True God of America

The true gods of America today demands ritualistic blood sacrifice. Interestingly, this cultural practice is entrenched in the land – dating back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations who sacrificed thousands per year – some were members of their own community, but most human sacrifices were prisoners of war. The Aztec preferred to capture prisoners instead of killing them in battle and return them to the capital in order to be offered to their gods. For the Mayans, they believed blood was a powerful source of nourishment for their gods, and by logical extension, human sacrifice was the most important Mayan ritual. Continue reading True God of America

Criticism and Pop Culture


This quote illustrates the problem with criticism and art today, especially when it comes to pop culture critics.

https://dorkforty.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/chiang-wonder-woman-2.jpg?w=640
Wonder Woman, by Cliff Chiang

The comic book critic Kelly Thompson dropped Wonder Woman after issue #7, and explained herself in her article “Is the Destruction of the Amazons The Destruction of Feminism in DC Comics?”  Basically, the writer of Wonder Woman, Brian Azzarello, has returned the titular character Wonder Woman to ancient Greek mythological roots. However, Greek mythology is much more bloodthirsty and savage than their previous incarnations, notably expressed by George Perez in the mid 80s. The Olympians of Perez seemed closer to the stoic figures of Roman mythology: certainly noble but mostly detached from the affairs of mortals. Continue reading Criticism and Pop Culture

As things fell apart…


A Pantheonic dialogue

LAKSHMI: Can you tell me how everything went wrong?

GANESHA: I have gone through the events over and over and I remain at a loss how my plans crumbled, and I ended up 180 degrees from where I began.

LAKSHMI: Tell me.

GANESHA: After i acquired a Genesis planet, with the most advanced template I set out to create a race of sublime mortals. I learned from the mistakes of the elder gods and I intended to fulfill all the dreams of these mortals, satisfy their desires and ensure that happiness was a reality, not a mere ideal. My stratagems were put in effect to produce a perfect race that lives comfortably in utopia, and I would become the envy of all other pantheons.

LAKSHMI: That is why you created them as children – all the better to enjoy the world, live in the present and be carefree.

GANESHA: No matter how advanced my template was, these mortals were flawed . They did not remain idyllic for long. Much to my surprise, they grew… sophisticated.

LAKSHMI: They tired of being children?

GANESHA: Yes. They gained the ability to reason, and that caused a general mood of disappointment. Their childlike hopes disintegrated rather quickly.

LAKSHMI: But – the suicides?

GANESHA: That was my first sign. Through reasoning, they figured out how to kill off themselves. Once their hopes were dashed, they could no longer bear living. My ambitious project turned out to be a greater failure than any of the elder gods!

LAKSHMI: Weren’t you successful for several centuries of your rule?

GANESHA: Actually, I did try short-term solutions to solve this existential malady – I added more land to the world, and introduced more variety in nature with animals and plants. These changes did work for a while, and they distracted the mortals. As the years passed, the novelty faded, and they grew bored with life again. Even contemptuous! I could never return them to their original state as children.

LAKSHMI: Hmmm. Nothing new can outlast the invincible sequence of time.

GANESHA: I didn’t stop there. I tried introducing more obstacles in order to challenge them, force them to expand their reason and find solutions. I also proliferated the mortals into different factions, so they could not intermingle as easily and casually. They were strangers to one another, constantly misunderstanding each other, and that led to discord, violent conflict.

LAKSHMI: Wasn’t that Yahweh’s original error?

GANESHA: No, he did it too early, when the population on Earth was much smaller. Never mind that. Despite all the obstacles, and the increase in their intellectual activity, they lapsed back into boredom. Ennui seemed ineradicable.

LAKSHMI: Perhaps your template was not flawed.

GANESHA: Indeed, perhaps it was too advanced. Despite all their intellectual development, they are demanding for the presence of Truth!

LAKSHMI: No, it isn’t the template. It is time to abandon your original plan. Your problem is an excess of mercy, and that makes it easier for your mortals to take you for granted. I recommend you to answer their demands: Send them the Truth.

GANESHA: You’re mad. By doing so, won’t that turn them into gods?

LAKSHMI: Not exactly. Not even Truth could do that. In fact, she will pull off the opposite. She will destroy all their illusions, and become the Tyrant of the race.

GANESHA: Preposterous! Truth is Beauty. She reveals our beatitude.

LAKSHMI: Sure, but she shall reflect the mortals’ wretchedness instead. Not their beauty. For them the only truth is the falsity of all things, for they all are temporary, merely transient, and all their griefs are empty. These mortals will always remain dissatisfied, and their dissatisfaction continues to crucify them for all time…..

Mythos and Logos

Eye of Ra

There are two forms of knowledge: logos and mythos. From an old post of mine, based on Karen Armstrong’s division of knowledge:

Mythos: “myth”, from greek musteion – to close eyes or mouth. Myth as a mode of Knowledge was rooted in silence and intuitive insight, and gave meaning to life, human existence, but cannot be explained in rational terms. In the premodern world, mythical knowledge was complementary to logos.

Logos: “word” or rational, logical, scientific discourse

Both were essential and complementary ways of arriving at the truth for each had its area of competence. Myth was regarded as primary, for it dealt with the timeless or constant elements of human existence. Myth was about the origins of life, the very foundations of culture and the most essential nature of human mind. However, myth has little to do with practical stuff, or anything other than the meaning of life. If people cannot or do not find significance in their lives, despair is the result. The mythos of a society is the context that makes sense of the daily life, and points at the eternal and universal. Moreover, myth is rooted in unconscious. The various stories of myth, which were not meant to be taken literally, was ancient psychology. All these stories of heroes in the underworld, in labyrinths, and fighting monsters, was the premodern way of dealing with the obscure realm of unconscious, which is completely inaccessible to rational investigation, but had profound effects on experience and behavior. Since myth is absent in modern society we instead developed the science of psychoanalysis to deal with our inner world. Continue reading Mythos and Logos

Thoth

Former member of the Heliopolitan Pantheon, Thoth is traditionally known as the scribe, or the custodian of all knowledge. He has now become a Consul, a prestigious position at Teotihuacan, in which he is Cartaphilus’ inside man. Where Cartaphilus works from the outside as the voice in the wilderness, Thoth is already working from within, inside the system. While Cartaphilus is more dramatic – he works from outside-in, while Thoth works from the inside out, behind the scenes – they both share the same sense for reform.

Witty, clever, constantly punctuating his remarks with a theatrical flourish, Thoth can make even the most routine events seem exciting. His attentive and elegant ways is necessary for traveling in such esteemed social circles, among the heads of pantheons and other ambassadors at Teotihuacan. He knows far too much about every god of repute, and has the knack of saying the right thing. Continue reading Thoth

Lakshmi

A former Hindu goddess of fortune (health, beauty, wealth), Lakshmi is a Censor at Teotihuacan these days. Her materialistic ideals has made her a favorite of mortals and her idealistic tendencies has made her a favorite of immortals – both Daevas and demons. Lakshmi was the consort of Vishnu in all his incarnations. Fortuna and Tyche were her avatars in rival pantheons, but she is neither an implacable force of nature nor a whimsical mistress. Continue reading Lakshmi

The mythology of Gnosticism

 

The Ancient of Days by William Blake
The Ancient of Days by William Blake

Among the early Christians in the second century AD, a number of rival churches emerged and developed their theologies. One of the groups called themselves the gnostikoi – the Knowing Ones – people who turned from philosophy to mythology in order to placate their sense of anxiety, a feeling of alienation from the divine. Continue reading The mythology of Gnosticism