Dante’s outer circle

In the third season of Downton Abbey, when Matthew experiences a visual shock while entering a jazz club in London trying to rescue Rose dating a married man, Matthew proclaims aloud that the club is “Dante’s outer circle.”

Downton-Abbey-Christmas-2013

(In the above photo inside Highclere Castle this spoiled girl, Rose, appears with a pink dress.) Downton Abbey is the only recent TV series that I might recommend. Even the kissing of Rose with a Negro in the next season is depicted as a silly revenge of Rose against her abusive mother. But there’s no obvious cultural or racial treason in the episodes I’ve watched as to date. (I’ve only missed the last one, the 2013 Christmas special of the fourth season).

These sort of post-war London clubs that shocked Matthew were in operation a hundred years ago. Music is infinitely worse now. Since the self-destructive defense mechanisms of abused adolescents are my specialty I’d claim that the rock classics you may listen today—for example “Tie Your Mother Down” by the group Queen that I used to like when I was the victim of an engulfing mother—are precisely silly defense mechanisms.

Now that I wrote a book confessing how I was abused as a teen I realize that a mature man may develop non-degenerate defense mechanisms to cope with past memories.

Alas, this is not the case of the overwhelming majority of white nationalists. All of them seem to fail to comprehend that it is impossible to revert back to the healthy sexual mores depicted in Downton Abbey if at the same time they don’t reject the music of Queen and the myriads of other rock groups.

In his blog’s entry of the first day of the new year, Iranian for Aryans reposted what musician Roger had said recently:

I’ve just finished reading this interview with the late Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, former musical director of the Sistine Chapel, and I thought you might be interested by some of his comments. He is speaking primarily about liturgical music, but he also discusses about the general condition of music in this rotten century:

“[My father] was a workman at a brick factory in Borgo San Lorenzo, in the province of Florence. He loved to sing in church. And he loved the romance of Verdi and Donizetti. But at that time, everybody sang: the farmers while they were dressing the vines, the shoemakers while they were working a sole. There were bands in the piazza, during the holidays music directors came from Florence, and the area theatre had two opera seasons each year. It’s all gone now.”

Simple Italian factory workers used to love the music of Verdi and Donizetti? I wonder how this fits with the black metal apologists’ belief that classical music was historically something for a tiny bourgeois clique, and that most normal people were only familiar with folk songs.

I can remember them trying to make these arguments in the comment threads of Counter-Currents, Alternative Right and the Occidental Observer. There is no excuse these people will not use if it will enable them to continue listening to their beloved modern music. Were they serious, they would spend a moment considering why old reactionaries, who grew up before rock music became ubiquitous, are so repulsed by distorted guitars and screeching. (Modern man knows better, of course.)

When asked if the old musical traditions are disappearing, the cardinal said, “it stands to reason: if there is not the continuity that keeps them alive, they are destined to oblivion.”

I think that sums it up in a nutshell. One of my goals in 2014 is to acquire a tenor viol and start learning music by the English consort composers (as well as continental composers from the same time period). Whether it will be possible to find other violists to form a consort is another problem, but keeping the music alive with one’s own hands is a good starting point. It is undoubtedly the case that music cannot survive as a collection of digital audio files. That will turn it into a mere museum piece. If that happens, it will be sad but just. A civilised nation cannot choose to embrace African voodoo devilry at the expense of its own culture and expect to continue living with dignity.

Yup… Precisely because my mother is a piano teacher I rebelled against my family’s traditions and, like Downton Abbey’s Rose, never learnt how to play it. But now that I fully processed my pain thru a thick book I realize that my adolescent infatuation with Queen was just silly. I no longer listen rock. In fact, I just started learning piano at my relative old age!

Cesar tocando piano 2014

(It’s me playing the piano…)

By the way, in a most recent personal communication, Iranian commented on Roger’s above sentence: “There is no excuse these people [white nationalists] will not use if it will enable them to continue listening to their beloved modern music”:

How correct Roger is! What we have here is a degenerated breed of WNs / “traditionalists” who, basically, have no musical taste, are divorced from their superior heritage, and desire a world where bad music and pornography reign sans Jew.

Recently at Facebook, a Counter-Currents sodomite responded to Iranian that a Persian ought not dare teach him what his western cultural roots are.

Can’t he? I am not an American either but, to my present ears, years after I processed my adolescent pain, the “music” promoted by Counter-Currents and other nationalist sites is becoming like Dante’s outer circle certainly…

Postscript of January 11: Alternative Right is gone now, but Richard Spencer has opened a new site promoting exactly the same “black metal” degeneracy.

On my moral inferiors

Recently a regular visitor let me know by email that he was dismayed because of my wish to exterminate those who trade by skinning alive some poor animals. He merely wanted to close the Chinese factories that supply more than half of the fur garments for sale in the corrupt, deranged West. This is my response:

I am not the monster. Those who don’t harbor exterminationist fantasies are the moral Neanderthals compared to me.

Take as an example my recent posts on pre-Hispanic Amerinds. In the last one a disturbing possibility was raised by the author of an academic paper (take heed that this is an establishment source): Several Maya skulls show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals might have been flayed before the sacrifice. The presence of women and children among these skulls mean that even they, not only mature men, might have suffered a horrible death, like what still happens today in the Chinese fur factories.

I usually don’t get comments on my pre-Columbian posts, perhaps because the unearthed data sheds light onto such ghastly history that it makes it difficult to digest. But if we dare to see that the same is happening today to some animals, the emergent individual who approaches these subjects can only see those who avoid it as intellectual cowards. Why? Because the whole subject of white survival depends upon regaining a self-image that puts whites above the other races from the moral—i.e., the development of empathy—standpoint, especially empathy toward women, children and our cousins, the animals.

After my previous post on Maya sacrifice I have read another academic paper in the book El Sacrificio Humano (28 authors), this one by Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina, a chapter with nine pages of bibliographical references of specialized literature. (*)

Tiesler and Cucina let us know that modern Mayanists are using, in addition to the Spanish chronicles and the iconographic evidence of pre-Columbian art, the science of taphonomy (analysis of skeletons) as tangible evidence of human sacrifice in the Maya civilization.

Maya-sac

On pages 199-200 the authors mention the techniques that the Maya used in their practices, now corroborated by taphonomy: the victim could have been shot by arrows or lapidated, his or her throat or nape could have been cut or broken, his or her heart could have been extracted either through the diaphragm or through the thorax; could have suffered multiple and fatal lacerations, or incinerated, disemboweled or skinned or dismembered. The body remains could have been eaten or used as trophies, or used in the manufacture of percussion instruments.

The authors deduce this by direct, physical evidence of the studied skeletons (or other remains) and they also mention a form of sacrifice that I had not heard of: the offering of human faces in the context of the influence on the Mayas by the Xipe Totec deity, “Our Lord the Flayed One,” who was widely worshipped at the north, in central Mexico.

Tiesler and Cucina also point out to other kind of physical evidence in the Maya civilization (that I already had mentioned in The Return of Quetzalcoatl): many skeletons with sacrificial marks have been found at the bottom of the cenotes of sacrifice. On page 206 they include the illustration of some Maya dignitaries showing off on their “uniforms” inverted heads such as the one I already added in my entry on pre-Columbia Oaxaca. The news is that a skeleton has been found of an individual showing on his thorax a human mask that hanged from his belt when he was alive.

On page 209 the authors let us know that the Mayas even sacrificed animals, and include an illustration of a jaguar surrounded in flames. They don’t say if the animal was alive when sacrificed; and on page 211 they tell of “an elevated percentage of child, adolescent and female victims whose cadavers used to be, also, the object of ritual manipulation.” In the same page appears a Maya depiction of a decapitated woman, and on page 215 a photo is reproduced of a perforated thorax suggesting that the body remains might have been used as manikins “with the objective of a terrifying display of institutional power.” They also suggest that the sacrifices might have been still performed long after the Spanish Conquest, albeit “clandestinely and increasingly resorting to animal substitutes.”

This makes my point beautifully. If you forbid a barbarous practice in a primitive race the violence will be displaced, not eradicated.

The sacrificial victims are now the animals. Remember my entry where I mentioned the case of recent torture of bunnies in Mexico? The reason why I speak with haughty contempt of non-exterminationists (“my moral inferiors”) is because they are afraid of taking their premises to their logical, commonsensical conclusion. It is not enough to close the Chinese skinning factories or the Mexican slaughter houses. To put an absolute end to such practices with no further displacement you got to wipe out the entire psychoclass behind such cruelties. (Cf. my views on psychohistory to grasp the meaning of the term “psychoclass” and also the last pages of Pierce’s The Turner Diaries.)


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(*) “Sacrificio, Tratamiento y Ofrenda del Cuerpo Humano entre los Mayas Peninsulares,” in López Luján, Leonardo & Guilhem Olivier (2010): El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana [Human Sacrifice in the Mesoamerican Religious Tradition]. Mexico City, Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas. ISBN 978-607-484-076-6. OCLC 667990552. (Spanish)

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 5

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In their article, “El Sacrificio Humano en la Parte Central del Área Maya”, pages 169-193 of El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana, Stephen Houston and Andrew Scherer write:
 

Some examples [frescoes] of Piedras Negras, Guatemala, show a knife with knots of paper and a feathered plume of the sacrificial victim, with his heart possibly extracted, leaning over a bundle of paper for a burnt-offering.

The reduced size of the characters raises the possibility of youngsters or infants, whose breasts are opened more easily by its cartilaginous nature. There is a series of images on plates with infants whose breasts show a small cut on the heart (e.g., the famous dish of the Popol Vuh, K3395). But not all of them are representations. In 1985, as a member of Project Caracol in Belize, Stephen Houston excavated a reused crypt with at least twenty-five individuals, where he found the body of a newborn on top of a plate.

Incidentally, it is remarkable the presence of fire in scenes of children, such as in a mural of a jamb of Tohcok, Campeche, and another on Stela 3 of Yaxhá, Guatemala. The first image traces the shape of a body on an incendiary base, bundles of firewood with ajaw on the head, corresponding to the sign of the homes of the founders of dynasties, especially those related to the pre-eminent city of Teotihuacan.

The second image shows the remains of a human body on a plate supported by cross-shaped sticks. From above fall grains of incense, ch’aaj in the ch’olan language in most classical texts; from below clouds of fire raise up. Through the sign for “wood,” , inscribed next to the trait, it is indicated that the dish will also burn.

Maya vase K1645

A documented vase (K1645, above) by Justin Kerr explains the mythical context of these historical facts. Two supplicant characters, the first perhaps tied as a captive (at least placed in a very uncomfortable position), faces two “packages” with heads of gods, a scene that appears in other vessels, but with different dates and other companions. The verb “born” sihyaj suggests that Chahk, the rain god, and the so-called god of “Pax” are newborns. In the vase K1645 the supplicants are ch’ajoomtaak, “those who spread incense.” The first character carries the attributes of the ch’ajoom, “incense spreader,” even a distinctive headband and a dress of dry leaves.

Both supplicants offer to the enthroned figures an object named “his foot,” yook, perhaps referring to the wooden scaffolding that stands in the stela of Yaxhá. The link to the fires is made clear with the presence of the inflammatory base behind the scaffold. Unlike other sacrificed children, the infant appears to be alive [Chechar’s note: see image below].

poor-maya-kid

As in several Mesoamerican societies, the image of a supernatural act can function as a basic model for the dynastic rituals. There is a parallel in the evidence of the sacrifice by fire, a torture with fatal goals, applied by a god on the back of another…

The presence of infants over the plates, especially in contexts of way [Mayan word] or co-essences of Maya rulers, indicates that this is a special “food.” Usually, the way was very different food from the food of human beings, with emphasis on hands, eyes, bones, and in this case, the soft bodies of children.

[Above I excerpted passages from pages 170 to 173. Below there’s an excerpt from page 182, where the authors discuss other Maya sacrifices:]

The presence of women and children indicates that these individuals were not enemy combatants and strongly suggests a sacrificial context, though perhaps a sacrifice of wider political significance.

Several skulls of Colhá show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals were flayed, either shortly before or after death. The skinning of the face supports the iconographic images of beheading showing substantial mutilation, particularly of the eyes. Although it is likely that much of this occurred post-mortem, we must ask whether at least some of these traumas were inflicted before death to maximize the suffering of those about to be executed.

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Note: For my psychological interpretation of Maya and other Amerind cruelty, see The Return of Quetzalcoatl, a chapter of my book.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 2

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The academic treatise El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana sheds light on a photograph I used in a chapter of my book, the picture above the note “Photo by Héctor Montaño,” a photo of a recent discovery of a child offering to Huitzilopochtli that Montaño kindly sent me a few years ago when I was researching the subject of child sacrifice in pre-Columbian America. (By the end of this entry I reproduce this high-quality photo again: click on it if you want to see the details.)

In an article of El Sacrificio Humano, “Huitzilopochtli and child sacrifice in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan” (my translation) by Leonardo López Luján, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Norma Valentín and Aurora Montúfar (pages 367-394), the authors tell us:

Everything indicates that this deposit is the material expression of a mass sacrificial ceremony motivated by the devastating drought of year 1 Tochli, corresponding to our 1454 C.E. and reported in a number of Indian annals. The presence of the Offering 48 in the northwest corner of Temple fully agrees with the documentary sources of the 16th century (pages 367-368).

During such ceremonies [to Tláloc], subject to the calendar or performed in times of crisis, children were symbolically similar to the dwarfs and deformed assistants of rain, as their profuse tears shed when immolated served as a hopeful omen of abundant precipitation. The careful study recently published by Michel Graulich about human sacrifice among the Aztecs indicates that, usually, the chosen children were given away or sold by their parents…; little slaves offered by the lords and wealthy people; infants purchased out of town, or children of prisoners of war. There are indications, moreover, that the kings and lords to some extent responsible for the smooth running of the meteors destined their own offspring to the téhcatl during droughts or floods, or to get rich harvests (pages 368 & 370).

The taphonomic analysis

Numerous cut marks on the ribs of both sides of the rib cage, as well as perimortem fractures produced by the same cutting action… In our view, this body of evidence is sufficient to conclude that the child of Offering 111 died during a sacrificial ceremony in which his tiny heart was extracted (pages 377-378).

Q2

Child sacrifice, war and Huitzilopochtli

Not all child sacrifices were linked to the gods of rain and fertility. Some historical documents reveal that people who were in situations of adversity, or had lost their freedom, or had been suffering a terrible disease, promised to give their children in exchange for their salvation. In other cases, the life of infants was claimed just before the military confrontations (pages 381-382).

In the following pages the authors mention the Spanish chroniclers as complementary sources of what recent archeology has discovered; chroniclers and 16th century texts such as Francisco Lopez de Gómara, the “List of Coatepec and his party,” Antonio Tello, Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún.

It’s nice to see that modern science confirms, not denies, what the 16th century Spaniards had witnessed and reported.

Civilisation’s “Romance and Reality”

For an introduction to these series, see here.

Below, some indented excerpts of “Romance and Reality,” the third chapter of Civilisation by Kenneth Clark, after which I offer my comments.

Originally I posted this entry on April 15 of the last year, but now that I posted another entry about Spain’s Teresa of Ávila I would like to see some feedback in the comments section about my thoughts on St. Francis from those interested in child abuse as a subject.

Ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages:

I am in the Gothic world, the world of chivalry, courtesy and romance; a world in which serious things were done with a sense of play—where even war and theology could become a sort of game; and when architecture reached a point of extravagance unequalled in history. After all the great unifying convictions of the twelfth century, High Gothic art can look fantastic and luxurious—what Marxists call conspicuous waste. And yet these centuries produced some of the greatest spirits in the human history of man, amongst them St Francis and Dante.

A couple of pages later, Clark says:

Several of the stories depicted in the [Chartres Cathedral] arches concern Old Testament heroines; and at the corner of the portico is one of the first consciously graceful women in western art. Only a very few years before, women were thought of as the squat, bad-tempered viragos that we see on the front of Winchester Cathedral: these were the women who accompanied the Norsemen to Iceland.

Now look at this embodiment of chastity, lifting her mantle, raising her hand, turning her head with a movement of self-conscious refinement that was to become mannered but here is genuinely modest. She might be Dante’s Beatrice.

There, for almost the first time in visual art, one gets a sense of human rapport between man and woman.

About the sentiment of courtly love, on the next page Clark adds that it was entirely unknown to antiquity, and that to the Romans and the Vikings it would have seemed not only absurd but unbelievable.

A ‘love match’ is almost an invention of the late eighteenth century. Medieval marriages were entirely a matter of property, and, as everybody knows, marriage without love means love without marriage.

Then I suppose one must admit that the cult of the Virgin had something to do with it. In this context it sounds rather blasphemous, but the fact remains that one often hardly knows if a medieval love lyric is addresses to the poet’s mistress or to the Virgin Mary.

For all these reasons I think it is permissible to associate the cult of ideal love with the ravishing beauty and delicacy that one finds in the madonnas of the thirteenth century. Were there ever more delicate creatures than the ladies on Gothic ivories? How gross, compared to them, are the great beauties of other woman-worshiping epochs.

When I read these pages for the first time I was surprised to discover that my tastes of women have always been, literally, medieval; especially when I studied closely the face of the woman at the right in the tapestry known as The Lady with the Unicorn, reproduced on a whole page in Clark’s book with more detail than the illustration I’ve just downloaded. I have never fancied the aggressive, Hollywood females whose images are bombarded everywhere through our degenerate media. In fact, what moves me to write are precisely David Lane’s 14 words to preserve the beauty and delicacy of the most spiritual females of the white race.

Alas, it seems that the parents did not treat their delicate daughters well enough during the Middle Ages. Clark said:

So it is all the more surprising to learn that these exquisite creatures got terribly knocked about. It must be true, because there is a manual of how to treat women—actually how to bring up daughters—by a character called the Knight of the Tower of Landry, written in 1370 and so successful that it went on being read as a sort of textbook right up to the sixteenth century—in fact and edition was published with illustrations by Dürer. In it the knight, who is known to have been an exceptionally kind man, describes how disobedient women must be beaten and starved and dragged around by the hair of the head.

And six pages later Clark speaks about the most famous Saint in the High Middle Ages, whose live I would also consider the result of parental abuse:

In the years when the portal of Chartres was being built, a rich young man named Francesco Bernadone suffered a change of heart.

One day when he had fitted himself up in his best clothes in preparation for some chivalrous campaign, he met a poor gentleman whose need seemed to be greater than his own, and gave him his cloak. That night he dreamed that he should rebuild the Celestial City. Later he gave away his possessions so liberally that his father, who was a rich businessman in the Italian town of Assisi, was moved to disown him; whereupon Francesco took off his remaining clothes and said he would possess nothing, absolutely nothing. The Bishop of Assisi hid his nakedness, and afterwards gave him a cloak; and Francesco went off the woods, singing a French song.

The next three years he spent in abject poverty, looking after lepers, who were very much in evidence in the Middle Ages, and rebuilding with his own hands (for he had taken his dream literally) abandoned churches.

He threw away his staff and his sandals and went out bare-foot onto the hills. He said that he had taken poverty for his Lady, partly because he felt that it was discourteous to be in company of anyone poorer than oneself.

From the first everyone recognised that St Francis (as we may now call him) was a religious genius—the greatest, I believe, that Europe has ever produced.

Francis died in 1226 at the age of forty-three worn out by his austerities. On his deathbed he asked forgiveness of ‘poor brother donkey, my body’ for the hardships he had made it suffer.

Those of Francis’s disciples, called Fraticelli, who clung to his doctrine of poverty were denounced as heretics and burnt at the stake. And for seven hundred years capitalism has continued to grow to its present monstrous proportions. It may seem that St Francis has had no influence at all, because even the humane reformers of the nineteenth century who sometimes invoked him did not wish to exalt or sanctify poverty but to abolish it.

St Francis is a figure of the pure Gothic time—the time of crusades and castles and of the great cathedrals. But already during the lifetime of St Francis another world was growing up, which, for better or worse, is the ancestor of our own, the world of trade and of banking, of cities full of hard-headed men whose aim in life was to grow rich without ceasing to appear respectable.

Of course, Clark could not say that Francesco’s life was a classic case of battered child. Profound studies about child abuse would only start years after the Civilisation series. Today I would say that, since Francesco never wrote a vindictive text—something unthinkable in the Middle Ages that would not appear until Kafka’s letter to his father—, he internalized the parental abuse with such violence that his asceticism took his life prematurely.

What is missing in Clark’s account is that Francesco’s father whipped him in front of all the town people after Francesco stole from his shop several rolls of cloth. After the scourging inflicted by his father, with his own hands, and public humiliation, a citizen of Assisi reminded him that the town statutes allowed the father to incarcerate the rebellious son at home. Pedro shut Francesco in a sweltering, dark warehouse where “Francesco languished without seeing the light except when his father opened the door for Pica [the mother] taking a bowl of soup and a piece of bread.” After several weeks of being locked Francesco escaped and, always fearful of his father, hid in a cave. The earliest texts add that in the cave he often wept with great fear.

Francesco then embarked on a spectacular acting out of his emotional issues with his father. He made a big scene by returning to Assisi, undressing in the town’s square in front of Bishop Guido and addressing the crowd: “Hear all ye, and understand. Until now have I called Pedro Bernadone ‘my father’. But I now give back unto him the money, over which he was vexed, and all the clothes that I have had of him, desiring to say only, ‘Our Father, which art in Heaven,’ instead of ‘My father, Pedro Bernadone.’”

To everyone’s surprise Francesco broke with his wealthy parents forever, thus renouncing any possible reconciliation. So resolute was his parental repudiation, writes a Catholic biographer, that from that day on Pedro and Pica disappear from all the biographies of their son. There is no historical evidence of reconciliation, and no information about his parents or the circumstances of their death.

But I don’t want to diminish the figure of St Francis. Quite the contrary: in my middle teens I wanted to emulate him—and precisely as a result of the abuse inflicted by my father on me. And nowadays our world that has Mammon as its real God—trade, banking and dehumanized cities that are rapidly destroying the white race—, this will always remind me what Clark said about St Francis.

Nevertheless, despite my teenage infatuation with the saintly young man of Assisi, I doubt that poor Francesco’s defence mechanism to protect his mind against his father’s betrayal could be of any help now…

Christians: clueless about Judaism

Below, “The Conspiracy of Man,” forward to The Tabernacle and its Sacrificial System, posted by Arch Stanton as a comment in this blog:


The problem with Christianity is that people do not understand the Jewish mind behind it. To understand the New Testament, one must understand Jewish culture, history and religion. Of course the Jews make no effort to enlighten the ignorant goyim on these subjects. In fact they prohibit the transference of their religious texts under penalty of death!

Long before the Temple came the era of the Tabernacle, where the sacrifice was ceremonial bloodlust. It was a place where priests butchered animals to atone for sins against their God, Yahweh.

The Torah originally referred to the first five books of the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy are Levirate laws forming the basis for Judaism’s sacrificial system. This system is naturally founded on the sacrifice of both blood offerings, in the form of specified animals, and non-blood offerings in the form of specified grains. In the early days of the sacrificial system, the Tabernacle was nothing more than a moving slaughterhouse, a place where priests butchered animals. It is telling that only the best animals, the least “blemished,” could be offered for sacrifice.

The indication as to the true purpose of the sacrificial system lay in the fact that priests took ten percent of the choicest cuts of meat for themselves and burned only the fat and viscera upon the altar as “sweet savor” to the Lord. The remaining meat was then returned to the sinner. Think about this for a moment, the Lord preferred fat and viscera to the prime cuts commanded by the priests.

Imagine for a moment, your priest as a butcher. Imagine going to church on Sunday and seeing your priest at the altar slitting the throat of various parishioners’ pets, catching their blood in a golden bowl and then splashing it around the altar as he dances around in a trance-like state chanting pleas to God for the forgiveness of sins and begging for salvation. After the service, you say to your spouse, “Boy that certainly was a different sermon this week wasn’t it dear?” Your spouse replies, “Oh I don’t know, next week is communion, when we eat the body Christ and drink his blood. Speaking of that, let’s hurry to the restaurant before the church crowd gets there.”

marked-bloodAfter making their sacrifice, the Hebrew sinner was marked with blood, mixed with other bodily fluids, on either the forehead or the big toe. This mixture ensured longevity of the mark. The blood marking was visible proof that a tribesman had paid his “sin tax.” Later, this mark was washed off in a ritual purification bath called the Mikveh, at which time the sacrificial cycle began anew.

However, this marking system had one obvious, glaring drawback. Blood is a commonly available substance produced by the higher organisms. In their attempt to control the easily counterfeited blood marking, priests forbade their followers from butchering their own animals or even possessing the instruments for doing so. This was the primary reason for the kosher slaughter, a process where the living animal’s throat is slit to ensure the pumping heart will drain the blood as completely as possible. This also led to the prohibition of various implements and practices used in the butchering process. The priests defined these as “clean” or “unclean,” but think “legal” or “illegal,” as these are in fact legalistic dictates that have almost nothing to do with hygiene.

Any contact with blood was strictly prohibited, like that produced by menstruating women or “lepers,” which meant anyone with running sores. As a result, a Byzantine legal structure arose to control the minutiae of everyday life. There is a forgettable tract in the Mishna that elaborates on the cleanliness of a bowl. The upshot of this legal commandment is that if a bowl in intact, then it is unclean; but if the bowl is smashed into pieces of which the largest piece is no larger than the tip of a man’s finger, then it is clean. This makes absolutely no sense unless one understands the bowl in question can be used to hold and mix blood products.

Eventually the phylactery replaced the blood marking. This was a small box attached to the forehead or the back of the wrist holding a scroll with a passage from the Torah. The scroll changed in accordance with the sacrificial cycle; and like tabs on a license plate, it could be checked as proof that Temple followers were current on their sacrificial tribute. Despite this modification, Levirite laws concerning blood products remained in full force.

Imagine yourself as a very young child of a primitive, nomadic, tribesman. Having heard only stories, you are dimly aware of the importance of a much talked about, upcoming ritual. You are aware this ritual occurs on regular basis and the anxiousness of your parents is palpable when discussing the subject.

On the prescribed day, the day the ritual begins. You follow your parents down to a running stream. A man richly attired in strange garb stands in the middle of the stream. One by one, your neighbors walk into the stream where the man mutters strange words as he immerses them in the water while rubbing their forehead with the palm of his hand. After your father has undergone the ritual immersion, you note the red mark he always wears on is forehead has disappeared. The ritual continues until every adult in the village has undergone immersion. You hear someone nearby whispering that the sacred cycle has ended.

The following day, your mother wakes you earlier than usual and your family spends the morning in careful preparation for the day’s activities. You want to play with your friends, but your mother insists you attended to her demands. You accompany your father as he goes out among his meager collection of animals. He spends quite a bit of time inspecting the herd until he finally chooses a prized sheep. This animal happens to be one of your favorites. You have often played with the sheep, chasing them around the meadows and finally catching one, you buried your face in its soft wool. Your nose takes delight in the earthy smell of the sheep. It is the smell of life, and life seems to be everywhere among the hills where the herds roam.

tabernacleLater that morning, your father takes you by the hand and with animal in tow, you are dragged to a portable slaughterhouse your parents refer to as the “Tabernacle.” Here you are to witness the important ritual they have been discussing over the preceding weeks. You enter a large enclosure surrounded by a fence made of cloth. In the middle of the enclosure is an odd tent-like structure with rude wooden columns and entry doors. A number of wooden tables, sagging oddly along the longitudinal center line, are set up in the makeshift courtyard directly in front of the tent. Soon, other families begin arriving with their animals.

Finally, the ceremony begins. A neighbor of yours steps forward and presents a prized calf to one of several strangely dressed men, like the men you saw at the stream the day before. Your parents refer to these men as “priests.” One by one, the sinners step forward and present their animal to a priest who then hoists it upon one of the many tables. Your neighbor drops to his knees in front of the priest, closes his eyes and begins chanting something unintelligible. As you are witnessing this, your father grabs your hand and places it alongside his on the prized sheep. You can feel its heart racing. The animal transmits its terror though the palm of your hand. The priest takes hold of the struggling animal and with quick, practiced motion, slits its throat with a razor sharp knife. The animal struggles, kicking and bellowing in protest, as geysers of blood erupts from its jugular vein. A froth of blood spews forth, splattering you and everyone present. You can feel the spark of life draining through its hide as the stillness of death overcomes the animal. You look down at the viscous red fluid splattered on the front of your robe. You stare with revulsion at the red stains soaking into the fibers as the stench of death assaults your nostrils and addles your sense.

blood-sacrifice-covenant

Even before the animal has ceased struggling, you look up from your bloodstained robe to see the head priest/butcher moving quickly to catch the animal’s blood in a golden bowl. Now you realize the sagging tabletop forms a trough that allows the blood to flow from the end, where the priest awaits with his bowl. With eyelids half closed and muttering some strange incantation, he seems to be in a trance. Shouting, he lifts the golden bowl skyward at arms’ length before splashing the rapidly congealing blood over and around the base of the altar. The priest then comes out of his trance and begins eviscerating the animal. During this process, the animal’s bloody guts are laid aside so they can later be burned on the altar as sweet savor to the lord, who evidently has an abiding taste for burnt fat and viscera.

In just a few strokes, the priest/butcher finishes his gory task. Working rapidly, he begins cutting the animal’s joints. As he separates the portions of meat, he carefully lays aside a large portion of the best cuts for himself. He then returns the remaining meat to your neighbor, who by now has given the priest full admission of his sins.

After the sacrifice is complete, the priest produces a smaller bowl with a cupful of the animal’s blood. The priest mixes it with another bodily fluid that appears to be semen. He uses his thumb to smear a large daub of the mixture on the forehead of the entranced, chanting sinner kneeling before him with closed eyes. Then, with a loud shout, the priest/butcher declares that by this act, your neighbor’s sins have been atoned. Your neighbor staggers to his feet and like a drunk, lurches away from the butchering table with a beatific look on his face, even as the priest calls for the next sinner to step forward with his animal.

Suddenly you feel the full emotional horror of the fate awaiting the other animals brought to the ritual. All the while, these men called priests, howl, chant and dance about, reciting their ritualistic incantations that beg god’s forgiveness; it must have been a bloody spectacle. The bloodlust continues well into evening.

BundesladeWhat you never witness is the secret ceremony inside the Tabernacle’s tent where the high priest in a final act of crazed bloodlust drinks the sacrificial blood before the mercy seat. The Levirate injunction against consuming blood is a public admonishment to restrict the use of blood products. However, the priesthood exempted itself from its own laws and secretly does not observe such restrictions. This covert act, along with the acceptable act of consuming sacrificial meat, will later be replayed by Yeshu during his last supper, when he symbolically offers wine and bread representing his blood and body to his disciples.

yeshu A few days later the priests fold their Tabernacle tent and move on. They will move to the next tribe where the sacrificial cycle will be played out once again.

Consider the effect of this gruesome spectacle on a child. Blood spewing everywhere, chanting priests mesmerized in their crazed bloodlust, driven by the howling and grunting of animals bleeding out the last of their life on the ground. The restless bleating of animals, now aware of their fate. Sinners raising their hands towards the heavens as they cry out for god’s forgiveness. Imagine your parents continually consumed with the thought of blood and the avoidance of it, thoughts that translate into an unnatural obsession about the stuff.

Extrapolate this horror out over the generational millennium and you have the foundations of a psychopathic bloodlust that is not a preference, not a peculiar, incidental twist in a few exceptional personalities: it is a culturally inbred condition, one that can neither be altered nor escaped. This culture of blood has permeated the very core of Judaism until it has become a genetic component of their race.

The Bible is a book whose stories have influenced humanity in the most profound manner. Few would argue the statement that it has been the single most influential book in history. Yet few truly comprehend the true breadth and depth of its influence. Fewer still stop to consider why this ancient book has had such a powerful influence when other similar books of antiquity faded into complete obscurity; curious artifacts examined only by experts. What is it about the Bible that is different? Why is this particular book considered relevant to modern man, when its contemporaries are considered irrelevant, archaic works of ancient, primitive, tribes? What is it about these stories that drive modern man in the same manner as they drove the men of ancient times?

The original book was known to Jews as the Torah. These were the first five books attributed to Moses. “Torah” is an interesting word. Many words in Jewish culture have multiple constructs. Therefore, to understand the intent, such words must be taken within the frame of reference to the context in which they are used. To Jews, Torah can refer to anything from the first five books of Moses to the entire linage of Hebraic religious works, ranging from Genesis to the last volume of the Talmud. For our purpose, Torah will refer to those five books of the Old Testament attributed to Moses. This collection is commonly known to Christians as the “Pentateuch.”

Hyman-Bloom-Still

The actual definition of “Torah” is likewise interesting. Again, we find a double definition in that the word is defined as both “law or legal” as well as “instruction.” From this definition, we find the Torah is in fact books of legal instruction. The reader is asked to keep this definition in mind while reading this book.

The Torah spawned three of the most influential religions on the planet today: Judaism and her unwanted daughters, Islam and Christianity; unwanted because the Jews never intended their book or beliefs to be adopted by non-Jews. It is truly ironic how few Christians realize that these two daughters have far more in common with each other than they do with their mother religion. All three religions are based on the original stories found in the Torah. All three recognize and revere the ancient patriarchs of the Old Testament. All three pay tribute to these stories as their foundational beliefs about monotheism. All three base their concepts of God upon the descriptions found in these stories. One only needs to compare these three religions with a religion like Buddhism or Hinduism to find the close relationship of mother Judaism and her two daughters.

Yet, while Western civilization has been profoundly influenced by these stories, the book in fact addresses the issues of the ancient Jews. The Bible was written by Jews, about Jews, for Jews. The information in the Torah was never intended to play any part outside Jewish culture for as it is written in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 59a, (“Gemara… Johanan said: A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death, for it is written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance; it is our inheritance, not theirs”).

cross-and-star-of-david-togetherIt has been written that the worst reference source for information about water is a fish, for a fish is immersed in the fluid. The immersion of the fish is so complete that it does not even perceive that water exists. Thus, the fish’s immersion and dependence on water precludes any objective analysis of the fluid by the fish and so is the case with the Bible. Western civilization has been so profoundly influenced by its immersion in these stories that it can no longer see the original, objective truths behind them. The Bible is not a book about the history of the Jews: it is a book about the culture and beliefs of a people instrumental in shaping our world. Essentially, the Torah is a cookbook that might well be titled in the same manner as the one in Rod Serling’s play, To Serve Man.

Throughout their history, Jews have been renowned storytellers. Much of their superior verbal skills are undoubtedly derived from the history of their religion’s long oral tradition. Storytelling has long been the common method used by primitive cultures to pass down traditional beliefs and law, but the Jews elevated storytelling to the highest level possible. For Jews, storytelling goes well beyond even an art form, it is in fact the very thread from which they weave the fabric of their culture.

From the first millennia of their existence, Hebrew law and religious beliefs were passed down in the form of storytelling. Around the time of Yeshu, heated debate arose among the Sadducees and Pharisees over whether or not to continue adhering to the oral tradition. By the time of the second Temple period, a major point of friction between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was the validity of the oral law, since the Sadducees only adhered to the written law. Attempts were made to codify a collection of rulings, but the Sadducees rejected the Pharisees’ notion of abiding by the Oral tradition before it was later committed to ink.

There are some interesting considerations inherent to this disagreement. First and foremost, an oral tradition can be much more closely controlled as to who is allowed to receive the information. By this, one can see that had these stories not been committed to the written form, modern Christians would have no more idea of their content than they have of the Hebrew language. Secondly, oral traditions lend themselves to modification far more easily than written traditions. Orwell pointed out this difficulty in his book 1984, where an entire ministry is devoted exclusively to changing the written history of a culture. The Pharisees eventually won the argument as the modern Talmud teaches “God made a covenant with Israel only for the sake of that which was transmitted orally.” Yet, to this day, Jewish boys devote much of their time memorizing and reciting long, torturous, Talmudic tracts and arguing the legal precedence set by these laws, doing so in the very same manner as their ancestors.

Today, Hollywood’s writers, producers, and directors are predominantly Jewish; so it comes as no surprise to find the Torah’s influence clearly visible throughout most Hollywood productions. This marvelous ability to fantasize and tell tall tales can be visibly witnessed in numerous Hollywood and TV shows written and produced by these Jews. While names like Spielberg, Lear and Katzenberg have replaced Biblical names like Moses, Ezekiel, and Saul, the same form of story telling is still much in evidence. When one examines the fantastic and fanciful stories written and produced by those like Spielberg or Serling, or morality plays written by Norman Lear, one has a direct window into the mind of the Biblical storyteller.

 

_________

My two cents:

The author of the above foreword restricts his critique to animal sacrifice. More recent scholarship has established that those sacrifices, which would be condemned by any animal rights advocate today, were the sublimation of the ancient Hebrews’ filicidal impulses toward their own children: sublimation of actual child sacrifices in even more ancient Israelite history. See the pages of my book where I address this extremely disturbing subject: here.

Infanticide in the historical Israel

by Cesar Tort

Below, a Spanish-English translation of pages 602-608 of my book Hojas Susurrantes. For a broader context of the subject of infanticide, see the Metapedia article (here).


In the past, the shadow of infanticide covered the world, but the Phoenicians and their biblical ancestors, the Canaanites, performed sacrifices that turn pale the Mesoamerican sacrifices of children.

The Tophet, located in the valley of Gehenna, was a place near Jerusalem where it is believed that children were burned alive to the god Moloch Baal. Later it became synonymous with Hell, and the generic name “tophet” would be transferred to the sacrificial site of the cemetery at Carthage and other Mediterranean cities like Motya, Tharros and Hadrumetum, where bones have been found of Carthaginian and Phoenician children.

Semitic-offering-to-molech

According to a traditional reading of the Bible, stories of sacrifice by the Hebrews were relapses of the chosen people to pagan customs. Recent studies, such as Jon Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity have suggested that the ancient Hebrews did not differ much from the neighboring towns but that they were typical examples of Semitic peoples of Canaan.

The cult of Yahweh was only gradually imposed in a group while the cult of Baal was still part of the fabric of the Hebrew-Canaanite culture. Such religion had not been a syncretistic custom that the most purist Hebrews rejected from their “neighbor” Canaanites: it was part of their roots. For Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archaeologist and academic, the writing of the book of Deuteronomy in the reign of Josiah was a milestone in the development and invention of Judaism.

Josiah represents what I call one of the psychogenic mutants who firmly rejected the infanticidal psychoclass of their own people. Never mind that he and his aides had rewritten their nation’s past by idealizing the epic of Israel. More important is that they make Yahweh say—who led the captivity of his people by the Assyrians—that it was a punishment for their idolatry: which includes the burning of children. The book of Josiah’s scribes even promotes to conquer other peoples that, like the Hebrews, carried out such practices. “The nations whom you go in to dispossess,” says the Deuteronomy, “they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” (12: 29-31). “When you come into the land that the Lord is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering.” (18: 9-10).

This emergence, or jump to a higher psychoclass from the infanticidal, is also attested in other books of the Hebrew Bible. “The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim” (2 Kings: 17: 30-31).

There were kings of Judah who committed these outrages with their children too. In the 8th century B.C. the thriving King Ahaz “even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 16: 1-3). Manasseh, one of the most successful kings of Judah, “burnt his son in sacrifice” (21:6). The sacrificial site also flourished under Amon, the son of Manasseh. Fortunately it was destroyed during the reign of Josiah. Josiah also destroyed the sacrificial site of the Valley of Ben Hinnom “so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech” (23:10). Such destructions are like the destruction of Mesoamerican temples by the Spaniards, and for identical reasons.

Ezekiel, taken into exile to Babylon preached there to his people. He angrily chided them: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and made them pass through the fire” (Ezekiel 16: 20-21). The prophet tells us that since his people wandered in the desert they burned their children, adding: “When you offer your gifts—making your sons to pass through the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will not let you inquire of me” (20:31). Other passages in Ezekiel that complain about his people’s sins appear in 20: 23-26 and 23: 37-39.

A secular, though inspired by Jung, way to see God is to conceive it as how the ego of an individual’s superficial consciousness relates to the core of his own psyche: the Self. In the following diatribe by Ezekiel (16: 35-38) against his people we can hear this inner daimon, the “lord” of the man Ezekiel:

Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood in sacrifice, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.

When a prophet—that is, an individual who has made a leap to a higher psychoclass—maligned his inferiors, he received insults. Isaiah (57: 4-5) wrote:

Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.

Ezekiel wrote in the 6th century B.C.; Isaiah in the 8th B.C. Although Julian Jaynes would say that their visions were bicameral, it has been said that some of those diagnosed with schizophrenia have a much higher moral standard of values than the average individual. The very psalmist complained that people sacrificed their children to idols. But what exactly were these sacrificial rites?

Since the 10th century B.C. the spoken tradition of what was to be collected in biblical texts centuries later complained that Solomon “built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites,” and that his wives made offerings to these gods (1 Kings 11: 7-8). And even before, from the third book of the Torah we read the commandment: “Do not give any of your children to be passed through the fire to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God.” (Leviticus 18:21). A couple of pages later (20: 2-5) it says:

Say to the Israelites: “Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

Despite these admonitions, the influential anthropologist James Frazer interpreted some biblical passages as indicating that the god of the early Hebrews, unlike the emergent god quoted above, required sacrifices of children. After all, “God” is but the projection of the Jungian Self of a human being at a given point of the human theodicy. Unlike Larry S. Milner, a Christian frightened by the idea, I do not see it impossible that the ancient Hebrews have emerged from an infanticidal psychoclass to a more emergent one. In “The Dying God,” part three of The Golden Bough, Frazer calls our attention to these verses of Exodus (22: 29-30):

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

A similar passage can be read in Numbers (18: 14-15), and this one (3: 11-13) seems revealing:

The Lord also said to Moses, “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.”

The psychohistorian Howard Stein, who has written several scholarly articles on Judaism since the mid-1970s, concludes in an article of 2009 that the gathered information suggests a particular interpretation. According to Stein, the substrate of fear for the slaughter “helps to explain the valency that the High Holiday have for millions of Jews world-wide,” presumably echoes of very ancient happenings.

In contrast to what we were taught in Sunday school as children, Moses did not write the Torah: it was not written before the Persian period. In fact, the most sacred book of the Jews includes four different sources.

Since the 17th century thinkers such as Spinoza and Hobbes had researched the origins of the Pentateuch, and the consensus of contemporary studies is that the final edition is dated by the 5th century B.C. (the biblical Moses, assuming that ever existed, would have lived in the 13th century B.C.). Taking into account the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible—for example, Isaiah abhorred animal sacrifice—it should not surprise us that the first chapter of Leviticus consist only of animal sacrifices, which the “Lord” called holocausts to be offered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. After killing, skinning and butchering the animal, the priest incinerates everything on the altar “as a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord.” A phrase that is repeated three times in that first chapter, it also appears in subsequent chapters and reminds me those words by Cortés to Charles V about the Mesoamerican sacrifices (“…they take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as the sacrifice”). In the book of Exodus (34:20) even the emerging transition of child sacrifice to lamb sacrifice can be guessed in some passages, what gave rise to the legend of Abraham:

For the first foal of a donkey, they should give a lamb or a goat instead of the ass, but if you do not give, you break the neck of the donkey. You must also give an offering instead of each eldest child. And no one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Compared with other infanticidal peoples the projection of the demanding father had been identical, but the emergency to a less dissociated layer of the human psyche is clearly visible. As noted by Jaynes, the Bible is a treasure to keep track of the greatest psychogenic change in history. The Hebrews sacrificed their children just as other peoples, but eventually they would leave behind the barbaric practice.

isaac sacrifice

After the captivity in the comparatively more civilized Babylon in 586 B.C., the Jews abandoned their practices. In his book King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, published in 2004, Francesca Stavrakopoulou argues that child sacrifice was part of the worship of Yahweh, and that the practice was condemned only after the exile. Like their Christian successors, the Jews had sublimated their filicidal desires in the Passover ritual. Each year they celebrate the liberation of their people and remember how Yahweh killed the firstborn Egyptians: legendary resonance of the habit of killing one’s eldest son.

But the biblical Moloch (in Hebrew without vowels, מלך, mlk), represented as a human figure with a bull’s head was not only a Canaanite god. It also was a god of the descendants of the Canaanites, the Phoenicians. The founding myth of Moloch was similar to that of many other religions: sacrifices were compensation for a catastrophe from the beginning of time.

Above [i.e., in my book] I said that Plutarch, Tertullian, Orosius, Philo, Cleitarchus and Diodorus Siculus mentioned the practice of the burning children to Moloch in Carthage, but refrained from wielding the most disturbing details. Diodorus says that every child who was placed in the outstretched hands of Moloch fell through the open mouth of the heated bronze statue, into the fire. When at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. Agathocles defeated Carthage, desperate and immersed in the most abject magical thinking the Carthaginians began to burn their children in a huge sacrifice as a tactical “defense” before the enemy. The sources mention 300 incinerated children.

Blake-Moloch

Had I run a career of film director, I would feel the obligation to visually show to humanity their infamous past by filming the massive red-hot bronze statue while the Greek forces besieged the city, engulfing child after child, who would slide down to the bottom of the flaming chimney. In addition to Carthage, the worship of Moloch, whose ritual was held outdoors, was widespread in other Phoenician cities. He was widely worshiped in the Middle East and in the Punic cultures of the time, including several Semitic peoples and as far as the Etruscans. Various sacrificial tophets have been found in North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, outside Tyre and at a temple of Amman.

Terracotta urns containing the cremated remains of children, discovered in 1817, have been photographed numerous times. However, since the late 1980s some Italian teachers began to question the historicity of the accounts of classical writers. Tunisian nationalists took advantage, including the president whose presidential palace near the suburban sea is very close the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage.

The Tunisian tourist guides even make foreigners believe the Carthaginians did not perform sacrifices (something similar to what some ignorant Mexican tourist guides do in Chiapas).

Traditional historians argue that the fact that the remains are from very young children suggests sacrifice, not cremation by natural death as alleged by the revisionists. The sacrificial interpretation of Carthage is also suggested by the fact that, along with the children, there are charred remains of lambs (remember the biblical quote that an evolved Yahweh implies that the slaughter of sheep was a barter for the firstborn). This suggests that some Carthaginians replaced animals in the sacrificial rite: data inconsistent with the revisionist theory that the tophet was a normal cemetery. To make matters worse, the word mlk (Moloch) appears in many stelae as a dedication to this god. Had there been simple burials it would not make sense to find these stelae dedicated to the god of fire: the graves are not marked with offerings to the gods.

Finally, although the classical writers were bitter enemies of the Carthaginians, historical violence is exercised by rejecting all accounts, since the time of Alexander to the Common Era. The revisionism on Carthage has been a phenomenon that is not part of new archaeological discoveries, or newly discovered ancient texts. The revisionists simply put into question the veracity of the accounts of classical writers, and they try to rationalize the archaeological data by stressing our credulity to the breaking point. Brian Garnand, of the University of Chicago, concluded in his monograph on the Phoenician sacrifice that “the distinguished scholars of the ridimensionamento [revisionism] have not proven their case.”

Nonetheless, I must say that the revisionists do not bother me. What I cannot tolerate are those individuals who, while accepting the reality of the Carthaginian sacrifice, idealize it. On September 1, 1987 an article in the New York Times, “Relics of Carthage Show Brutality Amid the Good Life” contains this nefarious phrase: “some scholars assert, the practice of infanticide helped produce Carthage’s great wealth and its flowering of artistic achievement.” The memory of these sacrificed children has not been fully vindicated even by present-day standards.

The Carthaginian tophet is the largest cemetery of humans, of boys and girls in fact, ever discovered. After the Third Punic War Rome forced the Carthaginians to learn Latin, just as the Spanish imposed their language to the conquered Mexicans. Personally, what most worries me is that there is evidence in the tophets of remains of tens of thousands of children killed by fire over many centuries. I cannot shudder more over imagining what would had become of our civilization had the Semitic Hannibal reached Rome.

P.S. for this blog:

And the traitors of today are planning to make a movie depicting the non-Aryan Carthaginians as the good guys and the Romans as the bad guys of the film…

Sparta – VIII

Translated from EVROPA SOBERANA


sparta


The education of adolescents


We know with certainty that, at the gates of puberty, there was a brutal initiation ritual of physical and psychological type to be overcome in order to continue with the instruction. During the festival of the goddess Artemis, the altar was filled with tasty cheese. Aspiring lads had to steal as many cheeses as they could, but this must outwit a phalanx of armed lads with whips, instructed to use them unscrupulously in the task of protecting the altar. To achieve their objective, the boys must learn to coordinate and demonstrate a spirit of sacrifice and selflessness. Everyone received terrible wounds, but as the only means of defense was the older lads’ whip, it was necessary only to endure the pain as they stole the pieces. Sometimes a boy died. In Sparta there were many tests of this type, whose goal was to bring applicants to the limit to harden them up, also discarding the weak. Those who, covered in blood, bore the “ceremony” with no moan, cry pain or scream were awarded crowns of leaves and hailed as heroes for their people, acclaimed by their elders, young girls and the younger siblings, who found the triumph inspiring. Thus, the victorious became eirenes or irenes (ephebes).

From the moment following the festival of Artemis, a transformation operated in the instruction of the boys who had passed the test. They came from the gangs, receiving out a simple himation (woolen clothing) each year, being forbidden the chiton (common tunic). Discipline became stricter.

According to Xenophon, Lycurgus realized that, from adolescence, self-will is rooted in the mind of the boy. It looms in his conduct a subtle trend of insolence which marks the beginning of a selfish appetite and individualistic pleasure. Also, the stage that separates the fearful and innocent child from the wise veteran is a thin red line of imprudence and recklessness, typical of adolescence and those who, having learned a lot but not enough, tend to overestimate themselves and commit dangerous blunders. And that is the most difficult step in any learning: when you think you know “enough”.

To counter this potential pride, Spartan ephebes had to walk through the streets in silence, with their head bowed and their hands hidden, without looking around but fixing their eyes on the ground, taking a walk of monks, as centuries later would walk the perfect Manichean. Boys who would otherwise be the loudest and annoying were converted into gray and ghostly silhouettes. This, of course, was not permanent but temporary and contributed to strengthen the humility and modesty of the young Spartans; and to raise the pride of those who, after concluding their instruction, were allowed to walk with their heads held high. It also helped in the meantime that the citizens would not feel offended by the presumption of the candidates, since there is nothing to offend more a seasoned veteran than an arrogant and cocky “newbie” too proud of his achievements.

But on the other hand, the ephebes were first taught to read and write, and were taught music, dance, mythology and poetry. And, for the first time since they were seven years old, long hair was permitted: in which care they would rush, gradually getting spotless manes and feel pride of them, since the hair was “the cheapest ornament” and, according to Lycurgus, “adds beauty to a beautiful face, and terror to an ugly face.” Wearing long hair was an ancient Greek custom that somehow recalled the barbarian origins of the race. Many have given long hair, especially in the case of women, the importance of signs of fertility: nervous system extensions and tuners of spiritual capacities. Archetypically, it is the manifestation of the spiritual bell that comes from the top head of the consummate practitioner of inner alchemy, covering the entire body out. On the formation of long hair act factors such as nutrition, health, exposure to sun and air, and exercise. Thus the mane should be something like a banner of individuality, a personal identification sign denoting the health and habits of the individual.

What is clear is that for some young people who had been at age seven with a shaved head, a grown hair should have represented a sign of psychological improvement, and convey the sense of a new, more spiritual stage, less helpless and raw, less brutal. After the painful stage in which children sacrificed their hair, they had conquered the beauty and individuality allowed to their perfect ancestors. Both the shaved head like the achievement of long hair were for the Spartans two stages of an archetypal transformation process, internal and external.

The most important new material of this period was the music, which was oriented to religious, patriotic and war hymns. The songs and the singing together is something that helps the united cultivation of the spirit, to strengthen the cohesion of the collective unconscious. Each alliance of warriors always has had its songs. In Sparta there were numerous choirs, and every Spartan child should learn to sing in a chorus. In many ceremonies three groups were organized: one of old people, other of young males and another for children. When elders began singing “In the past we were young and brave and strong,” the young men continued “and so are we now, come and check it out for,” and the kids responded “but soon we will be the stronger.” A nation that prides itself always seeks that each generation is better than the previous as time goes on, like a wolf pack: the younger vigorous and impulsive generations replace the older in positions through direct action.

Great emphasis was placed in the cultivation of memory, and the young Spartans memorized ballads of the poet Tyrtaeus, who had helped them so much in the second Messenian war. As an example of the poetry of Tyrtaeus, forgive the following snippet:

Let’s advance by locking a concave wall of shields, marching in rows of Pamphyli, Hylleis, Dymanes [the three originating Dorian tribes], and waving in the murderer hands the spears. Thus entrusting us to the Eternal Gods, without delay we comply with the orders of the captains, and we all right away go to the rude fray, firmly raising in front of those spearmen. Tremendous will be the crash when both armies collide their round shields and resonate when abut each other… Well, it’s a beautiful die if you fall into that vanguard like brave warrior who fights for his country… with courage fight for the homeland and the children, and die without begrudging now our lives…

Those who dare, in closed row, to fight melee and advance in vanguard in fewer number die, and save those who follow them. Those who are left with nothing tremble without honor… Go in melee combat, with long spear or sword smite and finish with the fierce enemy. Putting foot by foot, squeezing shield to shield, plume with plume and helmet to helmet, chest to chest fight against the other, handling the hilt of the sword or the long spear… Go forward, children of the citizens of Sparta, the city of the brave warriors! With the left hold firm your shield, and the spear brandish boldly, without worrying to save your life: that is not the custom of Sparta. Make the spirit of your heart strong and courageous, and do not fall in love with life when you are fighting men.

The Spartan ephebes assiduously studied Homer, whose many verses could recite. But of course, the military-physical training did not stop ever, and was always the main subject. As they were getting older, some boys were placed in front of the gangs of younger children, either as paidonomos or mastigophora. The desire of the veteran to make the rookie suffer to perfect him and cure him, teaching him everything he had learned—and that occurs in any army—, was taken to squeeze the new generations and to excel the foregoing.

We have seen that all instruction was intended to cultivate Spartan abilities as will to power, decision-making, the pleasure of responsibility, valor, courage, bravery, stoicism, patriotism, the martial, the ability of leadership, sobriety, self-control, asceticism, austerity, sacrifice and suffering, courage, physical and moral toughness, the sense of duty and honor, fortitude, wisdom, psychological and spiritual balance; the quick wit, sharp and cold and chivalry education, character building, solemnity, respect, brevity, iron discipline, efficiency, holy obedience and aggression. A wide range of qualities very important and basic, today endangered. But all these qualities would be useless if they were not used for something; if they had no objective, a single goal. Nietzsche wrote, “It is inexcusable that, having power, you do not want to dominate.”

Any discipline, asceticism, self-control, the terrible pain, the fear, the danger, the risk, rivalry, hunger, thirst, sleepiness, exhaustion, cold, heat, discomfort, aggression, the hideous cruelty, the suffering and fighting, the beating, whipping, insults, blood splashing everywhere, the constant omnipresence of deeper death and higher life leading to a prodigious tension of life, were a wonderful and magnificent expression of how a whole lineage wanted to be: furious, and, at all costs, the absolute masters of their own collective will enthroned on Earth and mercilessly crushing any enemy that arose. Are these bad feelings? Or, conversely, are they highest and most admirable sentiments, sacred impulses that prompt to live, to fight, to destroy, to create, to renew and translate into some eternal memory? These were qualities and feelings that Indo-European humanity has lost and must be recovered.

All this is great as it is. Now then, what was the result of these qualities and these feelings? What was the result of such education? What was the result of the discipline of great suffering? The result was a man of superior type, with a cool head and insensitive to pain, suffering and discomfort, who used to think quickly in times of great danger and stress. A soldier well versed in all the arts of war who used to fight to achieve his goals; a martial man bred and trained to rule. A fearless and fearsome man, that despised his own life for the sake of his people; despised more the others, so he was hard and ruthless. A mighty stoic man also despised all material trifles of worldly life, and his only dedication were his brothers in combat, his loyalty to country, devotion to his family and wishes of divinity for his race.

A man accustomed to outdoor life, which forged an unbreakable bond with his land, which was regarded as a sacred legacy, a responsibility. A gymnast with impressive physical form, a true athlete. A warrior used to earn things by himself. Nothing done to him would break him; he was able to endure the most terrible pains and deepest spiritual tragedies as calmly as accepting the joys and triumphs. After having demonstrated the ability to obey, he earned the right to command.

spartan-boyThink of how Spartan children suffered the pain, fear, stress and exhaustion. What happened when they emerged from childhood? Into what they turned when growing and becoming men? How would the body of an adult Spartan look like? We can only imagine, but at his side the young athletes of the Athenian sculptures may seem harmless angels.

spartan boy 2The Spartan body was immediately distinguished for being very willowy, slender, dark-skinned not for race but for exposure to the sun, air, moisture; to dry, fresh and salt water, the skewers of vegetation, to stinging insects, dust, land, rock, snow, rain, hail and, ultimately, all kinds of weather. This would make the Spartan skin so stranded and hard as wood. Second, the relief of his body would be highlighted. The type of physical training had favored the development muscle mass concentration, hardness, strength, extreme flexibility and the “purging” of all grease and impurities. Thus, the Spartan would be fibrous and bulky at once, and would look lean and sharp. Vascular fat and softness would shine by their absence; blood vessels, ligaments, fibers, muscles, nerves and tendons would stand almost grotesquely and ultimately, everything would appear to be a rough, twisted, tense and compact mass of roots, branches, wires, tubes, cutting, marking and stones with the color of the wood.

In addition we can figure out that their body would be entirely crossed by many scars. The marks of the lashes would be remarkable in many areas of the skin, but especially in the back. Each Spartan should be a differential map, with different types of signs of violence. Many would lack teeth, have a broken nose and scars on the skull and face: a legacy of melee combats and brutal ball games. The height of the Spartan, what their contemporaries have told us (remember Xenophon, though he lived in an already decadent stage of Sparta), must be high if we consider the malnutrition undergoing in childhood and puberty. In Thebes skeletons have been discovered belonging to a Spartan garrison, of which 180 centimeters must be a normal height among them. Spartan’s hair was long, usually blond. They were allowed to grow beards and took pride in their care, because for them the beard was a symbol of a free and accomplished man who chooses his life. Their faces with a hard look, a strong expression highlighted by the intensely of the blue eyes bequeathed by their Dorian ancestors.

The animals are remarkable for their hardness, their instinct, their resistance to pain and hunger, bad weather, and for their ferocity. The Spartans, thanks to the energy that only comes with experience, motivation and a fanatical and methodical training, were able to beat them. Through self-sacrifice and the risk posed by blindly lunging the unknown and the extreme, they were able to answer the question of where the limits of man lay, and what man is capable when a supernatural will dwells within and take firm roots throughout his being.

We cannot even imagine how were the men of ancient times, for their ferocity, determination and toughness. Well, of them all, the Spartan was the hardest and well-made, the most perfected and stronger. The instruction of the Spartans was brutal, but in one way or another, instructors have always unconsciously intuited that that is the best way to form good warriors.

On a much smaller scale, modern armies also employ brutality toward the recruits: insults, shouting, offences, humiliation, beatings and hazing—modern initiations—help the novice to be ashamed of his former self, to get rid of it, forget it and change it to a personality that is coupled with that of his comrades: another piece of the puzzle that will become his unit. Moreover, often they are not called by names, but by nicknames (“war names”) or numbers. Exhaustive exercises, inconvenience, discomfort, suffering, fear, stress, disgust, etc., serve to sustain and promote the recruit and his humility and respect before what excels him. Only when the applicant has delivered himself as a sacrifice, voluntarily touching bottom in strenuous suffering, he may start from scratch again in a new way, with a transformed personality purged of its blemishes and tempered in the fire and the hammer of an ideal; firm, fanatic, sublime and sacred. Today only the vaguest trace of all this stoicism has reached us.

Public punishments, extremely difficult testing, the victory of each gang, good sports scores, etc., helped to reinforce the prestige of the Spartan community. A community not only has prestige for those who do not belong to it, but its members feel that same prestige internally. This morality, this esprit de corps, increased the pride of belonging to such community. The sacrifices that Sparta members underwent made everyone feel pride and honor in their contemplation. Every time a lad calmly endured a whipping session, every time another one beat a sport record, each time that, with his face torn and bleeding hands, the victorious fighter triumphed over himself and over probability, the will of each member of the community was persuaded: “such acts demonstrate the greatness of my community. I am proud to be with these men and will continue perfecting to reach their height.” And pride and elitism swelled as with fire. When called “equals” among each other, they felt mutually proud. And when a weak fell from exhaustion during a march, when another was punished for moaning in a fight or under the lashes, when another fainted of pain, when another did not return from the forest or mountain, when another died in a career or of hunger, the same iron will read these happenings: “Such acts show that not everyone has the honor of belonging to our community, but that it must be won. I want to win this honor and I am on track. And I want the weak to surrender, leave or be removed from our community for the sake of it.” That is, they dismissed those who might besmirch the honor of the word “ equal,” and such removal was a sacrifice that kept alive the flame of pride.

This group is to the amorphous collectivity what the pack is for the flock.

Sparta – VII

Translated from EVROPA SOBERANA

“The discipline of suffering, of great suffering—do you not know that it is this discipline alone that has produced all the elevations of humanity so far?”

—Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


sparta

The education of children

At seven years of age—the age at which the pituitary and pineal glands begin to degenerate—, Spartan children were tougher, stronger, wiser, fiercer and more mature than most adults of today. And even though they were not men, they were already well prepared for the arrival of masculinity. At this age—five according to Plutarch—they began their Agoge, which means training or instruction. (It is intriguing how this coincided with the learning process of European medieval chivalry, when at seven children were separated from their families and became apprentices. Seven years later, at the age of fourteen, passed to be squires. And seven years later, at twenty-one, they were knighted.)

A motion process was set related to maternal influence—reminiscence of the time of delivery—, and in a single blow the other, intangible “umbilical cord” was cut, which still subsisted between mother and son. Children were torn, therefore, from their mothers and placed under military tutelage with other children of the same age, under the command of an instructor, the paidonomos: a kind of supervisor who was usually an outstanding lad between eighteen and twenty years old who would soon end his own instruction. When he was absent for some reason, any citizen (that is, any Spartan male who had already finished his instruction) could order them whatever, or punish them as he saw fit. Instruction lasted no more and no less than thirteen years, during which children were already educated and disciplined by men, in order to become men.

The Agoge is perhaps the most brutal and effective system of physical, psychological and spiritual training ever created. The education that Spartan children received was obviously of paramilitary type, which in some cases was clearly oriented to guerrilla war in the mountains and forests, for the child to fuse with nature and feel like the king predator. For all we know it was a superhuman process, a living hell almost of spiritual and physical alchemy, infinitely harder than any military training of the present because it was far more dangerous, lasting (thirteen years), exhausting, and because the tiniest faults were punished with huge doses of pain—and because the “recruits” were children of seven years.

Immediately after entering the Agoge, the first thing done to the kids was shaving their heads. Certainly that was the most convenient for those who were destined to move through dense vegetation, bite the mud and fight each other. But the sacrifice of the hair implied a kind of “mystical death”: waived possessions, decorations, individuality and beauty were renounced, even one’s own welfare was neglected (the hair is important for physical and spiritual health). The “recruits” were homogenized and given a sense of nakedness, loneliness, helplessness and of a beginning (babies are born bald), a “start from scratch,” throwing them sharply to a world of cruelty, pain, resignation and sacrifice.

This is not isolated or arbitrary. The first armies, composed of many men who had to live together in a small space, saw the need to keep the hair short to prevent the spread of lice and disease. Furthermore, a shaved head must have meant something more to them. The Egyptian priests of the highest degree, the Roman legionaries and the Templars also shaved the head as well as, to this day, Buddhist monks and numerous military units. When a group becomes uniform its members will not be differentiated anymore by their “personal” appearances or by their external differentiations, but for the qualities that protrude from scratch on equal footing with their comrades. Paradoxically, standardizing a group is the best method to observe carefully what really distinguishes individuals.

Children understood what it was suggested: giving up on themselves, just as Goethe said “give up existence in order to exist.” Only the one who does not cling pathetically to his life can live as a real man, and only one who does not cling desperately to his ego and his individuality may reach a truly consolidated and distinct character.

After shaving the head, children are organized by Agelai (hordes or bands) in paramilitary style. The hardest, more beautiful, fiercest and fanatical children (i.e., the “natural leaders”) were made horde chiefs as soon as identified. In the area of doctrine and morals, the first thing was to inculcate the recruits love for their horde: a holy obedience without limits for their instructors and their bosses, and make it clear that the most important thing was to show immense energy and aggressiveness. For his brothers his relations were perpetual rivalry and competition. Those children were treated like men, but those who treated them so would not lose sight they were still children. They were also stamped with the mark that distinguishes every fierce and confident puppy of his abilities: impatience, the desire to demonstrate and be tested, and the desire to be distinguished by his qualities and merits within his pack.

Inherent to the Spartan instruction was the feeling of selection and elitism. Would-be candidates were told they were the best of Spartan childhood, but that they had to prove it, and that not everyone was worthy of becoming a real Spartan. They got into their heads that they were not all equal, and therefore were all different. And if they were different some were better or worse or had different qualities. And, if so, the best should be over the worst, and each placed in its rightful place according to their qualities. This is why an Order was named thus.

Children were taught to use the sword, the spear, the dagger and the shield, and they marched in close formation even in rough terrain, making the movements with precision and perfect timing. A hardening, physical processes prevailed and they were delivered to many physical exercises designed to encourage the development of their strength and their latent warlike qualities: running, jumping, javelin and disc hurling, dancing, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, archery, boxing and hunting are some examples.

To promote competitiveness and fighting spirit, and to accustom them to violence and teamwork, hordes of Spartan children were made to compete with each other in a violent ball game which was basically a variant, much freer and brutal, of rugby. The players were called sfareis (ball players). We can imagine those little shaven heads delivering each other wild jolts in every possible way, colliding, dodging and trying to fight for coordination, obtaining possession of the ball and taking it to the agreed target, beyond the opponent’s territory and over the bodies of the opponent. We almost can, also, hear the thuds, the screams, the coordination signals, the creaking of the elbows, knees, punches, the headers, the tackles and sprains there must have happened in that game that transformed characters and personalities and leaders as a smith.

In the sanctuary of the goddess Artemis took place many melee fighting rituals among the very young Spartans. They were also faced without further ado horde against horde, child against child or all against all, in fierce fights tooth and nail and clean punches to stimulate aggression, competition and an offensive spirit, to develop their sense of mastery in the chaos of struggles and to build hierarchies. It is easy to imagine the chipped teeth, crushed noses and cheekbones, bloody faces and hands, fainting and open heads in those fierce children fights. In addition, instructors were responsible for setting them on so that they measured the forces between them, provided it was only for competition and desire to excel, and when they saw the foaming of hatred to emerge, the fight was stopped. Perhaps it would have been normal that at the end of the fight the opponents would salute or compliment each other, commenting the fight among them, with their peers and with their instructors and trying to learn. In Sparta ruled that ancient cult that we may call “mysteries of the fight.”

Besides boxing and wrestling the Spartans also exercised other popular martial art in Greece: the pankration. It consisted of a mix of boxing and wrestling, similar to the modern disciplines of mixed martial arts and vale tudo, but more brutal: participants could incorporate into the bands of their fists the accessories of what they believed was suitable to increase their offensive power: some added pieces of wood, tin foil and even lead plates.

The rules were simple: everything was allowed but biting, poking in the eyes, nose or mouth of the adversary. It was also forbidden to deliberately kill the opponent, but yet many were those who died in this bloody sport. In those combats if you could not proclaim a winner before sunset they resorted to klimax, a solution equivalent to tie on penalties in soccer games. By turns, each wrestler had the right to hit the other, without the receiver being allowed to dodge or defend in any way. One who would strike the blow told his opponent what position he should take to receive the attack. The goal was to see who first fell out of combat.

Greek history gives us an example with a bout between such and such Damogenes and Creugas, which reached a “draw,” so klimax was applied. After drawing lots, the first to hit was Creugas, who asked his opponent to come down the arms, so that he gave him a powerful punch in the face. Damogenes received the tremendous blow with dignity, after which he asked Creugas lift his left arm. Immediately afterwards he inserted his fingers violently under his ribs and tore the bowels out.

The pacifists and progressives of today that praise Greece should know that force, ferocity and violence were worshiped, in addition to wisdom. The Greeks philosophized and were “civilized,” yes, but when needed (or just as a hobby) they knew how to be perfect animals. That was their duality—a duality of union, not separation, a duality that sought the perfect integration of mind and body, light in darkness, overcoming their separation.

In all the struggles, battles, competitions and games, the instructors put great attention to distinguish whether each child’s screams were of anger, stress or aggression; or of pain and fear in which case they were punished. If a boy complained to his father that he had been hit by another child, his father gave him a beating for snitching and failing to seek life: “Complaining is of no use at all: it is something that comes from weakness.” And that weakness, in a Spartan, was unacceptable. As said, all citizens had the right to reprimand the children, so that parents had authority over their own children and those of others.

Thus, each parent treated other children as he wanted others treat his, as Xenophon observed. If a child, then, complained to his father that a citizen had given him lashes, the father whipped him even more. In Sparta all was this rotund, blunt, brutal and simple. Indeed, every Spartan child called “father” any adult male, similar to when today we respectfully call “grandfather” an elderly stranger. This habit of calling “father” the grown-ups also was suggested by Plato in his Republic, a book that looks like a carbon-copy of Sparta.

P._Oxy._LII
(Old fragment of The Republic)

It is through the conquests, victories and defeats that the warrior does know himself and the enemy—in the case of Sparta, his fellows. And when a man knows himself, his neighbors and the enemy, wisdom of life is accomplished. Thus he acquires security, prudence, intuition and high confidence. Each Spartan knew his brother because surely he had fought against him, or seen him fight, or had played with him in this rough rugby, or otherwise had suffered together. His whole life was a civil war. They fought against themselves and each other, which did not mean they were no longer together: quite the opposite. This system was a useful outlet for the anger of the race, which was elsewhere tragic in fratricidal conflict, and Sparta almost harmlessly vented such aggression in competitions.

All aspects of the Spartan child’s life were regulated to increase his insensitivity to suffering and aggression. You will be put under a ruthless discipline that requires you to learn to control pain, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, fear, fatigue, disgust, discomfort and lack of sleep. You will be taught survival skills in the field including tracking, guidance, hunting, water extraction and knowledge of edible plants. This will reduce your dependence on civilization and you will be put in touch with the tradition of our hunter-gatherer ancestors of more primitive times.

To achieve all this, the strict and unscrupulous instructors used any means possible to their reach. Wear situations imposed on the young were so intense that they would probably come to a state very close to dementia, with the presence of hallucinations induced by lack of sleep and food. The mastigophora (carriers of the whip) were charged to brutally beat and even torture anyone who failed, complained or moaned in pain, so that the tasks came up perfect.

Sometimes children were whipped for no reason, only to harden them, and the Spartan boys would rather die than groan and ask why they were whipped. Spartan philosophy coincided with Nietzsche’s when they thought “Blessed is what hardens us!” There even were competitions to see who could hold the most numerous and intense lashes without shouting. This was known as diamastigosis.

Sometimes the priestess of Artemis ordered that, in her presence and before an image of the goddess, some children chosen by her to be whipped. If the ceremony-torture was not liked by the priestess she ordered the whipping intensified. These children not only had the obligation not to show pain, but to show joy. The macabre winner of the competition was he who endured longer without complaint. It happened that some died without groaning. It would be said that this is sadomasochistic nonsense, but we cannot judge an ancient custom with modern mentality.

Surely the event inculcated in the victims the notion of sacrifice for the archetype of their homeland (Artemis) and taught them to master suffering with that divinity in mind. Meanwhile, in the rest of Greece athletes underwent voluntarily lashes sessions since it helped tighten their skin and body, and purging the impurities. And Sparta was, undeniably, an athletic state. (He who has been in countries where lashes are still used as punishment will have noticed how much the unfortunate victim transpires, leaving a huge puddle on the floor at the end of execution.)

Nietzsche described the lack of pity towards the promising candidates: “I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!” And in words that seem aimed at an instructor, a manufacturer of overmen, he says: “To thee one law—be pure and bright!” Compassion was the worst poison for Sparta, because it preserved and prolonged the life of all weak and dying—whether it was compassion towards themselves, their peers or the enemies. In the Song of the Lord, the monumental Indo-Iranian Bhagavad-Gita, it is written that “the truly wise mourn neither for the living nor for the dead.”

To suffer and endure pain without complaining was part of the Spartan idiosyncrasy. Boys were proud of the amount of pain they could endure through clenched teeth, and remember that Nietzsche also said that the degree of suffering to which a man is able to tolerate determines his hierarchical place. It is perfectly understandable that this kind of stoicism be interpreted as a masochistic cult of suffering, but we must avoid falling into this error of interpretation. In Sparta the suffering was a means to awaken the fighter’s instincts of a man and to liaise with his body and with Earth itself. Suffering was not meekly accepted with the head down: it was struggled to dominate it, and everything was intended to achieve indifference to suffering, unlike the masochistic cults as are some variants of modern Christianity, or the modern “humanitarian” atheist which produces sentimental and tender beings even for the pain of others.

Loyalty was a very important part of Spartan training. According to Seneca, “Loyalty is the holiest good in the human heart,” and according to Goethe, it “is the effort of a noble soul to match a bigger soul than his.” Loyalty conducted the children towards higher forms and served to make them greater. Spartan boys were inculcated into unswerving loyalty to themselves, their peers and their own Order—i.e. the Spartan state. “My honor is called loyalty,” said the SS, and it could have also been a good motto for the Spartans. For them, loyalty was an asceticism that led them down the road of the dharma, the right order, morality of honor (aidos and timé) and compliance with the sacred duty.

As mentioned, obedience was also paramount in the instruction, but to what extent was such obedience fulfilled? The answer is: it had no bounds. It was put to the test every day. A Spartan boy could be ordered to kill a helot child or provoke a fight with a partner, and it was assumed he would not ask questions but obey quietly and efficiently. He could be given seemingly absurd or unworkable orders to test him, but the important thing was that, without hesitation, he blindly and unquestioned sought the obedience of such order. Obeying was sacred and basic, because the higher knows something the subordinate does not know. In the Army it is said, “He who obeys is never wrong.” Young Spartans were constantly tested. If a Spartan boy were told to jump off a cliff, he probably would not have hesitated and would throw himself without blinking and to with furious conviction.

All this, to profane eyes, may seem exaggerated and outrageous, but the profane still do not understand what it means. When the individual is sure to belong to “something,” of being directly in the service of the divine, the orders are not questioned because they come from Above, from somewhere they cannot understand—for now. Serving a similar but higher individual is self-serving, because that control is the community of which the individual is a part. When all the pieces of a gear assume their role with conviction it gives a general sense of calm, confidence, and order, that allows men to perform the most dangerous and heroic deeds naturally.

Adolf Hitler said: “the conviction that obeying the voice of duty works for the conservation of the species helps the most serious decisions.” If something unjust is ordered it was for the greater good, and in any case questions were never asked. They were obeyed for the sake of obedience, as part of a military-monastic discipline. Obeying an order was obeying to oneself and to the clan, because the chief was an embodiment of the will of the clan. Nietzsche himself advised: “So live your life of obedience and of war!” This magic of loyalty, duty and obedience is what leads the great men to the path of glory.

DegasInstruction was outdoors. The Spartan boys were always immersed in Nature: in nature’s sounds, vibrations, landscapes, animals, trees, changes, cycles and nature’s will. They learned to join their homeland; know it, love it and consider it a home. They were forced always to walk barefoot and directly touch the earth: feeling it, understanding it, connecting directly to it as trees. The masseuses know that the feet are the “remote control” of the bodily organs. Having your feet directly in contact with the earth is, undoubtedly, an important massaging effect on the whole body—a destroyed effect today with soles and heels that rumple the natural shape of the foot at work. And not only that: walking bare feet hardened the feet as wood, and eventually the young Spartans moved more lightly on the land than those who had softened their feet with shoes, as feet are designed for that, and if presently this do not work is because we did not develop them, nor tanned them as would be natural.

In winter, Spartans children had to take baths in the icy river Eurotas. They dressed alike in winter than in summer, and slept outdoors on hard reeds torn by the river and cut by hand. The maneuvers and marches they carried out were exhausting, and would kill almost any man of our day—in fact some Spartan boys died of exhaustion. Gradually, the bodies of the boys grew accustomed to cold and heat, developing their own defense mechanisms. Gradually, they became increasingly harder, stronger and more resistant.

As nutrition, they were deliberately assigned an insufficient ration, which included the harsh and bitter Spartan black bread and the famous Spartan melas zomos (black soup), which was downright inedible for any non-Spartan. (The bitter black bread was also common in the German military of World War II.) It is said it contained, among other things, blood and pig entrails, salt and vinegar (think of the ingredients of the sausage or black pudding). Probably the ingestion of such concoction was itself a practice of self-control that helped to harden the mouth, stomach and digestive tract. Spartan food, generally, was considered by other Greeks as very strong, if not disgusting. (The development of very strong “delicacies” whose mere ingestion shows courage and resistance is a common military motif. Think of a concoction called “panther’s milk” including condensed milk, gin, popular in the Spanish Legion who sometimes even added gunpowder.)

Moreover, rough and scanty food rations moved the Spartan boys to seek their own food by hunting and gathering or theft, which they themselves cooked. If discovered in the act of stealing food they would expect brutal beating or whipping and deprivation of food for several days, and not for stealing the food which could be stolen from the helots—but for having been caught. Somehow, this reminded the tradition of “right of prey” of the ancient Indo-European hordes: ancient armies usually lacked any campaigns of logistics and survived thanks to taking it from Nature or by plundering their enemies and indigenous populations.

Sparta wanted to teach people to obtain food by their own and getting them used to this; thus adapting them to a lifestyle of uncertainty and deprivation. They lived in a perpetual state of war, and they wanted a right mentalizing. Already Xenophon said, “A hunter, accustomed to fatigue, makes a good soldier and a good citizen.” On the other hand, Sparta greatly respected the animals and like the Dorians even retained archaic cult divinities with animal parts (like the Apollo Karneios with ram’s horns), which symbolizes the condensation of the totemic qualities associated to the animal in question. Spartan boys who lived in the open should have felt identified with many of the animals around them, forging a certain complicity with them.

We know the story of the Spartan boy who, having captured a fox as food, hid it under his cloak to hide from a group of approaching soldiers. The fox, desperate, began using his teeth and claws to attack the child’s body, but he endured it without shouting. When the blood flowed, the fox became more aggressive and began to rip pieces of flesh of the child, literally eating him alive. And the boy endured the pain without screaming. When the fox had come to his gut, gnawing the organs, the small Spartan fell dead and silent in a discrete pool of blood, without leaving out a moan or even having shown signs of pain. It was not fear that made him hide his hunting, for surely that slow and painful death was worse than a lot of lashes. It was his honor, his discipline, the capacity for suffering, will, strength and toughness—qualities that in his short life he had developed more than any adult in the present.

This macabre anecdote, related by Plutarch, is not intended as an apology (after all, Sparta lost in this child an excellent soldier), but an example of Spartan stoicism, which sometimes reached delirious extremes.

With measures of food shortages they wanted to encourage the body, by being deprived from growth in the width, to have more strength and stature. (This produced results, as Xenophon described Spartans as higher than the other Greeks, although heredity also played an important role in this.) They favored the emergence of higher, compact, robust, flexible, slender, hard, agile, strong and athletic bodies; taking a maximized advantage of it with a concentrated, trimmed and fibrous-to-the-end muscles, not prone to injury and with great endurance to pain, fatigue, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, disease, shock, tremendous efforts or prolonged and terrible wounds.

Those were not bodies with overdeveloped muscles, requiring an immense diet and constant and impractical maintenance. Bodies were concentrated, whole and proportionate, designed to survive with the minimum: perfect biological machines which could be studied at a glance in every vein, every tendon, every ligament, every muscle and muscle fiber at the skin’s surface. Their strength should have been awesome, otherwise they would not have been able to live, march and fight with the full force of weapons, armor, shield, etc. Plutarch said that the bodies of the Spartans were “hard and dry.” Xenophon, on his part, stated that “it is easy to see that these measures could only produce an outstanding race and strength and building. It would be difficult to find a people more healthy and efficient than the Spartans.”

This was the most appropriate body for the fighter. Plato in his Republic, made clear that the careful diet and regimen of specific exercises that the athletes practiced made them not to surrender when suddenly they were deprived from their routines—during a military campaign for example—, as their bodies were too used to have such amount of nutrients and rely on them. In extreme situations, such bodies reacted instinctively by reducing muscle mass and producing exhaustion, weakness and malaise. At the Battle of Stalingrad many German fighters inexplicably dropped dead. It was later learned that it was a combination of both hunger, cold and exhaustion. The most affected by this death were precisely the burly and massive men, that is, those requiring more maintenance in terms of food and rest.

Wrestlers of all ages were able to understand this, among them the Roman legionaries who looked for hard, strong and concentrated bodies; and the SS, who exercised without pause, eating a poor diet that included the famous porridge oats: a porridge that so much influenced physiologically the proverbial impassivity of both the English and the Swedes. (We know that oats also influences the tranquility of racehorses, and the athletic diets usually incorporate it.)

As shown by their lifestyle, the Spartans were certainly muscular, but not overdone as far as volume is concerned. They were not massive like the body-builder monsters of today, and to be sure of what we say it is enough to see the nutritional deprivation they suffered, and the exercise regimen they had, so abundant and intense in aerobic efforts. Their level of definition and muscle tone, however, must have been awesome.

Spartan boys were taught to observe, to listen, to learn, to be discreet, not to ask questions and assimilate in silence. They were taught that withdrawal or surrender in battle was a disgrace, that all combat should end in victory or death and that, as Xenophon said, “A death with honor is preferable to a life without honor.” Or in the words of Nietzsche, “To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.”

The Spartans, like the Celtic Druids and the perfect Cathars and Templars were forbidden to do heavy manual work: their job was war. However, when giving up manual labor they also renounced the fruits of such work: They were imbued with austerity, simplicity and asceticism in all aspects of his life, eliminating anything that might soften or weaken them. Their gestures were measured, reduced, and righteous, and their manners solemn and respectful. Their houses totally lacked any decoration and had a rustic and rough look, of stone and wood. The aim was to increase the lack of need for each Spartan, his personal self-sufficiency.

In fact, they were not allowed the luxury of the language, so they spoke the right words, dryly, directly, firmly and martially. A Spartan child should remain silent in public, and if you spoke to him he had to respond as soon as possible, with elegance and conciseness, military-style. The Spartan language was like the Spartan village: scanty but of high quality. It was a language of voice, command and obedience. It was infinitely more unpleasant in sound, more mechanical, hard and rough even than the legionnaire Latin or the most martial German. The rough Dorian dialect spoken in Sparta, the “laconic,” has become synonymous with dryness and simplicity of speech.

And simplicity of speech is essential for a higher spirituality. Lao Tzu, the legendary messenger of Taoism, said “To speak little is natural.” There are numerous and illustrative examples of Spartan brevity that will crop up in the rest of this book. A good one: On one occasion in which a Spartan garrison was about to be surrounded and attacked by surprise, the Spartan government simply sent them the message: “Warning.” That was enough for men spending a lifetime in military exercising. “To a good listener, few words” (are enough) says Spanish proverb.

The Spartan laconic manners are the direct opposite to the vulgar quackery of today when many opinionated, hysterical voices blend miserably without harmony, destroying silence with nonsensical words: a silence that would be infinitely preferable to that hustle. Speech is far more important than what is accepted today. It condenses communication between people, decisively influencing the way that the individual perceives those around him, particularly his fellow-men, onto which the individual is reflected. The individual learns to know himself better through knowledge of their fellows, and the concept he has of their peers will have an echo in his own self-esteem. Nietzsche himself, a scholar of philology, attached great importance to speech, dedicating lengthy paragraphs to it.

To learn about politics, solemn manners, respect for the elders and government affairs, Spartan children were taken to the Army syssitia’s guilds (which I will describe later), where young and old men philosophized, talked and discussed about the affairs of the day. Plutarch said that for the very young attendance at these circles was like a “school of temperance” where they learned to behave like men and “trick” an adversary. They were taught to make fun of others with style, and face teasing. Should it be bad a joke, they should declare themselves offended and the offender immediately ceased. The grown-ups tried to test children to know them better and identify their strengths, and the children should manage to make a good impression and look good during those congregations of attentive veterans, responding with greater ingenuity and promptly to the most twisted, malicious and gimmick questions.

In syssitias children learned also the aristocratic and ironic humor typical of the Spartans, learning to joke with elegance and humorously. It is not strange at all that a people like the Spartans, aristocratic, solemn and martial, accorded great importance to humor and laughter—the Spartans had to be especially masters of black humor. Although the helots probably found fascinating the seriousness of the Spartans and would tag them as repressed, Spartans among them were similar; like brothers. On order by the very Lycurgus, a statue of the god of laughter decorated the syssitias. Laughter was indeed of great therapeutic importance. We can imagine the joy, the emotions and laughter that were heard in the sporting competitions, matches and tournaments of Sparta, as in the hour of playing and competing the most solemn and trained men become children.

Education, courtesy and manners were greatly appreciated in Sparta. Why was this so important? Simply because when members of a group follow exemplary behavior, respect prevails; and you want to do well to maintain the honor and gain the respect of your comrades. Further, when members of a group indulge in deplorable attitudes or decadent diversions, respect diminishes, and the prestige within the group disappears. Why earning the respect of the unworthy through sacrifice if they not even respect the spirit of excellence? The result is plain to see when those renounce to act exemplarily: one is left to soak in the degenerated atmosphere and imitates what he sees. The Spartans sensed this, and established a strict code of conduct and solemn manner at all times to start a virtuous circle.

Spartans instructors often caught the helots and forced them to get drunk, and to dress ridiculously and dance grotesque dances and sing stupid songs (they were not allowed to recite poems or sing songs of the “free men”). Thus adorned they were presented to the children themselves as an example of the damage caused by alcohol, and the undesirability of drinking too much or drinking at all.

Let us imagine the psychological impact of a proud, hard tanned Spartan boy contemplating an inferior ridiculously dressed, dancing awkwardly and singing incoherently. All this staging served for the Spartan boy to experience a good deal of disgust towards his enemies, who were taught to despise. In Sparta there was no vice of alcoholism, as a drunkard would had been fanatically pulp-beaten to the death as soon as spotted. It was Lycurgus himself who had ordered to weed the grapevines outside Sparta, and overall alcohol was something considered with utmost caution, distrust and control.

The lifestyle of the Spartan children would kill in less than a day the vast majority of adults of today. How did they endure? Simply because they had been bred for it. From an early age they were taught to be tough and strong, tanning in nature and neglecting the comforts of civilization. And the children’s bodies and spirits learned quickly and adapted easily to any situation, developing the qualities they needed to survive. Moreover, they were not allowed contact with anything that might soften them in the least, and so grew uncorrupted and uncontaminated.

As they grew, children discipline became tougher: puberty approached. Such transit, in a society as close to its tribal roots as the Spartan, must necessarily be accompanied by some kind of initiation ritual, probably in the brotherhoods to which they belonged. It is in adolescence when young people are initiated in their own incipient masculinity, and in Sparta they were prepared so that the advent of the male forces did not catch their innocent instincts by surprise. So, on the fly, and day to day, they were learning to become men without the chaotic physiological and mental imbalances currently rigged at arrival of adolescence.

Pinocchio, 2

Spanish version of this article: here, an article originally written on November 2012. Why I am starting this new series is explained: here.

>Pinocho y Alice Miller


Mankind sees things in photographic negative about childrearing: it’s all backwards, and only those who have deeply assimilated Alice Miller’s legacy have noticed it. Perhaps the most splendid paradigm, in stories, of what Miller called poisonous pedagogy or adult-child projection is precisely the original story by Carlo Collodi.

Pinocchio is nothing more than the transformation of the pure feelings of a child into adult madness; for example, by going to schools where children’s souls are murdered and the child is socialized so that he finally sacrifices his sanity in search for the affection of parental figures, symbolized by the carpenter and the Blue Fairy.

Let’s see. The heading of Chapter IV states: “The story of Pinocchio and the Talking Cricket, in which one sees that bad children do not like to be corrected by those who know more than they do.”

Head over heels—everything in photographic negative! How I wish that my Whispering Leaves were sold out so that I could, by now, be writing the book I had dreamt since the beginning: pure narrative without using hundreds of pages to introduce the reader to the legacy of Miller, deMause and the critics of psychiatry.

Here is a passage of the Collodi tale, poisonous pedagogy in its purest form:

“Woe to boys who refuse to obey their parents and run away from home!” [Chapter IV]

The passage obviously presupposes that the parents (who beat their children or torment them emotionally and ocassionally even rape them) are always right and benign with their children: the opposite of what we saw in the previous entry showing the dark side of Geppetto, a side only noticed by the neighbors who knew him in the story. And what is worse, the domestic abuse is often supported by the abuse at school, so Pinocchio says to the cricket:

“If I stay here the same thing will happen to me which happens to all other boys and girls. They are sent to school, and whether they want to or not, they must study…” [Ibid]

To which the voice of the system, symbolized by the cricket who wants to instill a consciousness of black pedagogy into the child, responds:

“If you do not like going to school, why don’t you at least learn a trade…?” [Ibid]

That is a great insult; not bona fide council as adults often utter these sort of words not out of genuine empathy for the kids.

When I was a child I wanted to be a filmmaker. Kubrick, who dropped out from school, was my idol. Alas, in my late teens my parents put me in a medieval school system and I could not become either (1) a filmmaker or (2) get what they wanted: a college degree either. The mandatory school system was the barrier that destroyed my professional life. Unlike Kubrick, no “Uncle Jacob” appeared in my life to sponsor my filming career since Christian families don’t help their relatives as much as kike families do (cf. MacDonald’s first book of his trilogy).

More recently, this year in fact, I heard my brother angrily telling his child that if my nephew did not want to study at a conventional school, he should seek a trade, and mentioned a supermarket boy (something similar to what the Cricket proposed). My brother’s advice was not directed in an empathic way: it was an obvious act of psychological aggression as no one in his right mind wants to be an errand kid that only earns a few cents.

Going back to my life, if my parents had any empathy with the potential filmmaker I was as a kid, they would have supported my immigration to the US, and instead of spending money at a Mexican school, send me those scarce funds to complete my expenses near Hollywood. But no: the unconscious desire of my mother was to destroy the individualistic mind of her firstborn, as I recount in my Leaves.

Disney’s film is nonsense intended to beautify the crudeness of the Italian text. In Collodi’s original story the cricket’s advice was so insulting that Pinocchio grabbed a hammer of Geppetto’s workshop and threw it toward the damned bug, who “stayed stiff and flat against the wall”: precisely what I did as an adolescent.

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