions. The myth belongs to the realm of emotion and will, is the product of emotion, fear, hope, desire and even of terror. Their common denominator is the sacred. Similarly Jung writes: "The primitive mentality does not invent myths, they live them. Myths are original revelations of the preconscious psyche, involuntary manifestation of unconscious events." It is the opposite of the theory that myths are created by issuing of fertilizing symbols. Perhaps the contents are created, and structures and predispositions are inherited; both theories may be true. There are living myths, dead myths, static and dynamic, myths of origin (etiology) and myths of apparition ... (36).
To Maurice Godelier: "Myths are born spontaneously at the intersection of two networks of effects: the effects on the consciousness of the relations of men among themselves and with nature, and the effects of thinking on the representation data which are forced to enter the complex machinery of reasoning by analogy." (37).
Computer or personal computer consists of hardware and software, as stated in the basic manuals. The hardware consists of physical components and all associated equipment. The software refers to programs written for the computer. The two branches are interrelated and complementary. The instructions are given to the hardware in codes that must be decoded or translated by it for its insight. The program is a list of instructions that are given to the hardware to perform the tasks of required data processing. The computer is a programmable machine, receives inputs and produces outputs, processes and stores information. The electronic circuits are incorporated into a silicon chip called a microprocessor, which in turn is located on a circuit board. The computer is used today, in tasks that require imagination and insight, which had traditionally been done by human beings, which is known as artificial intelligence.
The biological definition of intelligence as a practical action, ability to adapt to the environment, i.e., to the concrete realities of the situation, or is a flash of inspiration (insight) – intuition- or the ability of the homo faber (worker man) with his technological capacity to capture the running of an instrument. Conceptual intelligence, of the classical philosophers, consists of logical analysis of concepts, discernment and reasoning. It is born with the language and is developed through reflection and abstraction ability, generating a mental universe. It is the symbolic intelligence that captures the thought relations. It is not only adapted to the environment (biological), but also transforms it (Science and Technology).
Pure intelligence is an abstraction, does not exist, as always there is the interference with affection, with the acquired knowledge and specific skills. The common intelligence could consist of an ability to grasp certain relationships.
In any human embryo there are hereditary assemblies that work from birth to the child's practical intelligence, inherited reflexes, hardware.
The archetypes could be part of the hardware, as they are complex forms of innate, preformed structures, functional availability systems, assertive and reactive, because the archetypes, according to Jung, are common to human nature and express themselves in the form of symbols whose role is to translate into images the energy of the vital psychic power. These universal symbols of the common backgrounds of cultures and human mythologies constitute the collective heritage of mankind.
The conceptual and practical intelligence, as content, would be the software but in terms of capabilities it also could be part of the hardware. The dynamic interaction of both, the synergy of software and hardware leads to the creation and transformation of symbols and images.
The indoctrination in its setting leads to fundamentalism. Free thinking leads to the relativity of ideas, to creativity and symbolic richness. Programming is the key to the submission-alienation- or self-affirmation –rebellion- and self-actualization. Pay attention to vital programmers, planners of the lives of others through the content of the symbols, which could be more acquired than inherited, Piaget and Jung at the same time.
BIOLOGY OF BENEVOLENCE
Today, in scientific circles, they talk about the biology of benevolence. It is the opposite of the image of the fierce warrior before the attack, where it can be observed:
Stress in the circuitry with high levels of hormones of fight or flight like cortisol and epinephrine.
rate accelerates; blood pressure and sugar ascend and gastrointestinal activity
That is the state of physiological catabolism.
In the image of the Madonna, or the Virgin nursing her son, anabolism replaces catabolism, accumulation rather than separation. Insulin levels rise to extract and store more sugar in the cells. They are abundant the concentrations of gastric acids and hormones like gastrin, which help digestion and an efficient transfer of energy from nutrients to the body and breast milk.
The behavior of membership requires a hormonal and neural substrate, an activation of all circuits as complicated as the mechanisms that control the body's ability to fight against an opponent or flee from danger. Biology has to do with the rituals of reconciliation in chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates, which multiply, after the struggles that threaten social ties, gestures such as reaching out, hugging, scratching or kissing on the mouth.
A theory of the evolution of social behavior is that the nervous system in mammals evolved beyond the whole spinal vertebra "vagal" and under the inteligent vagus nerve, which tied emotion with the vocal (larynx and pharynx) and facial expressions, a key factor in the complex social behavior of humans (The New York Times).
THE GREAT THEATRE OF THE WORLD
"That all human life
The allegory and history, symbolism, deep thinking, the human drama, poetry and music, everything is intertwined in this philosophical and theological auto of Calderon The Great Theatre of the World. Life is a stage performance. Already in the Laws and Philebus, Plato compares the human being with actors, rather puppets in the hands of the Creator and he talks about the tragedy and comedy of life.
In Calderon, life is a comedy in which only count the good deeds leading to a happy eternity.
(Author) "I’ll give each one the role that suits him."
"We will be, me the Author, in an instant:
You, the theater, and the man the narrator."
The author imposes the role to each, demanding obedience. And the world follows God without entering his inscrutable decisions. Calderón achieves unsurpassed theater entertainment with his baroque background, his wealth of metaphors of Gongora type, his complicated ornamental scenery, baroque, full of scenic displays of amazing tricks, supernatural occurrences, and dance and music. There is a central reason to which the dramatic elements are subordinated.
The stagecraft conforms to the Baroque canons:
Hyperbolic sense of the images.
Metaphysical element abundance.
References to mythology.
Exaggerated sense of passion and gestures of the protagonists.
The rough violence of the landscape, the antithesis of bucolic classic.
The characters are sometimes mere symbols of abstract concepts.
The moral is determined by the stoicism and Christian tradition. The soul requires self-denial of the body, corrupted by sin and jailer of the immortal soul.
A response to the neo scholastic theology of the Jesuit.
The honor is above human life, and loyalty to the king comes before life.
"he is made of so fragile material
that he breaks with one action
and a blow hurts him."
The king is a projection of God. On the issue of free will, a recurrent theme in all theologies of his time, Calderón agrees with the thesis of Father Molina, defender of human freedom against Calvinist predestination. The passions, the other beings,
"They only bow the will,
they never force the will."
The value of human existence is negative:
"What is life? a frenzy;
What is life? an illusion,
a shadow, a fiction,
and the greatest good is small;
life is a dream, that is all,
and the dreams they are dreams "(Sigmund)
the theology of disappointment.
The allegorical procedure is applied not only to the characters, the embodiment of abstract concepts, beauty, world, thinking, discretion ..., but also to the scenes of the same work. Creation, Paradise, Original Sin, Redemption, Grace, are issues of morality plays, all on the traditional Thomistic line, rather Jesuit neo Thomist.
"Go to the theater of the truths,
this is the theater of fictions."
The human freedom and its connection with the foreknowledge, prior knowledge that God has of all human and divine things, become incompatible. Luther had stated categorically: if God knew in advance the future of mankind, man could not be free.
Calderon synthesizes the medieval theological thought that, in Spain, comes to Baroque, and announces, with his poetic vision, the future secular thought.
It is the great anti-theater of this world, where are assigned roles that must be represented and be held accountable for misrepresentation. The human being is:
"Dust of your feet," but because
I think I was born in sin. "
"Punishment and reward I offered
to whom better or worse represents.
what punishment and reward I give. "
"Dust go out of me, for dust came in"
"Very short this comedy."
But it has more overtones of tragedy ... The tragedy of human being, a puppet in the hands of an Author, which assigns roles according to his distributive justice and, after making this vital human act in mere theatrical performance, he punishes and rewards.
He punishes those who claimed the life and the human self-realization, who refused to be puppets and fought against the gods to be authors and actors in the drama, tragedy or comedy of their life.
He rewards those who sacrificed their bodies, those who were sowers of sadness and massacres; he rewards the existential poor, lacking everything but hope, those who refused to themselves. He also rewards those in power, the sacred power, destroyers of life, myths handlers, builders of systems - the dogmatic systems of beliefs about ideas, of stigmas and taboos above freedoms, of brakes over vital accelerators- priests of the anti-life and death.
Byzantine questions occupied the minds of great theologians and philosophers, neglecting Sciences with malice aforethought, if man can be free when God, being omniscient, knows in advance what each human being will do. Rivers and rivers of ink have been written on the subject, using a variable that we do not know at all: God, whom we never can apprehend, nor comprehend and much less understand, and such was the subject in the XVI and XVII centuries. The Reform takes part: Luther and Calvin; and the Council of Trent itself is involved: there is divine foreknowledge and human freedom, but how to reconcile these two opposing and contradictory terms?
Dominicans, with Banez, incline to the foreknowledge and divine grace, and they
develop the theory of premotio physica, physics premotion, whereby action
was necessary on the grace of God so that the human being could operate, man
without the help of God can do nothing, "I can do nothing without the grace of
God". The human sense never fell so down or anti-humanism was never so high.
The Jesuits, with Molina, are advocates of human freedom, and to explain it they invent the theory of concursus simultaneus, simultaneous cooperation. God cooperates with humans when they decide to act. They forgot that it was a question of the mythical thought, a question of the faith and not of reason and, blinded in the symbolic thought, or for fear of the Inquisition (intellectual and vital straight jacket) they ended up determining the determinant, God, who would depend on the human action to act. They also forced God to create the human soul, when the fetus emerges.Those propositions are scientifically absurd, the mythical thing confused them and they interpreted it as scientist, but without possibility of scientific cross-check. It is necessary to admit that it was a question of very well talented minds, but directed by the Tradition and by the ecclesiastic Institution which they served unconditionally. Myths and ecclesiastical structure possessed their consciences and went slavishly into their dynamics. Indoctrination, since early childhood, would do the rest. It was very difficult to find alternatives outside of that society essentially theocratic and mythical. Secularity or secularism, according to the experts on myths, is a very recent and still budding flower. The obligatory rituals reinforced the mythical content of the unconscious for centuries, to be precise, for millennia.
And so that from you
To represent the world
They go out and be brought in again,
My speech already prepared
Two doors: the one is the cradle
And other one is the tomb.
And so that they do not lack
The finery and together adornments,
I will have prepared to point
Whom it will have to do of king,
Purple and august laurel;
To the brave captain,
Weapon, values and victories;
Whom it has to make the minister,
Books, schools and studies.
To the religious one, obediences;
To the criminal, insults;
I will give honors to the nobleman,
And freedoms to the people.
To the farmer, who to the ground
He has to do fertile with hard work,
Through the fault of an idiot, (38)
I will give him rough instruments.
Whom she will have to do
The lady, I will give her
Great adorn in the perfection,
Sweet poison of many. (39)
Because it is a role of nude,
Because none later
Complain about that he did not have,
To do well his role,
She whole adornment he needed,
Since the one that will not do it well,
it will be for his shortcoming,
Not mine. And since that I already have
The whole together device,
Come, mortal, come
After each one adorns you
So that you represent
In the theater of the world!
We are already to your obedience,
Our author, since it has not been
Necessary to have been born
To be in your presence.
Soul, sense, potency,
Neither life or reason we have;
We see ourselves as having no form,
Dust we are of your feet.
This way my science prepares
That represents the one that lives.
I am, and I know what is convenient for you.
If I could apologize
Of this role, I was apologizing
When my life repairs
In that you have wanted to give to me;
And since I can not refuse
Although I would,
I’ll take this role, but consider,
Since I have to play the beggar,
Consider, my lord, not what I am saying,
But what I wanted to say.
Why do I have to do
The poor person of this comedy
Why for me it has to be a tragedy,
And for the others has not?
When your hand gave me this role
Did not it give me
Equal soul to that of the one
Who plays the king?
Equal sense? Equal being?
Why, then, so unequal my role
Has it been?
If of another mud you were doing me,
If with another soul you will adorn me,
Less life you were entrusting me,
Less senses you were giving to me;
It seems already that you had
Another motive, my Lord;
But it seems rigor,
Sorry to say cruel,
To give someone a best role
Without having a best being.
In the representation
equally it satisfies
the one that well the poor person plays
with affection, soul and action
as the one who plays the king,
and they are equal
this one and that one
in finishing the role.
Play you well yours,
and think that for the reward
I will equal you to him.
The way of playing is more important than the role assigned. The author has written the play, chooses actors for roles, and then he judges them. It is a too much concentration of power. If He does all, his would be the failure, for not choosing the authors well or distributing the roles badly: " I am, and I know what is convenient for you." Everything is decided in advance. Therefore, the theology of God, according to Hartman, excludes the anthropology of man, his freedom. Calderon can not prevent the innocence of God be called into question. "Act well, because God is God" is a perpetual fear as a determinant of belief in God and of doing the good. God is the potter, author, legislator and judge.
"A god who complains that the clay formed the failure of his creative project ceases to be both just and merciful, even when it ensures that the Law of Grace attends, with its notes, his creature," Schajowicz, Myth and existence.
The promise of the future, the beyond, justifies the rigid social stratification and assigned roles. The reason and moral life resides in God and the promise of eternal life.
"Act well, that God is God" and that "all human life is a representation." That is the denigration of present lives for the hereafter. "In ending the role will be equal for all," but not in the meantime; castes and social classes have divine origin, according to theology of Calderon. And freedom would be a utopia; theology permeates the political and the social and molds them in gridding.
The manifestation of mythical symbols is given for the king. The image of the king is archetypal, projection of the god-king. The myth of creation is underlying. We are predestined by the creator to be puppets and pawns in the divine play.
Calderon is a true example of the theological ideas of his time, steeped in mythic images and symbols of the archaic thinking that the ecclesiastical institution dragged into the XXI century. The protest of the poor is full of "Promethean" nuances.
“But it seems rigor,
sorry to say cruel,
to give someone a best role
without having a best being.”
However Calderon announces what will be the secular thought.
THE ANTICHRIST OR THE
CURSE ON CHRISTIANITY
Friedrich Nietzsche becomes the most vitalistic writer of history when he
denounces and attacks everything that oppresses human being and when he proposes
the ideal of the superman, the human being totally free.
The Antichrist, in the beginning, was a part, along with Twilight of the Idols, of the project The Will to Power, but this work never came to fruition. It is in 1888 when it appears as an independent work, but would not be released until 1895, previously crippled by his disciples. It is without doubt his great work of full maturity, just before the arrival of his terrible depressions and his serious mental problems that disconnect him from reality, from '89 until 1900.
"Is it really understood the famous story which is at the beginning of the Bible, about the infernal anguish of God against science? ... Nobody has understood it", Nietzsche asks and answers. He talks about the myth of the sin of knowledge, the tree of good and evil and the prohibition of eating it, because its food (knowledge, science) would make us gods, knowers of good and evil; and that science carries the twilight of the gods, always supported by myths, not by science.
Nietzsche's genius, with his profound knowledge of Christianity and Lutheranism, is entering their essence, without fear of the sacred taboos in order to understand their "Dasein" (being-there), their being in time and in society, and discover the decay of life and all the values that Christianity was carrying from the start and that lead to nihilism.
"Definition of Protestantism: hemiplegia of Christianity and reason", Nietzsche had written. Luther, pathologically obsessed about his salvation, finds in Paul's faith the medicine of salvation. And seeking the release of the ecclesiastical authorities, something laudable, he requires the Lutherans to undergo a more tyrannical authority, that of a God who demands complete submission of the human being. It is essential to keep present this struggle to understand The Antichrist.
The Antichrist is a continuous dialogue with the Pauline interpretation of Christianity, as well as Luther's attempt to return to the origins of Christianity. We know the world, according to Paul, is evil by nature and is subject to demonic powers, such as flesh, warden of the spirit and against which we must struggle in search of the liberation of the soul. But mortally wounded by inherited sin, nothing we can do without the grace of God. God is the only possible savior of man: salvation by faith for Luther, predestination for Calvin. But we only know if we are predestined for economic success. Here is the paradox that Max Weber studies in his work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: not caring a damn of capitalism, this comes up as a consequence of their doctrine.
The Jews expected a political deliverer of the Roman power, the Messiah. But Jesus can not make those expectations and that is when Paul speaks of “the redemption through Christ's death”, always maintaining contempt for man (human being) and the world: existential pessimism. This life is not only useless, but it is an obstacle, a drag, a hindrance. This is the Pauline conception and, by heritage, the Christian conception of the world, of man and of life. It is precisely for this reason that Nietzsche is highly interested in: the exaltation of radical impotence and evil of man, also sponsored by the Lutheran Reformation: "To destroy, uproot and annihilate all the wisdom and justice of the flesh ..."
"Under the displacement operated by Pauline Christianity, the depraved nature of man and its absolute lack of freedom to do the right through their actions is the effective cause of human disease. A ‘pathology’, so to speak, which constitutes the Jewish background of Christian morality and the assumption that makes it impossible to understand the phenomenon of Greek ethics”, which is directive, not mandatory and punitive as the Christian.
The problem arises since Zoroaster, his Zarathustra, when it clearly is postulated and opposed the spirit and matter, with all the blessings for the spirit and all the curses against the matter already demonized and that Christianity, from Paul, took quite naturally to the great misfortune of human beings and humanity. The philologist genius finds it out, betrays and attacks it. Christian morality, obviously, is based on these evaluative principles. Anything what has to do with the matter, what actually constitutes the world and the human, is evil; here a visceral anti-humanism. So he said: "The discovery of Christian morality is an event like no other, it is a real catastrophe." Christianity promotes values of decay, equal in poverty and misery, of passivity, of destiny, of frustration and fatalism. Christian psychology interprets the sensitive, that is, the body, as worldly, earthly, ephemeral, transient and apparent. Even the "God" itself lacks the Greek attributes of will of power, of vital energy, of source of inspiration.
Earlier in the Greek world, Zeus represented a people, their strength and power.
Now it is a good and moralist God. It is decadence. "The good God and the devil
are the decay products". From God it came up the God of sinners, from the sick
came up the Savior and Redeemer.
Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel, we arrive to the Christian God, absolute pure
spirit, thing in itself, "ens a se." "It is the ruin of God. God became the
thing itself. "It is the lowest rate down of divine type which is at odds with
life. Almost two thousand years and not even a new God! -Nietzsche exclaims.
The feeling of no pleasure over pleasure is the cause of this religion with its respective moral. "People who keep faith in themselves have also a God who belongs to them." In this God, to whom they sacrifice, they project the feeling of pleasure that produces the feeling of power. Thus religion is a form of gratitude, they admire God in the good and fear him in the bad, is friend and foe. But when a people decline in future and freedom, their God is metamorphosed, becomes good, he advises the peace of mind and love of neighbor, he is a moralist.
Sin, the most nauseating concept that Christianity used to degrade to the maximum the human being and make it completely dependent on the priest, is the big nose, in the Nietzschean language, which carries, as necessary consequences, feelings of guilt, remorse and punishment. It was a staging of "moral world order" invented, according to Nietzsche, against science, against the liberation of man from the power of the priest. What is needed is the priest. Outside the doctors! What is needed is a savior. The concepts of guilt and punishment, including those of grace, redemption and forgiveness, are 'lies' from beginning to end, free of any psychological reality. They have been invented to destroy in the man the meaning of the causes, they represent an attack on the concept of cause and effect...
Nietzsche says of Paul: "He dishonor the wisdom of the world." What worries Nietzsche-and he knows that Paul is the author of Christianity- is the deep injustice of Christianity for its failure to understand life as a problem, since Christianity is not only unable to be in the real world or in history, by going to the nowhere of grace and to the beyond, the afterlife. It is also unable to criticize and transform the world, it only seeks to demonize and debase it with the slave morality it sponsors. The slave morality is a morality of resentment that favors equality in misfortune and misery, compassion, gentleness and patience. It belongs to the oppressed and the weak that despise this life and take refuge in an impossible beyond, which is what really matters to them. In contrast is the morality of the masters, of the above individuals, that affirms the life and the will to power. Disagreement or lack of coincidence between the Christian ideal and the reality has been the dynamic factor of tension, frustration and resentment which threw the Christians to nihilism.
Christian morality for Nietzsche is a terrible deceptive force that, as sin, has
corrupted humanity. It is the great lie of life, of history and society. His
critique of religion and morality is radical and devastating. He embodies the
symbol of the Antichrist when writing to a friend: "I'm one of the most terrible
enemies of Christianity, and I have found a way to attack that Voltaire had no
idea of it."
Nietzsche's proposal starts from this destruction of the moral, from his critique of religion and openly claims the death of God.
'Since the concept of Nature was invented in opposition to the concept of God, the word natural became synonymous with negligible, and all that world of pure fiction is based on hatred against nature, against reality", Nietzsche says.
There is no moral, there are morals, there is no truth, there are truths. The good is what raises in the man the feeling, the will to power, power in itself. Everything whose roots lie in the weakness is bad.
The joy is to overcome resistances, he continues.
Christianity sponsors the weak and failed, it rejects the strong man, with power. Pascal thought that his reason was perverted by original sin, when in fact it was Christianity that perverted it.
Compassion makes the pain become contagious. Schopenhauer was right when he said: "Life is denied by compassion, compassion is the practice of nihilism." Aristotle regarded piety as a very dangerous state of morbidity, which was cured with occasional tragedy.
The priest is for Nietzsche the negator, slanderer and poisoner of life by profession. "And if the theologians spread their hands out, through the consciousness of the rulers or peoples, to power, there is no doubt, the will of the end, the nihilistic will tends to rule."
"The concept of world-truth and the concept of morality as the essence of the world, the two most damaging mistakes that have existed, would again be, if not demonstrable, impossible to refute, thanks to a subtle skepticism. The reason, the right to reason, is not powerful. It was made of reality an appearance, a liar world, and the essence (truth and moral) became reality. Kant's triumph was a triumph of a theologian. Kant, like Luther and Leibniz, was only an obstacle to German integrity, already weak in itself."
Everything that is not a vital condition is harmful for life. An idea-virtue,
as Kant wanted, is dangerous. "Virtue, duty, good in itself, good with the
character of impersonality, generally, they are not anything but utopian
expressing degeneration, the last impairment of life." The Antichrist is also a
book anti Protestant and therefore anti-Kantian.
Good and virtue are defined culturally and vitally. There no one categorical imperative, or abstract. All abstract can be manipulated and can be destructive. Theologians, politicians too, use and abuse, as instruments of power, these abstract concepts. In the name of duty..., what duty? Science only tells us what it is, not what it should be, which belongs to myth. The modern analysis of knowledge makes it impossible a cognitive ethics: knowledge does not include normative elements and, therefore, it is not suitable for an interpretation of ethics. Knowledge can not offer guidelines, ethics is normative and imperative.
The priest feels that "he has sacred duties, for example, to make men be better, to save them, to procure their good. When you carry the Divine in your heart and you are the spokesperson of above earth imperatives, such mission places its bearer out of the assessments exclusively derived from reason, he sanctifies himself with such a mission and becomes a member of higher hierarchy. The priest is not interested in science. He is far above it! The priest has prevailed so far and has stated the concept of true and false”, of right and wrong, we might add.
Today, we do not insist on that man descended from the spirit or divinity, we have once again placed him among the animals, from which it descends the most intelligent of animals, and our spirituality is a proof of it. And he is who more dangerously turns off his instincts.
In Christianity, the religion is not in contact with reality, nor morality. There are only imaginary causes and imaginary effects: sin, salvation, grace, atonement, forgiveness of sins: And imaginary relations. An imaginary psychology: the repentance, the voice of conscience, the temptation of the evil spirit, the presence of God. An imaginary theology: the kingdom of God, the Last Judgement, eternal life, -Nietzsche continues to affirm.
Buddhism is more realistic than Christianity. Buddhism does not say: struggle against sin. It says: struggle against pain. Prayer and asceticism are banished; no coercion, or categorical imperatives. They look for joy, free outdoors life. It is recommended precaution against spirits and liqueurs, and against all affective states that breed bile and inflame the blood. To be good is good for health. It is the contrary of the feeling of revenge and resentment, “Hostility does not end the feud”, says a Buddhist saying. They pose the problems objectively. Selfishness in Buddhism becomes a duty. The ultimate end is the calm, the control of desires. Perfection is the normal state of the Buddhists. They seek the cleansing of the body. In the religion of Christ,"they refuse the flesh and reject hygiene because of sensual derivations. The Church is declared enemy of cleaning. The first Christian measure, after the Spanish expulsion of the Moors, was the closure of public toilets. Only in Cordoba there were two hundred and seventy", says Nietzsche. The cruelty against oneself and against others, the hatred of unbelievers and dissidents, religious wars, crusades and inquisitions are Christian elements. "The Christian needed the barbarian ideas and values to take over the barbarous multitudes: such is the sacrifice of the firstborn, the consumption of blood in the dinner, the contempt for the intelligence and culture, torture in all its corporal and spiritual forms, the great pomp of worship."
Buddhism is a call for peace and serenity, is sensitive to pain, it creates good and spiritual races. "Truth and faith are two very different worlds of interest to each other, two worlds of oppositions you get to each one by completely opposite ways." Faith despises or subordinates the reason, the scientific research and the knowledge. Faith is based on arguments of authority, a God who spoke through a man, the hagiographer, who interprets his message and passes it to others, who have to believe it. The hope, that among the Greeks was regarded as the worst of evils, which remained at the bottom of the box of Pandora, is one of the theological virtues of Christianity: the hope on the beyond, the consolation of the poor and suffering.
All human feelings require human or humanized counterparts, young, handsome, attractive. The Adonis Greek, Jewish Jesus; the born of sea foam, Aphrodite, the Virgin of Murillo, young and beautiful. "The love that suffers everything, that supports everything." "Love is that condition in which man is more conducive to see things different than they really are."
Christianity was not a reaction against the Israeli spirit, it was its conclusion, in the words of Jesus: salvation is from the Jews. The Jews, placed in the dilemma of being or not being, chose to be at all costs, because this required the counterfeiting of everything that is reality as inside as outside the world. They subverted religion, worship, morality and psychology to inevitably turn them into the opposite of what was their natural value, says the author of The Genealogy of Morals. The whole Judeo-Christian morality is vengeful, of marginalized groups, is the opposite of an upward moral of life. For Paul, the non plus ultra of comic genius, the creator of Christianity, and for the priestly caste, the decline is only a means to power. What is Jewish or Christian morality? asks the philosopher. "It is the chance that has lost its innocence, the misfortune degraded by the idea of sin, the well-being converted into danger and temptation, the physiological discomfort intoxicated by the worm that gnaws the conscience ..."
What is moral?, he is still wondering. "That there is, once and for all, a will that decides everything the man should do and not do, that the value of a people or an individual is measured depending on how they obey the will of God. This will of God is at work in an almost decisive way in the destiny of a people or an individual, i.e., to punish or reward according to the degree of obedience." Faced with this pitiful lie, reality says: "Some parasite subjects, abusing priests in the name of God, are thriving around the healthy life, they call God's kingdom to a state of affairs in which the priest is who determines the values, they call God's will to the means used to achieve or maintain this state of affairs, with a cold cynicism they measure peoples, times, individuals as they bowed to the priestly will or have resisted it." Everything revolves around the formula of obedience or disobedience to God, which is the same as obedience to the priest or the law, and it is called virtue or sin, all a web of submissiveness to the male priest, who is the only one who can celebrate the Eucharist, forgive sins, redeem. "The sins are necessary for a priestly organized society", they are the instruments of power, so make them up if they are not.
The command: deny yourself (denial against assertiveness), "whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." This mandate of deny yourself is the root and foundation of Christian psychotherapy.
And in terms of denial, Christianity ended denying the Jewish reality. It is a surreal and fantastic phenomenon. The group of Jesus of Nazareth will end up hating those who killed him. And against whom did the founder and promoter of the movement rebel? He did not rebel against the corruption of society, but against the social hierarchy, against the priestly caste, its privileges, its order ... And they could not forgive nor forgave him, as they do not forgive now the violation of their privileges and power. History repeats itself tragic and paradoxically. That anarchist, who excited the crowds, was a delinquent in a non-political society and so he died on the cross, executed for his crime, not for the sins of others. "He died for his sins, says Nietzsche, and there is no reason to pretend, as has been claimed, he died to redeem those of others." The "Jesus, King of the Nazarenes" proves it.
Nietzsche confesses to having read few books so hard to understand as the Gospels.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was the son of Karl Ludwig Nietzsche, pastor. "Do not resist the evil is the most profound sentence of the Gospels, and even, in a sense, their key." The inability to resist becomes their morality: To love your enemy, turn the other cheek, return good for evil ... The good news, the true life is not promised because it is in you. "Every man is the son of God - Jesus did capture absolutely nothing for himself - and as children of God, all men are equal."
"The kingdom of God resides in yourselves"
"That strange and sickly world into which the Gospels introduce us, a world that seems taken from a Russian novel, a world in which the dregs of society, nervous diseases, and puerile imbecility seem to have come together, that world was forced to deform the type."
The Prophet, the Messiah, the miracle worker is a mixture of the sublime, the morbid and the childish. The myth can be explained by reasons of war and propaganda. The worship, when is sectarian, clears in those venerated the typical, original and idiosyncratic features. It's the magic of apologetics.
Nietzsche, (1844-1900), wrote The Antichrist, his last work, twelve years before his death, and it is the most energetic expression of his net and exponential afterthought. It is a transmutation of all values and a curse on Christianity with consecutive subtitles after deleting the first and the second to be eliminated. The Antichrist will be issued without subtitle in 1895. The Church hierarchy and its priests in general, there were always honorable exceptions, they said, in the seminars the training centers of the future priestly elite, that Nietzsche was crazy when he wrote The Antichrist, but the madness and depression are not creative, only nostalgia and mental alertness. The Antichrist could only be written by a genius, Nietzsche.
The Dostoevsky's novel The Demons holds that God is an attribute of nationality. The Prolegomena to the History of Israel, by the famous orientalist J. Wellhausen, help to understand pre-figuratively the handling that the priests made of the text of the Old Testament and the distortion that Paul, the rabbi, would make of the life and teaching of Jesus. Ma Religion, by Tolstoy, suggests a comparison between the early Christianity and the anarchist, and do look at the Gospel text: "Do not resist the evil." The Life of Jesus, by Renan, who lists Jesus as hero and genius (If not God, he deserved to be), incurs the wrath of Nietzsche, who called Renan: "Fool on psychological issues." All those influenced The Antichrist.
The archetype of the fool is the Prince Myshkin of Dostoevsky's novel, The Idiot, "a mixture of the sublime, of the infantile, and of disease," as Nietzsche would say. In this context Jesus was called an idiot, referring to the Jesus-type.
"That man of the future, who will redeem us from the existing ideal so far and also from what was born of it, from the will to nothingness, from nihilism, that bell stroke at noon of the big decision, which again frees the will, which returns to earth its goal and to man his hope, that Antichrist and Anti-nihilist, the winner of God and of nothing, one day has to come ...", The Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche. Here is contained the entire process, the key to the Antichrist.
BUDDHIST WORLD VIEW
Human race is unique in its ability of unhappiness, suffering pervades almost everything, but although it is our traveler fellow, to the point of not even feeling it, we play in the pursuit of happiness.
Buda, six centuries before Jesus, never admitted to having any special gift or divine inspiration, or to be a prophet-priest chosen by God or teacher of the world. At all times he relied on the analysis and understanding of our own mind. Misfortune and misery of this life are outweighed by a happy future, full through reincarnation, although some Tibetan schools put into question the happiness in the next reincarnations that could be non-human. Anyway, the energy of thought, feeling and sensation, moves into other more useful levels of creation, when death occurs, but it will inseminate, again, the material plane in search of developed order ways. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the reincarnation of his predecessors, but they do not use the idea of soul. The original Buddhist message does not believe in any paternal deity to be satisfied or in any savior figure to pray. It does not believe in demanding gods, who must be pleased with complex rituals, or in worship to secure divine protection. The key is in our mental and emotional nature, in the models of behavior caused by it; and the salvation lies in our ability to purify and transcend that nature in a perfect humanism. Decay is inherent in all compounded things.
three areas of impermanence
are: old age, sickness and death. The path of asceticism does not lead
anywhere. The deep meditation is that which leads to full enlightenment, after
experiencing and transcending all levels of the mind, which in Buddhism is known
Although Buddha did not deal too much with the socio-political problems of the time, he rejected the institution of the caste, the Hindu social system framework, for generating prejudice and exploitation. He did not tolerate the ignorant and fearful reverence of the faithful to Brahmins, who used and abused their status at the top of the religious hierarchy, and he put into question their doctrines and metaphysical speculation, because they did not lead to the end of suffering, which is Enlightenment. Life is never as we wish it were. There is an incorrigible wickedness in life that frustrates all hope that everything goes perfectly well, which results in a realistic but not pessimistic position. It is optimistic his vision of the possibilities of consciousness, or human mind, in search of the imperturbable peace of Enlightenment, free of doctrines based on the weight of sin and guilt.
There are joys and pleasures in this world but the problem is they are not permanent because they are subject to constant change, they are fickle. Nothing, absolutely nothing of this phenomenal universe is eternal. And we long for the security of permanence, but it is not outside, which is part of the constantly changing kaleidoscope of life. Neither remedy is to go back into an inner world. The error of a wrong essentialness envelops and grips us. The three marks: old age, sickness and death, are there and will be. The end of suffering is the enlightenment, the nirvana, a sort of cosmic nothing in which it extinguishes all real life. It is the greatest happiness, peace, freedom, immutable stability...
They are psychological definitions, not metaphysical, or ontological. They speak, perhaps, of a transpersonal self. You should work in everything conducive to peace, to understanding and happiness, rather than to leading to economic success, high status and power.
The key to mindfulness is just to live the present, not to repent the past and not to become obsessed with a grim future. The remorse and guilt do not fit here. Buddha looks for the development of mental activity until the mind is dissolved in the infinity. The goal is to end the suffering.
He defends religious tolerance and although it has been a proselytizing religion, he never created inquisitions, crusades, holy wars, or declared heretical ... the slogans were peace and tolerance. But historically, neither the Buddhism escaped the war, despite its theory of nonviolence.
Buddhist kings of Burma, in the eleventh century, organized devastating expeditions to neighboring lands in search of valuable writings and pictures. Burma, Thailand and Cambodia fought each other for centuries. Tibetan school, in the seventeenth century, from which is descendent the reincarnated leader Dalai Lama, struggled to impose its hegemony over rival sects. Many monasteries had their own army of monk-soldiers ...
Buddhism, like other religions, has been used to conceal military ambitions and, as an excuse, to revive ancient political and economic conflicts.
In modern times, Buddhist monks joined popular uprisings against oppression in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Tibet.
"The development of the historical process through a linear time, as the expansion of an alliance with the parental figure of a deity, the main pillars on which rests the Judeo-Christian orthodox view, might well have been a comforting or advantageous tribal myth, but in the eyes of the Buddhist it does not do enough justice to the complex and extraordinarily rich realities of cosmic life. This, as the Mahayana are pleased to explain, evolves in countless cycles, countless universes, through countless eons of time and in countless ways. Limiting the emergence of the truth to a place, time, culture or particular creed is as futile as trying to "trap the air inside two tongues of fire.”" (41).
"Until today, human culture has been determined, largely, by prospects belonging only to the first two stages of life: childhood, characterized by dependency, and adolescence that is characterized by the reaction to the opposite extreme, the independence. What awaits us is the most difficult stage: adulthood. True adulthood is characterized by self-transcendence. And that is the path of Buddha." (42).
"Is it necessary to have seen the old age, sickness and death to withdraw from the world?" Asks Cioran, who adds: "The gesture of the Buddha is an exaggerated homage to the evidence ... The paradox is missing in his resignation. When you are right it is worthwhile to abandon the life. Buddha, according to Cioran, does not experience the paradox of living in inner conflict with everything and of having, at the same time, arguments against loneliness. The way of Buddha is designed to measure the deadly ...The way of Buddha is designed in a human measure... Could Buddha also have been a teacher? He has systematized his resignation too, too many consequences for his bitterness. Surely he would condemn the loss of one who drags his nothing among mortals and he would not understand how, in the emptiness of the world, we still smile to life. Because he has not met certain peaks of unhappiness, he has lived and died consoled, as any man oblivious to the fatal temptation of life, to the seduction of nothing, of the existence and of the fortifier Nirvana of every moment." (43)
Cioran says that Buddha was too naive.
possible the consciousness of anything to be linked to love of life? Utopias can
be built just by looking at the flowers and so paradise could be like an
appendix of botany. "The sunsets have got something of the beauty of a
hallucination." "The future is an inherent desire of being, a dimension of
nostalgia. It makes intelligible the meaning of a "soul" of the world. " "The
nostalgia expresses more directly and dramatically the inability of men to
determine their destiny." (44)
Reincarnation would presuppose something that does not die in humans and the eternity of suffering, hell here. The systems are only attempts at explanation. They are only recipes that do not cure the essential evil, nothingness; perhaps the nirvana identifies itself with nothing, despite Buddha.
In the theater of the world, in the drama and sometimes tragicomedy of life with the respective masks that society urges us to take, in the streets of every day of the big cities of the world where suffering is another wayfarer, in the pages of the war, and in the black density of the night of the concentration camps, it is unlikely to penetrate the Buddhist enlightenment. Before the gas chambers it is not possible to eliminate the anguish, to make improvement, to achieve mental peace, to reach the nirvana, unless it is that of madness to become unaware of the tragic reality. It could be that American aim psychology was too much optimistic; we may be much more conditioned than we think in our fantasies of power and that happiness is an art very difficult in a world in which transactions of trap game are prevalent and the pain lies ahead of us, a pain more psychological than physical, in extreme situations.
Buddha not only lacks the paradox of Cioran, but also lacks the experience of the tragedy, which he eluded in his condition of prince and with his doctrine of reincarnation, although, undoubtedly, the practice of mental improvement of Buddhism would have prevented our wars and concentration camps, or hindered or attenuated them. The instincts of the warmonger-architects are primary, elementary, irrational, anti-human as well as highly economically profitable. Those leaders, whom follow the masses, make us enter the last age of man of Hesiod: the fifth, the iron age, composed of mediocre, greedy and warlike human beings.
BECKETT, THE SEMANTIC GAP
Greek man, in time of Aeschylus and Heraclitus, found the tragic by inventing
the tragedy. The theater was the theme of tragedy in the consciousness. For
Samuel Beckett, the theology of the death of gods is the Gordian knot of
tragedy: the abandonment of the men by the gods. For the main characters in
Waiting for Godot, the tragedy is to be clutched to an old man with white
beard, waiting, in turn, to be left by him.
It is the logic of destruction. The tragic consciousness is doomed to nihilism without the possibility of parties or utopias. Beckett joins Reich and Marcuse to subvert the foundations of Western discourse, in which the eros is repressed by the logos, the logic of satisfaction by that of the domination, the pleasure principle by the reality principle. He faces what underlies all language: the question of power. Gorgias, the Greek sophist, said that the one who had the word had the sword.
The word was intended from the start - in the beginning it was the verbum, word, - to influence the intellect and conscience, although actually it was the action. Language, as a vehicle of persuasion, becomes a weapon of power, of domination, over other human beings. Demonstrating the semantic gap, discovering the rhetorical devices, stripping the apology, are the means of attacking the power and the manipulation of power.
From its position of marginalization, Beckett satirizes religion for its false redeeming feature and he satirizes the same science that involves advancement and progress, by the obligation to decide itself.
Speaking of Prometheus he writes: "Well, between me and that wretch who made fun of the gods, invented the fire, distorted the clay, domesticated the horse, in a word, who forced to humanity, I hope there will be nothing in common."
Only death inspires him seriousness and respect: "I've always saddened relapsing, but life is made of recidivism, it seems, and death itself should be a kind of recidivism, I would not be surprised at all", Beckett, Molloy.
"As far as I'm concerned, I have always preferred death to slavery, or rather the execution. Because death is a condition of which I have never been able to form a satisfactory representation and therefore I can not be lawfully in the balance of evils and goods. (...) But as you know to where the confusion of my ideas about death arrived, I confess, frankly, that I would not exclude the possibility that it was even worse than life, as a condition ",Molloy.
Beckett, marginalizing himself in the pride that allows the indifference and the most absolute skepticism, questions the very possibility of literature and he seeks to break with the literary tradition, staying inside it at the same time." And here it seems that nothing moves or has moved ever, but me, that I do not move either when I am here, but I do look and make me be seen. Yes, it is a finished world, despite appearances, its end gave rise to it, it began when it was ending, may I express clearly enough?, Molloy.
"I am words, I am made of words, words ... words of others, I'm all these words, all those strange words, this powder of words, without soil in which they settle," The Unnamable.
The motor center of the artistic “Beckettian” discourse is this: The human being violently thrown from or to somewhere.
Return to the home is like a symbolic representation of the womb. "But do not look for symbols where there are not," Watt (45).
"Even the words leave you, with that, everything is said," Stories
APHORISMS OF CIORAN’S TRAGIC
Émile Michel Cioran: Răşinari (Romania), 1911 - Paris, 1995. In his works he attacks the ideologies, religions and philosophies created by humans to justify their behavior.
God, reality that is sought (like the soul, immortality ... we add)
Men are, in general, objects, say Cioran, so they feel the need for God. When men have made the step from the object to the self, God is superior to the fact of being or not being. And this is where the self and God become a reality that is sought.
Faced with the tragedy of death, to be happy, immortally happy, is a universal desire for logical or for self-preservation and perpetuation. But when we think of death, of nothing, there are beliefs that death is absolutely sure and we have not a single argument, but mythical, that could seriously demonstrate human immortality. Given that, there are two paths: either accept the reality as it is, and for that we must be mature and in the process, or accept the immortality as a positive therapy to the anguish of death. The choice is free, as the desire to die is a valid instrument to become masters of our own death.
Perhaps someday we will be too mature to have no creed.
Eternity supposes previously a time corrupt and depraved. And from the state of sin, comes the need for God.
Since Eve awoke Adam from the dream of useless perfection, we seek our own humanity. God is the most favorable way to dispense with life. The first act of sabotage was the creation. And the human being lives the tragedy of a constantly dissatisfied animal that lives between life and death. So is Cioran.
He culminates the poetical task: "Heaven is not served by the virtues, but by the sins." That is the big nose that Nietzsche talks about, the sin. And morality, a host of missed opportunities.
"The desire for death might be a subtlety of our pride; instead of falling into victims of the essential disaster, we wish to become masters of our tragedy. With the desire to die, we die our death and so we slip into it as into ourselves. It is a question of savoring a little the taste of death not to be tormented by its agony and by the smell of the mosses of the extinction, young attitude in the twilight. "
"In God we just have to see a therapeutic against man", The Decline of thought.
Hence, it emerges the logical conclusion of the suggestion of the death of gods. And eternity would not be accessible if time was not corrupt and depraved.
"But God has given very few things in life so that I have to look for something at its desert."
"Theology has not been clarified until now who is more alone: whether God or man. Poetry has come. And I have understood it is the man ... "
"The existence of evil turns the Almighty into a decrepit Absolute. The future has engulfed his mystery and his power. "
When the man does not think to be deified, but to be only a man, then it will begin the real story. And only then, there will be in his mind no more room for any creed. "We will be too mature to have ideals."
"The sense of man is to take the suffering of God. At least, it is true from Christianity and beyond."
What makes the sin superior to virtue is an excess of suffering and loneliness. From the state of sin comes the need for God, the self fear. The heaven is not served by the virtues, but by the sins. With the forgiveness of sin will come the irrational comfort of the Absolute. But intelligence is the ruin of sin, of the infinite and absolute. "The moral is lost for its lack of mystery." Since Eve awoke Adam from the dream of useless perfection, we seek our own humanity.”
Cioran, the author of Temptation of Being, was a lover of the vacuum, a lover of the twilights. The system builders are nauseous to him. He is an apostle of the fragment and the aphorism. Life is a spectacle of the emptiness. He is a master of despair and lucidity, moralist of amorality, paradoxical of good and evil, inveterate misanthropic, nostalgic for the paradise lost. "The human experiment has failed. You are at the dead end." And God? "God is the most favorable way to dispense with life."
He was so jealous of the gods that said: "The creation was the first act of sabotage." Then, and for that, it would come the worship and the submission and the handling of priests. The gods died with Nietzsche.
"That life has no meaning, I've said it in every tone and I will not slander it again."
Cioran, now in The Peaks of Despair, follows the game of his lucid demystifying aphorisms.
Alone in life, we wonder if the agony of loneliness is the very symbol of human existence.
Creation is a temporary preservation of the jaws of death.
Life creates the fullness and emptiness, the exuberance and depression, what are we before the vertigo that consumes us to the absurd?
I am alive because the mountains do not know how to laugh and worms how to sing.
Concerns about the system and the unit have not been and never will be a feature of those who write in moments of inspiration.
Perfect unity and the search for a coherent system are the proof of a poor personal life, sketchy and bland, devoid of contradictions, free of paradoxes.
The man, does not he live perhaps the tragedy of a constantly dissatisfied animal that lives between life and death?
Not experiencing contradictions in a painful way is to achieve virginal happiness of innocence, to remain closed to the tragedy and the meaning of death.
Unconsciousness is an essential condition of happiness. The existence of the spirit is an anomaly of life. How can you imagine life without the body? How can you imagine an original and autonomous existence of the spirit?
No one could say until today what is the good and what is the evil.
Moral values have ceased to become the field of life to crystallize into a transcendental region, retaining only weak contacts with the vital and irrational tendencies, so the moral is contradictory. The reality is essentially irrational.
Eternity destroys satisfactions and superficial pleasures, also destroys the virtues, good deeds and moral acts. Eternity does not lead to the triumph of good, or the evil: it overrides everything. Condemning the Epicureanism on behalf of eternity is an absurd attitude. The nothing will eat us, indifferent and hopelessly, and forever. All missed pleasure is an opportunity wasted forever. The only objective of morality is to transform the life into an amount of wasted opportunities.
The enthusiasm does discover a form of love and reveals a new way of surrendering to the world.
Theologians argue that the primary form of love is amor dei (love of God), the other ways are nothing but its pale reflections ... Some pantheists with aesthetic trends opt for nature, and aesthetics for the art. For the followers of the biology it is the sexuality as such, without affection; for some metaphysicians, finally, it is the sense of universal identity.
In the Fall of the Time, he criticizes, equally, all the prophets and politicians who can only breathe on a platform. Political man renounces consciousness.
In Rot Breviary he lashes convictions as drugs of alienated people.
"Life and I are two parallel lines that meet in death." "Life is what I would have been, if the temptation of the nothing had not enslaved me", The Decline of Thought.
JESUS, THE MAN
Qumran, where were discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947), sheds new light on the mysteries of Christianity. The Qumran sect and the early Christians met daily to celebrate a sacred meal of bread and wine, but only the initiated took part. They practiced celibacy and common property, in addition to baptism as an initiation rite. Both groups agreed on the apocalyptic coming, harbinger of a new messianic age. They were the Essenes and early Christians. The authors of the scrolls used common terms with special meanings. The word truth, for example, emet in Hebrew, refers to their own doctrines, men of truth, those who trod the path of truth, but not the truth in general. The wicked priest was the rival priest. The woman in Essene marriage was a virgin before her first wedding ceremony, and if in this time of courtship she became pregnant, you could say that a virgin had conceived. Angels are men in the range of the Levites, as it was believed that the priests and Levites were the embodiment of heavenly beings, gods and angels. The lower-ranking priests were spirits. The symbolic language will generate future semantic problems in the Christian exegetes. The words end up meaning what we want to mean, and we do not always understand each other, speaking the same language. It can not be ignored the pesher technique, which amounts to interpretation, meaning, commentary and explanation in the text and in the given cultural historical context.
All priests of the family of Annas used the titles of Father and God, because it was understood that they acted as an incarnation of God when they received alms and prayers and blessed the people in God's name. In this context we could understand these words of Eleazar Annas: I should participate in accordance with the teachings of my Father.
west tympanum of Santa Fe in Conques
It represents the Last Judgement. The powerful figure of God the Judge focuses the scene,
which includes groups of characters whose animation is not diminished by his
According to the theologian Barbara Thiering, 1995, "Mary, Joseph and Jesus were real people and members of a religious movement that combines high ideals with strict practices. They lived a real life and their religious life took an active part in the historical development of their sect. If they became religious images, unreal people, this is attributable to human imagination rather than to reality. And this is not surprising, since it is a well known process in human affairs. For some, the images fill a need and to question them would be painful; for others, to go beyond the images to find the reality represents a stage of growth. "(46).
A MISSED DEATH
When Jesus was raised to the cross, was offered, according to Matthew, wine mixed with poison (vinegar, decomposed wine), but he declined. After the words of the psalm: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"... he accepted the drink with poison that left him unconscious, "gave up the ghost." Tied to the tree, the circulation of the blood went down damaging their internal organs. It was a long agony, slow and cruel in the extreme. The poison mixed with wine was offered to end, soon, the intolerable sufferings. According to the Australian theologian, Jesus did not die on the cross, but recovered from the effects of poison and remained with them, married Mary Magdalene and had children. An empty tomb does not prove a resurrection. The excitement of the day of Easter only proves that the disciples believed in the resurrection, psychological argument. The Gospels contradict each other in the narration of the facts of the empty tomb. The story of the resurrection, she continues, was spread by a man who understands the religious needs of a myth. Thus, they could be attracted the Gentiles who believed in the Hellenistic idea of the immortality of the soul. Nietzsche spoke of the difficulty of reading and understanding the Gospels.
"He who is afraid needs to depend on someone, as the weak needs a support. Hence the primitive spirit created the religious doctrine, embodied in the magician and the priest, because of the deepest psychological need. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the Church no salvation), it remains one valid truth for those who can turn to and hold on it. For the few that can not return it is only left to depend on a human being: a humble dependence and proud at the same time, a weaker and stronger support. What about the Protestant? He has no church, no priest, he has only God, but God often appears doubtful." (47). In all honesty it must be said that within the Church there is no salvation but slavery imposed by the myths, dogmas and ancient prejudices and stereotypes.
"The ancient religions, with their ridiculous and sublime symbols, benevolent and sinister, were not born in the air but in this human soul that even now, at this time, lives in us. All those things, those primordial forms, live within us, and at any time can disrupt with violence, especially in the form of collective suggestion, against which the individual is helpless." (48).
When Jung speaks of the soul refers to the human psyche. Our conscious individual psychology comes from a native state of unconsciousness and hence undifferentiated like a mythical involvement, awareness of differentiation in a late acquisition of humanity; and differentiation is the essential condition of consciousness, according to Jung.
Riesman in The Lonely Crowd reminds us the typology based on the directional factor: those directed by the tradition, those led by the others, and those self-directed. Only the latter make their own goals and select the appropriate targets to achieve them. There are who program, for the remote-controlled (by tradition and by the other), the goals and objectives with subliminal symbols and archetypal images; so it is fixed their childishness and lack of growth to culminate in the manageable dough man.
THE TOMB OF JESUS IS FOUND
Six urns are hidden in the Department of Antiquities of Israel and one of them, recorded in Chisel, reads: "Here lies Jesus son of Joseph." The rest belong to Mary, Joseph, Mary Magdalith, Matthew, and Judas, the sons of Jesus. It seems to be the ossuaries of the Redeemer and the Holy Family, according to the archaeologist Dubois. It is true that all these names are very common in the Bible lands, but it is the combination of such surnames which strongly calls the attention. It was not a tomb of commoners who were buried in a mass grave, but an elegant tomb, which was not located on the Mount of Olives, as required by their rank, but on the edge of the desert, a land of renegades. Could it be that the High Priest considered them heretics, reason enough to those bones no to rest in the Jewish community. Yosef Gat, the discoverer, in Archaeological News, established the urns date from the year 70 AD, when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. It only remains to prove the genetic identity of the bones through the DNA. Two months after the discovery, Gat died of a thundering heart attack.
altarpiece of the Mystic Lamb
Painted by the brothers Humberto and Jan Van Eyck to the Church of St. Bavo in
Ghent on behalf of the alderman Vijd Joos, it was completed in 1432. Beauty
of the figures is enhanced with rich fabrics and landscapes that serve as background. This
work is the epitome of the whole Flemish painting because there
are the main features of the school: a sense of deep
perspective, they get, for example, with the help of converging lines
in a distant point, the use of oil paint that allows them to better miniaturization
and expertise at reflecting the details of objects.
brilliant discovery that Jesus was buried with his family, as any Hebrew
gentleman, means he did not die on the cross, his resurrection could be a myth
and the other dogmas of the Church could also belong to the mythical thinking.
It would confirm the thesis that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and had
children, as claimed by some Christian theologians today, by way of example, the
Australian Thiering Barbara, in her book Jesus, the Man.
The figure of Jesus releases today, in the global scientific world, furious controversy, as it happened to him in his time, preaching the Good News in the hills of Galilee. God or an apostate? Prophet or blasphemer? Saint or impostor?
The six ossuaries were found in the Talpiot neighborhood, southeast of Jerusalem in 1980, but for multiple reasons still unclear, they have not been able to implement the DNA test, which would change 180 degrees the history of Christianity and would crumble all its dogmas. Paul of Tarsus said: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty", I Cor. 15.14.
According to the Bible researcher John Crossan, the real Jesus was a country preacher who advocated peaceful resistance against Roman rule and criticized the subservience of the Jewish upper classes, especially the Pharisees, in addition to the materialism of his environment. For Bloch, the German philosopher, was not the Sermon on the Mount, but the promise of future life, eternal life, which ensured the triumph of Christianity, the religion of poor people who consoled themselves with the afterlife. Peter, according to Ludermann, would be the warping of the history of the risen Jesus with the resulting of collective suggestion of the Christian people. The real story of Jesus has always been obscured by myths and fundamentalist dogmas. And what we read and believe today matches very little what actually happened; this is a new reality transformed, distorted, mystified. "Here lies Jesus son of Joseph," epitaph bordered by a clover-shaped cross. (49)
1.- La letra ennegrecida (“bold”) de las citas textuales es siempre, a través de este trabajo, del autor del mismo.
2. - Donna Rosemberg and Sorelle Baker, Mythology and You, Chicago, NTC, 1994, pp. 9-15.
3.-Ibídem, pp. 97-98.
4.- Mircea Eliade, Lo sagrado y lo profano, Colombia, Editorial Labor, Quinto Centenario, 1994.
5.- G.S. Kirk, El mito. Su significado y funciones en la Antigüedad y otras culturas, Barcelona, Paidós, 1984, pp. 236-265.
6.- Michael Gibson, Monstruos, dioses y hombres de la mitología griega, Madrid, Anaya, 1992, pp. 33-34.
7.- Ludwig Schajowicz, Mito y existencia, San Juan, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1990, pp.217–231.
8.- Ludwig Schajowicz, Mito y existencia, San Juan, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1990, pp.233–244.
9.- Ludwig Schajowicz, Mito y existencia, San Juan, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1990, pp. 244-245.
10.- Gustav Janouch, Conversaciones con Kafka, Barcelona, Fontanella, 1969, p. 111.
11.- César Cantú, Historia Universal, Barcelona, Editores Gassó Hermanos, 1888, tomo IV, pp. 21-22.
12.- Robert Graves, Los mitos griegos, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1995, pp. 60-83.
13.- Pierre Boutang y George Steiner, Diálogos sobre el mito de Antígona y el sacrificio de Abraham, Barcelona, Ediciones Destino, 1994.
14.- Carlos Rolando de León Valdés y Francisco López Pérez (traductores), Popol Vuh, Libro Nacional de Guatemala, Guatemala, Ministerio de Educación, 1985.
15.- Mercedes López–Baralt, El Mito taíno: Lévi-Strauss en las Antillas, Río Piedras, Ediciones Huracán, 1985, p. 52.
16.- Ibídem, pp. 53-54.
17.- Ibídem, pp. 71-72.
18.- Ibídem, p. 84.
19.- Ibídem, pp. 103-105.
20.- Ibídem, pp. 105-106.
21.- Ricardo E. Alegría, Descubrimiento, conquista y colonización de Puerto Rico, 1493-1599, San Juan, Colección de Estudios Puertorriqueños, 1992, pp. 31 y 32.
22. - Christopher Westhorp, coordinator, Native American, Myth and Legends, New York, Salamander Books, 1980.
23.- Fray Toribio de Benavente, Historia de los indios de la Nueva España, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1988, pp. 81-83.
24.- Beatriz Fernández, La utopía de América. Teoría, leyes, experimentos, Barcelona, Anthropos, 1992, pp. 437-438.
25.- Luis N. Rivera Pagán, Evangelización y violencia: La conquista de América, San Juan, Editorial Cemí, 1992, pp. 145-160.
26.- Ibídem, pp. 201-203.
27.- Luis N. Rivera Pagán, Evangelización y violencia: La conquista de América, San Juan, Editorial Cemí, 1990, p.257.
28.- Ibídem, pp.285-289.
29.- Ibídem, pp.289-290.
30.- Luis N. Rivera Pagán, Evangelización y violencia: La conquista de América, San Juan, Editorial Cemí, 1990, pp. 343-346.
31.- Luis N. Rivera Pagán, Evangelización y violencia: La conquista de América, San Juan, Editorial Cemí, 1992, pp. 289-290.
32.- C. G. Jung, Símbolos de transformación, Barcelona, Paidós, 1985, p. 44.
33.- Del griego therion, animal, y de morfé, forma: forma de animal.
34.- C. G. Jung, Símbolos de transformación, Barcelona, Paidós, 1985, p. 86.
35.- Ibídem. p. 244.
36.- Véase Carl Gustav Jung, Símbolos de transformación, Barcelona, Paidós, 1993.
37.- Maurice Godelier, Economía, fetichismo y religión en las sociedades primitivas, México, Siglo XXI, 1974, p. 391.
38.- Alusión a Adán
39.-Las perfecciones femeninas serán ocasión de pecado de muchos.
40.- E. M. Cioran, El ocaso del pensamiento, Barcelona, Tusquets Editores, 1995, p. 158.
41.- Alistair Shearer, Buda, Madrid, Editorial Debate, 1993, p. 26.
42.- Ibídem, p. 31.
43.- E. M. Cioran, El ocaso del pensamiento, Barcelona, Tusquets Editores, 1995, p. 156.
44.- Ibídem, p. 156.
45.- Véase Jenaro Talens, Conocer Beckett y su obra, Barcelona, Dopesa, 1979.
46.- Barbara Thiering, Jesús, el hombre. Una nueva interpretación de los rollos del Mar Muerto, México, Editorial Diana, 1995, p. 72.
47.- Carlos G. Jung, Las relaciones entre el yo y el inconsciente, Barcelona, Editorial Paidós, 1990, p. 104.
48.- Ibídem, p. 104.
49.- Ramy Wurgaft, “La tumba de Jesucristo y otros misterios”, El Mundo, Madrid, 7 de abril de 1996, número 25, Crónica.
ALCINA FRANCH, JOSÉ, La Cultura taína, Madrid, Turner/Quinto Centenario, 1989.
ALEGRÍA, RICARDO E., Descubrimiento, conquista y colonización de Puerto Rico 1493-1599, República Dominicana, Corripio, 1992.
ANGLADA, MARÍA ANGELS, Relatos de mitología. Els Déus, Barcelona, Destino, 1996.
ASOCIACIÓN DE EDITORES DEL CATECISMO, Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, España, 1993.
BOUTANG, PIERRE Y GEORGE STEINER, Diálogos sobre el mito de Antígona y el sacrificio de Abraham, Barcelona, Ediciones Destino, 1994.
CALDERÓN DE LA BARCA, PEDRO, Teatro, Barcelona, Editorial Bruguera, 1983.
CAMPBELL, JOSEPH, Transformations of Myth through Time, New York, Harper Row, 1990.
CID, CARLOS, Mitología oriental ilustrada, Barcelona, Editorial Argos Vergara, S. A., 1993, 3 volúmenes.
CIORAN, E.M., Ejercicios de admiración y otros textos, Barcelona, Tusquets, 1995.
CIORAN, E.M., En las cimas de la desesperación, Barcelona, Tusquets, 1993.
CIORAN, E.M., Historia y utopía, Barcelona, Tusquets, 1995.
CIORAN, E.M., El ocaso del pensamiento, Barcelona, Tusquets, 1995.
DE BENAVENTE, FRAY TORIBIO, Historia de los indios de la Nueva España, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1988.
DE LEÓN, CARLOS R., Traductor, Popol Vuh, Guatemala, Centaltex, 1985.
ELIADE, MIRCEA, Lo Sagrado y lo profano, Colombia, Editorial Labor, Quinto Centenario, 1994.
FERNÁNDEZ, BEATRIZ, La utopía de América. Teoría, leyes, experimentos, Barcelona, Anthropos, 1992.
FREUD, SIGMUND, Tótem y tabú, Madrid, Alianza, 1972.
GIBSON, MICHAEL, Monstruos, dioses, y hombres de la mitología griega, Madrid, Anaya, 1992.
GRAVES, ROBERT, Los Mitos griegos 2, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1995.
JANOUCH, GUSTAV, Conversaciones con Kafka, Barcelona, Paidós, 1991.
JUNG, C. G., Psicología y religión, Barcelona, Paidós, 1991.
JUNG, C. G., Relaciones entre el yo y el inconsciente, Barcelona, Paidós, 1990.
JUNG. C. G., Símbolos de transformación, Barcelona, Paidós, 1985.
KIRK, G. S., El mito, Barcelona, Paidós, 1985.
LÓPEZ-BARALT, MERCEDES, El mito taíno: Lévi-Strauss en las Antillas, Río Piedras, Ediciones Huracán, 1985.
LÓPEZ DE GOMARA, FRANCISCO, Historia general de las Indias, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1941, 2 Volúmenes.
LÓPEZ DE GOMARA, FRANCISCO, La Historia general de la Indias, y todo lo acaescido enellas dende que se ganaron hasta agora, en Anvers (Amberes) por Martin Nucio, 1554.
MARTÍNEZ, BENJAMÍN y FABRE, FELICIANO, Cuentos de la Mitología, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Borikén Libros, 1996.
NIETZSCHE, FREDERICH, Obras inmortales, Barcelona, Ediciones Teorema, 1985, 3 Volúmenes.
RIVERA-PAGÁN, LUIS, Evangelización y violencia: la conquista de América, San Juan, Editorial Cemí, 1990.
ROSENBERG, DONNA and SORELLLE, BAKER, Mythology and You, Chicago, NTC, 1994.
SCHAJOWICZ, LUDWIG, Mito y existencia, Río Piedras, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1990.
SCHAJOWICZ, LUDWIG, El mundo trágico de los griegos y de Shakespeare, Río Piedras, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1990.
SEEMANN, OTTO, Mitología clásica ilustrada, Barcelona, Editorial Argos Vergara, 1993, 3 Volúmenes.
SHEARER, ALISTAIR, Buda, Madrid, Editorial Debate, 1993.
SHEARER, ALISTAIR, Buddha, London, Thases and Hudson, Ltd, 1992.
TALENS, JENARO, Conocer Beckett y su obra, Barcelona, Dopesa, 1979.
TAYLOR, COLIN F., Los indios americanos, mitos y leyendas, Madrid, Libsa, 1995.
THERING, BARBARA, Jesús, el hombre, México, Editorial Diana, 1995.
WURGAFT, RAMY, “La Tumba de Jesucristo y otros misterios”, El Mundo, Madrid, 7 de abril de 1996, Número 25, Crónica.__