God

Below, English translation of what I wrote three years ago in Spanish, taken from the chapter ‘Idiotic defence mechanism I: Religion’, pages 122-29 of the book whose syntax I am correcting (some explanatory brackets added):
 

______ 卐 ______

 

As I said in Hojas Susurrantes, in California I suffered an internal persecutor: a Christian fear of damnation caused by my father’s miserable introjects. On May 24, 1988, a few months after returning from California still carrying in my soul a legion of dementors, I dined with my parents in a restaurant [I wasn’t living with them]. From the street, three days before I had seen the dry branches of my tree and I believed that the tree would die so, in penance, I shaved my beard the next day after having let them grow for a few months; the only time in life I let them grow.
 
Saint Augustine

Before telling what happened in the restaurant I must mention that throughout my childhood I lived in the shadow of the figure of St Augustine; as I recall, the favourite saint of my father’s church when we lived in San Lorenzo (as we know, Augustine’s ideas had been one of my greatest dementors in California). At dinner with my parents, barely convalescing from the idea that tormented me, I jumped when (my mother?) mentioned the aforementioned saint. I exclaimed that Augustine had rationalised the eternal fire for unbaptized infants… More than convalescing, the psychic wounds of my family’s religion were still open, though not as maddeningly as the suffering in California. My parents felt the vehemence of my words, but not my agony behind them. What my father answered deserves to leave a record and it is worth saying that I wrote it down not in my diary, but in a single sheet. (When planning this volume I had to order my correspondence, documents and loose sheets in dozens of labelled envelopes.) According to my notes, my father answered me:

—Those [Augustine’s views] are people’s mistakes; human failures. I go to what Jesus says.

When I answered that the Gospel of Matthew put Jesus talking about the gnashing of teeth of the damned, he said:

—I do not see [emphasis in his voice] the anathemas of Jesus. I prefer to see the lilies and the birds; come and they will be given food, dressing be added.

On my single sheet, the following day I addressed myself: ‘Where is the Augustinian father of San Lorenzo? I am reacting—my Epistle [first book of Hojas Susurrantes] and anti-Christianity—against a father and a mother who no longer exist!’

I wrote that, as I said, in 1988. Today, twenty-seven years later, the dementors still persecute me somehow, although in a very much attenuated way compared to my youth. What I want to get is that, if the perpetrator does not recognise his fault, the mental virus transferred to the adult child goes out of control. If my father had been like, say, my very Catholic friend Paulina (who almost daily goes to church), another would be my story. It is not enough to point out the beautiful verses of Matthew to counterbalance the threats of Jesus about Gehenna in that same gospel. It is necessary to recognise that one committed an outrage when ‘educating’ the son in the Christian doctrine of damnation. In one of her letters that she sent me to England by the end of the century, Paulina wrote to me: ‘Also, since you are not a believer, and you feel that religion was the first reason for your father to crucify you [my emphasis], you must hate religion. And I understand you. And for you it does not make sense to go to church, to say things you do not believe. And that also caused you harm (hell, torture, sadism)’.

My father is not like my humble friend. In a dream I had my unconscious caricaturing him, putting in his mouth these words: ‘I am very Catholic because I only think of my salvation’. To understand the parental egotism that affected me so much, the religious mechanism with which he defended himself from his early sufferings must be analysed.
 
God for Miller fans

When I returned from California in my twenty-ninth year, I was not only an extremely damaged young man but also extremely naive. I left in the television room [of my parents’ house] a number of books in English that I had brought in such a way that their covers wore the face of Jesus so that my father could see them. At that time I still believed that it was possible to negotiate my father’s faith with solid arguments.

Let us take into account that with the words of Jesus it sufficed him, and what he would tell me during the ‘confrontation of the crucifix’ [recounted in a previous chapter]: that the fact that the miracles were interwoven with the teachings of Jesus implied that the story was true. I arrived in Mexico in February 1988. By the end of 1989, I began to familiarise myself with the sceptical criticism of the allegations of the paranormal by writers whose magazine I subscribed to, The Skeptical Inquirer. It was thanks to these sceptics that I saw clearly that reasoning like those of my father was fallacious. For example, that the (supposed) goodness of the teachings of Jesus demonstrates the historicity of his miracles cannot be sustained. ‘Logical systems get in trouble’, I paraphrase now from one of the articles in The Skeptical Inquirer, ‘when they are forced to show their own logic to demonstrate its claims self-referentially’.

When on another occasion I confronted my father with what I had read in those books whose covers he saw, I argued that the killing of the innocents could not be historical, as the historian Josephus, who belonged to the Hebrew priestly caste, does not mention it. (This historian of the 1st century did not silence any of Herod’s authentically historical cruelties.) My father got angry, but he did not answer my argument. While it is more reasonable to assume that the verses of Matthew and Luke about the killing of the innocent are literary fiction, by pure reason I would never get to communicate with him. However, the writers of the CSICOP (acronym of Committee for the Skeptical Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), as this group was then called, had a great limitation. Those who helped me overcome my belief in the miraculous narrative did not reach the core of the problem: the defence mechanism. If my grandfather and the elementary school [in the early 1930s] had not tormented the child Cesar [my father], the adult Cesar would not have clung to the idea of a dad God with the impregnable faith that he did. For Alice Miller, a child whose childhood was lived in an atmosphere of respect is perfectly capable of developing his self without needing the idea of a personal God; preferring, instead, human models. The child destined to be my father could not develop his psyche with worldly models. He had to project the parental luminous side onto the deity of the same religion that his parents had taught him.

About five years before I wrote the Epistle [ca. 1983], my father had confessed something important that I picked up right there in the old epistle. He was in his youth completely devastated by something terrible that had happened to him, that he did not specify. He opened the gospels and, according to his words, saw the passage ‘Come blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared…!’ If, for theists like my father, a kind Father has replaced the failed human father, we should not be surprised if they experience great fear upon discovering that this substitute Father also has a dark side. My father does not know English and he did not read what I brought from the United States, but from my Spanish books he borrowed without me knowing Respuesta a Job (Answer to Job) published in 1952 by Carl Jung, of which he told me ‘I read everything’.

At his late seventy-six years, the Swiss psychologist had dared to uncover the dark side of the God of Hebrews and Christians. The same year that I wrote the Epistle I wrote down in Answer to Job that my father had exclaimed: ‘A terrible book!’ with great emphasis on his voice when pronouncing ‘terrible’. Jung’s essay had disturbed him so much that he had to read a pious text about Job to console himself. What Jung said about the Judeo-Christian deity is valuable to those who have entered the underworld whose door Miller opened. In May of 1991, three years after the anecdote recounted above, I noted down on the back cover of Answer to Job: ‘This is the only book I know of that does not criticise religion or Christians or the church: it criticizes God itself’. I could not say it better today, almost a quarter of a century later. Later that year I noted down that Jung had tried to psychoanalyse God. Much later, in my rereading of 2005, I wrote down:

It is amazing how Miller-like this book can be if we only know the ABC of the mind that Jung did not know. Just replace ‘Yahweh’ with ‘father’ and ‘God’ with ‘mother’ and see what you find.

Read for example pages 25f (‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without wisdom?’). They remind me of the conversation I had with my sister in 2000, the day of the cut tree, about dad: ‘And who are you to…?’ he said to my sister. And page 28 (‘Yahweh shows Job his omnipotence with so many thunder and lightning’) seems to portray how he treated me in my last confrontation, in 2004 [recounted in my book’s previous chapter]. On page 31 Jung says what for a long time I have said: pride is the other side of infantilism.

Pride is the other side of infantilism. How many times have I told myself this when diagnosing my father! Almost at the beginning of his essay, Jung observes something that could be applied to my initiative to confront my father for what he did, citing the Bible: ‘Job “wanted to reason with God” (Job, 13:3). Job says “I will defend my ways before him” (13, 15)’. Nice phrase, which could summarize what I have written in hundreds of pages: defend my ways before my parents and their witch doctors. Precisely as it was extremely naive of me to hope that whoever destroyed me could, at the same time, listen to my complaint, that same ingenuity had been committed by Job on another level. (Actually, on the same level if we consider that the theistic narrative is nothing but the internal struggle with the parental introjects.) In the context of the supposed goodness of Yahweh, observes Jung: ‘From a man who does us evil we can not wait that helps us at the same time’, and already openly psychoanalysing God he adds something that we could impute to either of my parents: ‘The dependence of the object is absolute when the subject does not possess self-reflection, and, consequently, does not have any vision of oneself’. Like any toxic parent—I would say—, about the deity of our parents Jung writes: ‘But Yahweh is too unconscious to be “moral”. Morality presupposes conscience’.

What better indication that the idea of God is nothing but the projection of our unresolved, attachment system with our parents! (keep in mind Colin Ross’ class). From this angle, the idea of providence is a parental shadow insofar as it is so full of the dark side that we see ourselves in the need to project it outwards: something that Jung himself was afraid to say. Nevertheless, the Swiss dared to write: ‘It was natural that humanity, superior to God in certain aspects, should remain unconscious’—unaware of the ultimate nature of the deity. The dissident disciple of Freud wrote the following in the text that scared dad: ‘Yahweh does not show signs of doubt, repentance or compassion, but only of cruelty and disregard. Yahweh cannot come here with the excuse of unconsciousness, for he flagrantly violates at least three of the commandments that he himself had promulgated at Sinai’.

This brings back to me the fact that my moral was founded on the moralistic tablets of my father. Recall the [1960s] anecdote of Hojas Susurrantes about the ‘instantaneous introject’ when a swarthy boy threw a stone at a helpless crab on the beach. Unfortunately, and parallel to how my father did not regret what he was doing to us, on the next page Jung writes: ‘Yahweh does not think… of giving Job at least some moral compensation’. And two pages ahead what he says seems to be a reflection of the mentioned speech to Germancito [my nephew], when my father blamed me for my sister’s behaviour: ‘Yahweh puts things backwards, so to speak, and blames Job for what he himself does: man must not be allowed to have any opinion about God’.

Shadow projected to the deity: ‘Parents should never be judged’, my mother has told me several times. And it is that ‘Yahweh pays so little attention to the person of Job… that it is not difficult to see that he is totally occupied with himself’, which brings back the penetrating observation of Pedro Martín Moreno and Scott Peck about evil. Later Jung speaks of the ‘fear of Yahweh to become conscious’, which also brings back the fear of parents like mine to see their behaviour.

Yahweh can project, without frowning, his face shadows on man, and remain unconscious at the expense of him…

Job knew Yahweh only of ‘hearsay’. But now he has experienced the reality of Yahweh even more than David himself. This is an important lesson, which should not be forgotten. Job was once a simpleton; he had come to dream of a ‘good’ God… he believed that God was truthful and faithful…

But to his horror, Job has seen that Yahweh is not a man, but that, in a certain way, he is less than a man, and that he is the same thing that Yahweh says of the Leviathan: ‘He is king over all the proud’ (Job, 41:34).

The mistreated son by his father must not expect moral satisfaction from an intrinsically unconscious being. ‘I am an amoral natural power, a purely phenomenal force, that does not see its own back’ writes Jung. Job, the son at the complete mercy of the Father whose voice of thunder crushes him when he dared to confront him, becomes, secretly, judge of the divinity.

The author of Answer to Job closes the book’s chapter with these words: ‘The drama has been consummated for all eternity: the double nature of Yahweh has been revealed, and someone or something has seen and recorded it’.

Jung on Paul

‘Paul hardly ever allows the real
Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in’.

—Carl Jung

Published in: on December 22, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments (2)  

My tree

my_tree

Excerpted from Man and His Symbols,
an introductory book about the Carl Jung theory:



The psyche can be compared to a sphere [see illustration: here] with a bright field (A) on its surface, representing consciousness. The ego is the field’s center (only if “I” know a thing is it conscious). The Self is at once the nucleus and the whole sphere (B); its internal regulating processes produce dreams.

Since this psychic growth cannot be brought about by a conscious effort of will power, but happen involuntarily and naturally, it is in dreams frequently symbolized by the tree, whose slow, powerful, involuntary growth fulfills a definite pattern.

The organizing center from which the regulatory effect stems seems to be a sort of “nuclear atom” in our psychic system. One could also call it the inventor, organizer, and source of dream images. Jung called this center the “Self” and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the “ego,” which constitutes only a small part of the total psyche.

Throughout the ages men have been intuitively aware of the existence of such an inner center. The Greeks called it man’s inner daimon; in Egypt it was expressed by the concept of the Ba-soul; and the Romans worshiped it as the “genius” native to each individual.

The Self can be defined as an inner guiding factor that is different from the conscious personality and that can be grasped only through the investigation of one’s own dreams. These show it to be the regulating center that brings about a constant extension and maturing of the personality. But this larger, more nearly total aspect of the psyche appears first as merely an inborn personality. It may emerge very slightly, or it may develop relatively complete during one’s lifetime. How far it develops depends on whether or not the ego is willing to listen to the messages of the Self.

The individuation process is more than a coming to terms between the inborn germ of wholeness and the outer acts of fate. Its subjective experience conveys the feeling that some supra-personal force is actively interfering in a creative way. One sometimes feels that the unconscious is leading the way in accordance with a secret design. (pp. 161-162).

This relation of the Self to all surrounding nature and even the cosmos probably comes from the fact that the “nuclear atom” of our psyche is somehow woven into the whole world, both outer and inner. In ways that are still completely beyond our comprehension, our unconscious is similarly attuned to our surroundings—to our group, to society in general, and, beyond these, to the space-time continuum and the whole of nature. Indeed, many of our dreams are concerned with details of our outer life and our surroundings. Such things as the tree in front of the window… (pp. 207-208)

 
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Editor’s note:

My home garden’s tree I used to watch from my bedroom’s window as a child and teenager gave the title to my Hojas Susurrantes.

Published in: on September 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Infanticide in the historical Israel

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…

The Great Metaphysician!




This passage of the collection of Jungian essays, Man and his Symbols, page 257—:

“In Chirico’s work, man is deprived of his soul; he becomes a manichino, a puppet without a face (and therefore without consciousness). In the various versions of his Great Metaphysician, a faceless figure is enthroned on a pedestal made of rubbish. The figure is a consciously or unconsciously ironical representation of the man who strives to discover the “truth” about metaphysics, and at the same time a symbol of ultimate loneliness and senselessness.”

—brings to my mind the “great metaphysicians” of Western philosophical tradition (see the previous two entries of this blog).

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm  Comments (8)  
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Translation of pages 543-609 of “Hojas susurrantes”

Boas

Note of September 2017: I have removed this text because a slightly revised version of it is now available in print within my book Day of Wrath.