Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 23rd, 2009

The priest, the warrior, and the peasant; (August 22, 2009)

Another alternative title could be more realistic and comprehensive such as “Elder, male, and female” but it is not catchy enough.

George Dumezil, a French researcher who can speak over 20 languages, says “The first 10 languages are the hardest to learn; the remaining languages come pretty easy because it is the same routine and same thing”.

George Dumezil wrote the trilogy “Myth and Epic” that describes the mythologies in Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Germany, Roman, Greek, Ossetia (Caucasus region), and then links all these mythologies to their hierarchical transmission from the Indian Mahabharata and Bhagavat mythology.

Dumezil calls this unifying mythology “The Indo-European mythology” and end up with a summary that this mythology is based on 3 fundamentals the Priesthood, Warrior, and Peasant classes with their respective Gods.

After over 40 years of detailed research to reach this common sense conclusion is a monstrous let down.

Da! This classification of society is common to all cultures and civilizations and going pretty strong nowadays. (The main Gods in all civilizations were of Justice, War, and Fecundity. The all-encompassing unifying God was barely worshiped by the people because not symbolizing their trade or class).

The Romans had the (Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus). The Scandinavian counties had Odinn reigning over the Val-Holl of (Porr, Mimir, and Odrerir) and  Ases was their unifying God. The Germans had Wotan reigning over their Walhalla.  In the Near East mythology we had (Shamsh, Baal, and Ashtarout); El or Allah in the Arab Peninsula was their unifying God.  In the Nile civilization we had Amon (Sun), Osiris, and Isis.

The major let down is this conventional direction of researchers of thinking top down or hierarchically.  Well, after the Scandinavian got their mythology from Ossetia that got their mythology from Northern India, then from whom did the Indian receive their mythology?  If there are any written records that go many thousands of years in antiquity (not probable) we might discover that mythology transmission is no longer hierarchical but cyclical.

Adopting the easy hierarchical line of reasoning is basically wrong. It is the wrong logic to consider: simply because it stick to the conventional that the King/Priesthood classes are the transmitters of culture and civilization. The Priesthood class is mainly the conservative maintainer of the status quo and barely the transmitter of much anything.

A more realistic and promising line of reasoning is to consider that it is the warrior classes that transmitted rituals, myths, and customs.

It is the soldiers and sub officers who were in direct and daily contact with the conquered people: they are the ones who interrogated prisoners, facilitated trade and communication, and learned by osmosis the new culture and civilization of the subjugated people.  The soldiers and sub officers returned to their hometowns and villages and disseminated their story telling testimonies and accounts of their war period.

The dissemination was quick because most soldiers were mercenaries from the neighboring countries to the powerful Kingdom. Once the war was over, the soldiers were disbanded to return mainly to their families and spread the news of alternative rituals, myths, customs, and techniques of the conquered culture.

Since frequent communication of central government of Empires with their neighboring vassal countries was not sustained, it stands to reason that the peasant classes managed to occasionally change their traditions before the government realized the changes.

When central government is strong then either of two possibilities was activated:

1.  If the mercenary warriors sided with the peasants then the King/Priesthood was defeated and the newer traditions and mythologies took roots.

2.  If the King/Priesthood vanquished then many varieties of sects and cults mushroomed in the neighboring kingdom.

Empires come and go, but the tank sources for mercenaries were constant.

These warriors came from mountain chain regions and high plateaus or desert regions.  In “Indo-European civilization” the mercenaries flocked from the Turkish Anatole Plateau and its extension in the Caucasus of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Albania, and Romania.  The people were known as Cherkessk, Kurd, Tatar, Parthian, Scythe, and so on.  The other sources of mercenaries came from Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, and Mongolia.

The main central EMPIRE was Persia that extended many times from coastal Turkey to all of Afghanistan and part of Pakistan.

Babylon and later Assyria empires were counties of current Iran that moved the Capitals to their provinces as central power weakened in Persia. The same is true for the Hittite Empire in Anatolia that expanded to Egypt and signed the first recorded peace treaty with Egypt after the battle of Caddish. The Hittite aided the Greek by all means to defeat the Empire of Troy: Troy was a major handicap to extending to the coast and building a navy.

The urban centers in plains, rich with major water resources and large river,s hires mercenaries to defend or expand empires. The Near East region was constituted of City-States) that hired mercenaries for the war effort to defend the cities. A City-State was the center for Priesthood/learning class and peasant/skilled artisans class (the bread basket).  Empires that could not maintain autochthonous soldiers as majority of their armies vanished in no times.

When studying civilizations and their continuity we should never dismiss the main factor: climate.

There are the cold, mild, and hot weather civilizations. Within these 3 categories there are the plain and mountain region people. Talking about “indo-European” languages or civilizations is stretching the imagination a tad too far and forcing issues.

It is not with the antiques written records of the elite class that civilizations and dissemination of culture can be described and comprehended, but with archeological finds of daily living, rituals, and customs within homogeneous climatic regions.

Note 1: I had the topic from “Smell of the Time” (Odeur du temps) by Jean d’Ormesson who published three articles on George Dumezil. I didn’t read “Myth and Epic” and hope that d’Ormesson did.

Notes 2:  The nomadic desert Jewish tribes could not invent but one God “Yahwa”; Jehovah ended up to be their warrior God. When the Jews of Moses got in contact with the Canaanites in Palestine, Yahwa was set aside during peaceful period to be resurrected during war period and his statues and temples moved closer to God Baal in order for the Jews to be hired as mercenaries.

“The task of man is not over until…” (August 22, 2009)

Elie Cioran, originally from Romania, wrote in French and became French.  In his childhood, Cioran kicked human skulls, dug out of nearby cemetery, for football games with his companions.  By the age of twenty, Cioran lost the ability to sleep and lived an insomniac; “The French language appeased me as straight jackets appease the crazy person” confessed Cioran.

Elie detested institutions, parades, and the enthusiasm of the masses. “As long as there is one God standing, then the task of man is not over” wrote Cioran.

This post is not about Cioran who said “Without God everything is a void; and God is the supreme void.”  This post is not about the void; I am suffering enough of this harsh plague.

This post is not about God; that would be a long story. I have never advanced an inch reading about God.  I avoid reading on that subject: The more I read the more I retrograde considerably emotionally and morally.

“We are all practical jokers: we manage to survive our problems and miseries” Cioran went on.  I guess that I share his feelings. It follows to resuming his idea “the risk of having a biographer has never dissuaded anyone for hiring one” said Cioran.  I am leaning that this sentence might be the subject of this post.  If you are disgusted with your memoir then why hire someone to vomit all over you?

It seems that Cioran was the briefest and the least humanist of the rebels; he refused the Morand prize extended by the French Academy. “I have known all sorts of degenerations, including success.  We live in the fake as long as we have not suffered. However, it does not follow that we enter into the real when we start to suffer; we just regret the fake.  Yes, for over two thousand years Jesus is exacting his revenge for not dying on a sofa”

Reading or writing literature is simply a matter of pleasure.  If you read for hidden messages among the books, for a cause, or for just research then you are not friend of literature: you have better make literature a job and get paid.

If you read as means of gathering information and a source for enhancing your story telling prowess in society then it is fine but you are no friend of literature.

I love to read in the original language such as French, English, and Arabic. Translated works leave me with the carcasses that are the main stories, but the texture, flavor, and smell of the author’s style is lost.  I don’t care for the stories: they are the same with a twist.

I like to know the author and his culture.  I hate to see authors’ photos on the book jackets: I like not to getting biased in reading a book and comprehending the spirit and culture of the author.

Transatlantic professors; (August 21, 2009)

 

            The English professor David Lodge wrote “A tiny world”; he describes our world as a large university town where conferences, colloquium, and committees of experts converge uninterrupted throughout the year. This global campus is structured and hyped by Medias and all the international professors and academics who are in transit for savant communication and mainly for international sex. 

            Actually, the UNESCO, the educational and cultural branch of the United Nation, is the object of desire as during the Medieval Age knights seek their love objects: acquiring a chair as literary critics at UNESCO will open the free transatlantic highway with plenty of money for experimenting with international sex varieties in the name of global cultural rapprochement.  Half the world’s professors pack the airliners to almost every destination.

            I heard recently that in Egypt, this year, the number of “summer weddings” by tourists exceeded 80, 000 under aged girls.  The prices for these transacted marriages vary with the “qualities” of the girl and the contract may even last a couple of days.  I would not exclude the possibility that the UN might end up with a load of problems; I mean how to handle all those academics flaunting the UN moral standing and extensive human rights laws.

 

            I have nothing against traveling.  Countries are as good as the traveler. Why travel if you have no intention of conquering your destination country or be conquered by its people? “The condottiere wants to first conquer in order to be conquered” wrote the French Andre Suares in his “The trip (voyage) of the Condottiere”.  This fantastic, passionate, aristocratic travel book describes Italy, Venice, Fiorenza (Florence), and Sienna. It took Suares over 35 years to write this book; he started the travel diary at the age of 27 as Andre criss-crossed Italy by foot.

            I don’t mind traveling; I do mind the frequent flyers: they are immature and frivolous. Don’t they ever listen to the news? Don’t they hear about the increasing air crashes?

“Today he will dine with Mr. The Viscount…”; (August 21, 2009)

 

            Abbot Mugnier lived very well; he was dined by noble families and the illustrious writers and personalities of Paris; and his diary (Journal) was very funny. Abbot Mugnier’s maid servant was even funnier; when he died at the age of 91 the servant said: “The abbot will be very pleased with his new environment.  Today he will dine with the Viscount (meaning God)”

            Abbot or priest Mugnier was famous before WWII for his words and sentences on society, art, literature, love, rapport among people were recounted in conversations among the families in Paris and France.  He was not elegant; his shoes were square and his black frock was threadbare; he wore a tricorn hat but his behavior was ultra-mundane.  Abbot Mugnier was a snob; when his mother died he said “the aristocracy in my hometown behaved very nobly. Dukes and princes came to her funeral”.  He was aware of being a snob “Nobody ate outdoors in Paris as much as I did. I dissipated my soul in full dishes.  What a life that I am carrying on; cars, lunches, and dinners.”

            Abbot Mugnier said “I am the priest of the wedding of Cana (where Marie invited Jesus to attend); I am not the one who fast in desert.  I live among people of contradictory opinions. I have to keep a supple role but how can I preserve unity? Thus, I am Abbot Plural.  What I love in this world is the frame, the names, the beautiful residences, the reunion of fine spirits, the contact with celebrities.”  At the end of his life he wrote: “I lived at the expense of others. I am a born parasite but I managed to develop my little personality”

            Abbot Mugnier has no illusion about the prestigious personality who invites him. He says “An aristocrat can never have original talents to be a writer.  He is too satisfied. He has many servants between him and reality. He never fraternizes with things. There are no communions.”  To a certain writer he notes down: “Bloy shouted to me his misery, too much maybe.  He is conscious of his talents, too much maybe”.  With respect to Mauriac he wrote “He has not healthy enough to be a pagan”.  He confessed the countess of Noailles at her deathbed and he confessed “She told me beautiful things…What do you want, I risked giving her absolution”.  Cocteau told him “the future of literature is limpidity enriched of all the anterior complications”

            Abbot Mugnier dreaded most losing his sight “My life was reading. I am dead” (that would be my case too if I get blind).  “My job is to offering communion, reciting the rosary, and giving my blessings. Any priest can do it. The minor corner in nature seems to me closer to God.  How tiring and trying is my task.  I tell all these young women coming to confess their sins: go, go. Enough sermons and guidance, what do I know!” Abbot Mugnier married many couples and wrote: “Most of these couples do not realize that when they approach the sacred they lose their liberty”

            Malraux said “Excepting Memoirs, Journals, and diaries, what book is worth the pain of writing?”  I have published a draft of my autobiography; it should be titled “Biography of an unknown confused man”.  You may stick reading biographies of celebrities; that would please me hugely: my revenge would be that you exacerbated your regrets with packs of lies.

 

Note: The topic is from “Smell of time” (Odeur du temps) by Jean d’Ormesson.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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