Good and bad polytheists (part 2): Ahmose I and Amenhotep IV

AHMOSE I

artstor_103_41822003065925-1442DAA3A0621AD876D

Ahmose was born a local king of the Upper Egyptian city of Thebes, towards the end of the Second Intermediate Period, a period of disorder which lasted from 1650 to 1550 BCE. During this time, Lower Egypt was ruled by Semitic invaders from the Levant, called the Hyksos. They were a warlike and cruel people who took advantage of a weak government, seizing and plundering towns, destroying temples, and capturing slaves. Having found an abundance of opportunity and wealth there, they founded a dynasty and ruled by force, setting up fortresses to protect their possession of the land. Their kings styled themselves as pharaohs, but they were, like many or most Semitic rulers, henotheists, that is, worshippers of one God while acknowledging others, a practice that later contributed to monotheism. The Hyksos kings only worshipped Set, the God of the desert, which was looked upon suspiciously by Egyptians, who had known no such custom before.

But after a reign of 100 years, the invaders grew comfortable enough to relax its absolute power, nor did it have the ability to maintain their rule completely over Egypt. Hence, in Thebes, where a dynasty of local kings had grown in power gradually, Ahmose sought to restore the independence of Egypt and carry on the military exploits of his grandfather Seqenenre Tao and his father Kamose, who had both died in battle. Ahmose proved himself worthy of his noble and brave paternity by conquering and expelling the Hyksos, after a long campaign of several years. In order to maintain independence, he afterwards invaded and pillaged the Levant, and then withdrew to his borders to restore his country. Prosperity returned to Egypt by means of trade and construction, and antique examples were followed in art that preceded the invasion of the Hyksos. Besides this earnest revival, he also attempted to build the last pyramid of Egypt, but the project was unfinished and dropped upon his death after a few years of his short reign as Pharaoh. Nevertheless, even though Egypt was not to be as glorious as it was before, Ahmose was great enough to be remembered as the restorer of Egypt’s independence and the founder of a new age in Egyptian history, namely, the New Kingdom. As great as the acknowledge is due, it is perhaps a testimony to his modesty and diligence as Pharaoh, that only 3 mediocre statues of his have been found.

 

AMENHOTEP IV

Akhenaten-temple-atonThis Pharaoh is infamous by another name which he assumed later in his reign of 17 years during the 14th century BCE, namely, Akhenaten. He ruled for some time with his father Amenhotep III, a long-reigning Pharaoh who had brought great prosperity and power to Egypt. At this time in Egypt, as it was since Ahmose, Pharaohs were crowned in the city of Thebes, which had now become the capital of the realm and its God Amun the Head of the Pantheon, having joined with the former Head Ra (God of the former captital city of Memphis) as Amun-Ra, as a symbol of northern and southern unity. Akhenaten’s innovation within this scope was unprecedented and outrageous: In his fifth year, he elevated, by his own whim, a local God by the name of Aten to the pre-eminent position of Amun-Ra. Furthermore, as if to affirm the fault, he changed his name from Amenhotep (Amun is satisfied) to Akhenaten (servant of Aten).

Egyptian Pharaohs, by virtue of their position as divine kings, perhaps had the authority to worship whatever God they pleased, without disturbing the ancient tradition and condition of the Pantheon. But instead of being content with the first infamy of replacing Amun-Ra with Aten as supreme God, and changing his name accordingly, he set up Aten as the true God of the Sun, instead of Ra, and proceeded to promote its worship as such. His motives are yet unknown, as are his exact means of effecting this transformation in religion. However, the situation was horrible: the priests of Amun and Ra took the innovation as a grievance, and Egypt was threatened by pollution. And what was worse, the madness of Akhenaten seemed to increase with his reign; at first he was tolerant of other Gods, even though he lessened the funds of the Temples that held their cults, but afterwards he debased himself by attempting to erase the holy names of the Pantheon, particularly Amun, as if to leave only Aten for posterity, an unmatched crime. Yet his sinister project failed, for the Egyptians, always traditional, maintained their old ways for the most part and did not accept the changes too well. The memory of the Hyksos was also not too distant to them, and Akhenaten’s religious infamy was far beyond their strange henotheism with Set. Upon his death, the priesthood of Thebes returned to power and restored Amun-Ra at the head of the Pantheon, and about 20 years later, Akhenaten received justice: The Pharaoh Horemheb commanded his monuments to be destroyed and his image to be defaced. What survives of Akhenaten’s figure presents us with a character very different from that of Ahmose: His appearance is vain, assured and degenerate. The idea of his innovation, however, could unfortunately not be destroyed, for the history of the Hebrews under Moses follows after 150 years, a further contribution to the destructive monotheism that plagues the world to this day. It remains to be known whether Moses was inspired by Akhenaten or Akhenaten was inspired by earlier Semitic practices in the Levant.

Good and bad polytheists (introduction and part 1): Ur-Nammu and Sargon

As devout polytheists, we often view the ancient times of our ancestors as perfect and beyond any reproach. Nor is it untrue that such days of old shine too much in their original beauty, especially in comparison with the world as it stands today. However, it is not only our duty to praise our ancestors and emulate them, but also to learn of their faults where they occurred and avoid them. By this means, we can become wise and successful in our current and future endeavors, as well as distinguish ourselves from the Abrahamic and atheistical fanaticism which calls for the total adoration of all their founders and leaders. In my attempt to achieve this end, I will strive as much as possible to form a fair view that concurs with the principles of traditionalism that I have already set forth to the best of my ability. I don’t always expect agreement with my views, but I hope it will offer some important consideration for the reader, if not discussion. In some imitation of the ancient biographer Plutarch, I will present a good and a bad polytheist, in a sort of parallel, with an explanation of their most important actions, justifying such a distinction between them. In doing so, I will also aim at representing as many traditions of polytheism in the world as possible, and these will be put in chronological order beginning with the most ancient.

 

UR-NAMMU

Khashkhamer_seal_moon_worship

This Sumerian king of the ancient city of Ur reigned in the 21st century BCE, at a time of a short-lived but glorious restoration of Sumerian cities, after many centuries of forced subjection under the Akkadian Empire. The city of Ur in particular was celebrated for its antiquity and monuments, and its very early contribution to civilization and urban life was long discovered from archaeology. What is much less known, however, is its contribution to laws; whereas the Babylonian king Hammurabi is often regarded as the founder of a continuous tradition of legal codes, the due credit should go to the Sumerian Ur-Nammu who lived 300 years before. Although only parts of the code have survived time, less than that of Hammurabi, the remarkable value of the laws can be clearly seen. To set fixed procedures on laws was a matter of great importance to good administration in any city-state, especially when it is considered that there were not only different traditions (arising originally from different tribes that inhabited the city), but also regional migrants who sought employment.

The Sumerians indeed differed from the Akkadians and Babylonians in two important respects: First, they were native to the land, unlike the others who were Semitic migrants from the Levant, and secondly, they were inventors of civilization, where the others were imitators. The Sumerians are said to have invented directly or indirectly cities, the wheel, agriculture, urban buildings, roads, the ancestor of the Egyptian pyramid (ziggurat), and perhaps even written language. The only thing the Akkadians invented was empire, and a horrible precedent it was in the history of civilization.

 

SARGON

220px-Sargon_of_Akkad

This is the infamous king of the city-state of Akkad in Mesopotamia, who flourished in the 23rd century BCE. His people were Semitic, originally from the Levant, and distinct from the Sumerians in language and custom, but they always sought to imitate them. Nevertheless, Sargon brought in a new age in civilization, by breaking an established, but unwritten custom that had always been respected and maintained by the Sumerians, namely, the independence of the city-states. Where wars broke out, usually because of commercial rivalry or for the sake honor, the Sumerian city-states fought in the open field and victory settled the dispute on one side or the other. Continual wars did not exist, and even if the conflict was brought near urban walls, the sanctity of a city was revered and not violated, because a third of its space always belonged to the temple. Besides, the armies of city-states were too small to attempt such an attack, being composed only of citizens and perhaps some others serving as mercenary or auxiliary forces. It was Sargon who broke this custom by besieging and capturing cities, and he even went so far as to destroy a few as an example to others.

The Roman historian Justin, who wrote a universal history, begins his book by attributing the earliest wars and attacks on independence in the world to an Assyrian king by the name of Nonnus. Now, because the Assyrians flourished after the Akkadians and Babylonians, it might be presumed that Justin’s records were corrupt from his lack of inquiry or the imperfection of records, considering he lived in the 2nd century CE. However, his testimony, though false, bears a shadow of the original truth: It was a Mesopotamian king, in this case Sargon rather than Nonnus, who first established the dangerous and unjust precedent of empire in the world, a condition which has ever since persisted and grown. This is a brief view of the continual chain of empires from the Akkadian to the present. There should be a forking after the Macedonian for an Asian branch of empires (Indian and Chinese, beginning with the Maurya and Qin respectively) but I will omit it to avoid complication and length.

Akkadian—Babylonian—Assyrian—Persian—Macedonian–Roman—Catholic and Byzantine—Frankish and Abbasid—Holy Roman and Mongolian—Turkish and Persian—French and Russian—British—American and Soviet—American—Uncertain?

An empire is formed by the conquest of foreign peoples and their subjection, and its consequences upon society in general are terrible. First, it causes huge inequality, based not only on wealth but also race, and this is further supported by slavery. Secondly, it perpetuates and multiplies conflict, because of inner inequality and outer ambition. In many cases, the easiest way to unite a divided populace is to wage war against another populace. In time, this leads to the existence of several empires, for the purpose of protection and expansion. Thirdly, it corrupts native religions and distinct traditions by laying the foundation for henotheism, syncretism and monotheism, as well as elevating imperial cults. All the corruption in the Mediterranean occurring after the Macedonian hegemony (Hellenistic period) as well as during the Roman empire is too much proof to add here. To offer a simple example, just as Abraham and Zoroaster appeared after Sargon, so did Jesus, Mithras and Mani appear after Caesar. Now the empire of America promotes atheism and modernism, corrupting not only religions but also causing native customs to vanish. The true enemy of polytheism today is this condition of empire and globalism. Can anything but a great war end it?

Essential distinctions in polytheism (part 7): Harmonious hierarchy v.s Deceitful equality

egypt-cairo-pyramids-of-giza-and camels-2It is remarkable to notice how modernism, with all its boastful claim to intellectual and moral superiority, resembles monotheism in its brazen hypocrisy and open trickery. The medium for the falsehood and deception is also the same, i.e. language; in both ideologies, there is deliberate confusion and obscurity with terms, rather than distinction and clarity. They always tell you either to interpret something significant in one way, which is according to them the best way, or otherwise to interpret it in whatever way you like, without any direction, as if all interpretations are good. This conversion and subversion, which they create and spread through language, afterwards becomes a real monster (unknowingly to them) that ruins not only their view of the world, but that of others, if not their actions too.

The absurd and hypocritical contradiction we see in the modernists’ and monotheists’ conception and application of the term equality is impossible to be overlooked. On the one hand, they tell you equality is essential and necessary for all, but on the other, they always seek to impose their views on others, as if the notion of equality applies only to them. What is more strange, even among them, equality is a total delusion: Their leaders are very often among the most arrogant and selfish people one can meet with. Consider the famous artists of modernism, like Picasso and Pollock, or the Abrahamic prophets; their desire to recreate and reform not only what people can see, but also how people should think and live (especially their followers), without caring to explain themselves properly or honestly, is indeed despicable. To justify their authority and maintain their followers, they always chose an enemy (usually the common authority) and then proceed to deform it in every way possible, i.e. as an ugly thing, devil, etc. By this means, the disaffected people, who can rarely think enough for themselves, are tricked into thinking this rebel is a champion of theirs, who seeks to raise their dignity.

Populism has always been an essential characteristic within both monotheism and modernism, but it is strange that this truth is often forgotten or dismissed as fiction. All the Abrahamic prophets, the Greek philosophers, the modern artists and philosophers, the ancient tyrants (Gaius Marius, Alexander of Macedon, Julius Caesar), the dictators of the 19th and 20th centuries (Napoleon, Hitler, Mao, etc.) all justified their horrible actions by that word equality in the name of the people. It is hard to believe that this trick still continues to deceive people and ruin their society over and over. But what is society? It is necessary to define this notion, and justify its value, before concluding against the trick described. In general, society may be defined as a place of common good and common interest, where people can achieve security and prosperity by cooperating in their different functions. Yes, it is because people are different from one another, that they inevitably have different functions, a natural truth which can’t be denied: Nobody thinks, acts or is alike. In time, when the institutions of society grow, these different functions lead to social class and hierarchy. To some, these notions of class and hierarchy are unacceptable and signs of oppression, but all historians agree that if it were not for those two terms, the rise of civilized society 5500 years ago would have been impossible. All that we enjoy today is indeed the fruit of hierarchy.

Since people are different by nature and by ability, the reasonable consequence must be differences in wealth, function and power. Inequality implies differences, not injustice; when a hierarchy is firm and in good order, harmony is the result, not harm. This is especially the case with ethnic polytheism, which acknowledges the power of the Gods, the sanctity of the Earth and the necessity of harmony.  All our ancestors, whatever ethnic creed they followed, accepted hierarchy as a natural order of the universe, and attempted to achieve harmony in society. Perhaps they did not always succeed in improving things for all and maintaining satisfactory justice, but they never attacked the notions of hierarchy and classes; it was utter madness to do so, since it was denying obvious reality and embracing an empty dream*.  Monotheism produced the real oppression and disharmony through Abrahamic madmen, atheism produced the madness of Hitler and Mao, and modernism has produced the huge corporations that abuse nature and man. They all sing the same deceptive song about equality, while actually practising the worst inequality.

It was not polytheism that produced Alexander or Caesar, but rather the lack of polytheism: The first of them unjustly called himself a god and demanded to be worshipped, and the second bribed the priesthood (with kind threats) to give good omens of his victory and perpetual dictatorship. If we fall into the trap of imitating the monotheists and modernists in this ridiculous and arrogant habit of questioning everything and rebelling against every hierarchy, in contradiction to our good ancestors (the absolute majority of them), we will bring upon ourselves a double shame.

________________

* I have already shown Plato, when I wrote about philosophy previously (see essential distinctions, part 5), to be mistaken in his views. Indeed, his last book The Republic, written in his old age concerning the ideal society, is absurd and unnatural in many points, which his student Aristotle also noted. The Greek philosophers were unfortunately covert monotheists or atheists, who laid the foundations of modernism.

Essential distinctions in Polytheism (part 6): Evolution v.s Revolution

invazielacuste-1486643891In the first essential distinction, the tree was used as the beautiful emblem of the polytheist in general, and the forest represented community in its collective strength of many trees. Here the emblems will be natural once again, suitable to the topic in hand; nothing can be better compared to evolution and revolution, as notions and modes of change, than the children of the Earth. As all change is inevitable, it remains for us to understand how we can best benefit from it, rather than be swept away by its current. When any polytheist looks back in time, this idea of change is of great concern, considering how ethnic and original religions waned into oblivion; by looking at future time with foresight, a polytheist will also feel a sense of anxiety, as to how this budding religion, painfully restored, will survive and grow on.

In this regard, a polytheist should think and act like a farmer who learns from past failings with his crops, and applies his knowledge to improve future harvests, not only for himself, but his family, community and descendants to come. He must observe changes, make trials, and discuss the consequences with his fellow farmers, as to which seeds should be selected, how the land should be tilled, grubbed or plowed, whether the tools need improvement, which animals will best serve, what exact days within the seasons should be employed. While refining these methods of his theory and practice in agriculture, a farmer may be said to undergo a sort of evolution: By noticing the slow and subtle changes of nature, he attempts to benefit by adapting himself gradually to it. In doing so, the farmer does not subject nature, but only harmonizes himself with it; he seeks to perpetuate the beauty and presence of nature, and at the same time, enjoy her bounty. If anything goes wrong, the farmer must learn further under some hardship, but whenever greater forces will it, he succumbs to the Gods and returns to them.

Animals and insects, being children of the Earth, are bound by this necessity of natural adaption and evolution. Although these beings are small, they are not below notice, nor so useless that we cannot learn anything from them; quite the contrary, they are often very clever and orderly in their actions and understanding of their habitation and the world. In spite of our learning and languages, we are often so baffled to comprehend our condition and changes, that we are at last forced to examine, or as it were, consult with these creatures for advice. Indeed, it not only possible to observe the notion of evolution among animals, but also the more unusual practice of revolution. Revolution may be defined as a quick change, arising through great numbers for a short time, and causing a great imbalance. We may be inclined to think that it is only people who behave in this disorderly manner, but the truth is, we can see it in nature too, especially with locusts.

The lessons that can be gained from the evolution of the farmer and the revolution of the locusts are greater than could be presented here. It is known aid that when locusts see a new sudden source of food, after suffering from hunger, they are inclined to swarm together for some time and gobble up whatever they find during their roaming flight, as if in a frenzy. The behavior of these locusts is necessary for their own survival, and they do accept to pay a price for the damages they cause. Farmers may not be able to stop them, but they often make up for their losses in crops by eating some of the stuffed locusts themselves, which is still done in certain parts of the world to this day. Difficult times often compel creatures to act in an unusual or even unnatural way, as if breaking the rules of evolution, but since this is inevitable with them as it is with us, it is absolutely necessary to learn how the hurtful effects of revolution can be curbed and restrained, till the frenzy passes and harmony returns.

In the case of people, difficult times are often aggravated by an unwillingness to act with understanding or foresee the consequences of a revolution. For this reason, story-telling and myths in general provide simple and excellent lessons taken from nature, but suited to our understanding. In regard to this point of revolution, I will use a fable of Aesop from the Hellenic tradition: it is an allegorical story famous for its application to politics, namely, the fable of the belly and members. It is reported by historians that during the secession of the Roman soldiers in 494 BCE, a sort of popular revolution aimed at the aristocracy of the Senate, this fable succeeded in putting an end to the troubles of state. The people “swarmed” because they were too many debtors unable to pay the taxes imposed by the state, now impoverished after the war with the Sabines. After a hero of the war appeared in the forum with scars to complain of the harsh handling he had received from the tax-collectors, uproar spread throughout the city and after concessions were refused, the soldiers declared a secession. The Senate chose a man by the name of Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, a former consul, to negotiate with the rebel soldiers.  “It once happened,” he told them, “that all the other members of a man mutinied against the stomach, which they accused as the only idle, uncontributing part the whole body, while the rest were put to hardships and the expense of much labour to supply and minister to its appetites. The stomach, however, merely ridiculed the silliness of the members, who appeared not to be aware that the stomach certainly does receive the general nourishment, but only to return it again, and redistribute it amongst the rest. Such is the case,” he said, “ye citizens, between you and the senate. The counsels and plans that are there duly digested, convey and secure to all of you your proper benefit and support.” By this means, the frenzy of the soldiers cooled without further disturbance and the Senate conceded to the formation of the Tribune of the Pleibians, a political body which gave rights to the common people and soldiers.

Let us polytheists imitate such wise instances in of our ancestors, rather than revolt like the early Christians who abandoned their ethnic culture for a false god and the atheists of today who abandon all law for a selfish anarchy. Let us restrain ourselves from the revolution they so much love, and embrace the evolution of nature and our ancestors; by this means, we will grow strong slowly and outlast them.

Essential distinctions in polytheism (part 5): Mythology & Ritual v.s Philosophy & Theology

homer300px-DSC00355_-_Orfeo_(epoca_romana)_-_Foto_G._Dall'Orto

In considering this unusual distinction, it will be useful and indeed necessary to recall the former one on traditionalism and modernism. Since I am a Hellenic polytheist, this matter is of special importance to me and my religion, because it began and spread with my ancestors the Greeks, contributing to the early foundation and growth of what was afterwards called modernism. I will spare no sincerity and honesty in this topic, in spite of the shame that the Greeks might incur for their contribution of certain mistakes and faults that gradually grew into horrible disasters at the hands of others; it is a bitter lesson that the Hellenic polytheists must learn never to repeat, and the rest of the world never to imitate.

It may well shock any reader who knows about the ancient Greeks to hear that philosophy and theology were foreign and whimsical inventions that not only gradually undermined the Hellenic religion, but also paved the way for Christianity to conquer the world. If this seems too shocking and absurd a statement to be true, it is because the world has been taught various falsehoods for many centuries, based on the doctrines of monotheism, and now our minds are still influenced by them. But before the statement can be justified, let us reflect on this provoking question, and then attempt to answer it: If Greek philosophy and theology were really attached and essential to the Hellenic religion, as some say, why did the Christians, of all people, adopt them as the main weapons to weaken the polytheists and strengthen their claim to rule the world? The history of philosophy and theology in Greece is a lengthy one, full of strange details and minute points that can fill many volumes. But for the sake of brevity, it will be necessary to give a general view of its nature and development, otherwise answering the question above will prove impossible. Now, before attempting the answer, it will not be amiss to shock the reader again by stating this little known secret: the history of Greek philosophy and theology is the most eminent (and unfortunate) chapter in the history of monotheism and atheism.

It is known that the founder of monotheism is Abraham, the son of a Mesopotamian priest who rejected his ethnic Gods and left his native city to roam the world and teach a new religion according to his own whim. By preying on credulous people of weak minds to follow his personal doctrines and peculiar deity, he was the first to do with religion and ideology what his fellow Mesopotamian Sargon did with politics and war, i.e. he founded an empire, an entity not based on civilized culture and ethnic customs, but one which continually expands itself to gain ever more power and wealth. His descendants and followers, called the Hebrews and Jews, were a mixed people who travelled and settled within various places in the Fertile Crescent, spreading their peculiar views but rejecting all others, converting whomever they could but refusing to worship native Gods, and calling those who obeyed chosen people who followed Yahweh and rejected the devil. This being the case, it is hard to believe that Greek philosophy and theology had anything to do with Judaism; however, looking beyond appearances, we find not only common principles between them, but also (afterwards) a great deal of mutual influence.

Zarathustra, a Persian man (some say Mesopotamian), seemingly inspired by either the teachings or success of the Jews, founded his own species of monotheism, commonly called Zoroastrianism, and imitated the Indians by writing a holy text, called the Avesta, not based on ancient tradition (like the Indian Vedas), but only on personal reflection. The religion was soon adopted by the Achaemenid Empire of the Persians, and it spread with their conquests. It is here Greek philosophy and theology begins.

The Persians first encroached on the Greeks of Asia Minor in the reign of Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid Dynasty, during the 6th century BCE. The Persians were resisted by brave Greeks, but the valor of small city-states soon succumbed to the might of a huge empire. Besides, the splendor and luxury of the Persians soon dazzled the simple and modest Greeks, and at the same time, it attracted the wealthy and ambitious among them. Just as wealthy Europeans would travel to Italy for culture and learning, the wealthy Greeks did so with the Persians. This was perhaps the greatest fault ever done in the history of Greece, because it was the mother of many other faults that destroyed the freedom and religion of the Hellenic peoples.

About the reign of Cyrus, in the 6th century BCE, we find a strange series of so-called sages appearing not only in Greece, but elsewhere in the world. Zoroaster in Persia, Thales, Pythagoras and Orpheus in Greece, Buddha in India, Confucius and Laozi in China, are all estimated to have lived at about the same time, within a period of 100 years. Of all these men, only Confucius deserves praise as a man of learning and modesty who was not selfish and really cared for the collective benefit of his people. A testimony of his wisdom and sincerity for the common good, is contained in his Analects, when he states that he is no inventor of new ways but only a transmitter of old teachings that were forgotten by Chinese society, to its detriment.

This very difference between the invention of the new and the transmission of the old is what truly distinguishes mythology and ritual from philosophy and theology. Poets and priests on the one hand, preserve and embellish religion for their ethnic people, but philosophers and theologians continually invent various methods to expand and shift their writings to gain more and more followers. It is not surprising then that all original religions (i.e. polytheism) have no founders, because their practices and beliefs developed collectively by their respective ethnic peoples; monotheists and atheists not only acknowledge their founders by name, but they also follow and revere them in everything, even to the degree of worship, overlooking and rejecting any possibility or obvious sign that these very founders were extremely selfish, ambitious and tyrannical. It is unfortunate to infer from this truth that both founders and followers really suffer from some form of mental illness, narcissism in the case of the first, and martyr complex in the case of the second.

That the founders of philosophy and theology in Greece are known to us, and that many of them imitated the peculiar behavior and views of Zoroaster and Abraham, is proof that they entirely belong to the history of monotheism. For the sake of convenience, to avoid a confusion known to the ancient Greeks, I will use the term philosophy to describe irreligious views of the universe, and theology to describe religious ones. The more ancient of these is obviously theology, as we see with the Avesta of Zoroaster. Now, in spite of this and other superficial differences, both philosophy and theology are intimately joined, since they agree in invented peculiarities, a sense of personal superiority, and the rejection of all native and common customs.

Greek philosophy begins with Thales, and Greek theology begins with Orpheus. It is perhaps no wonder they travelled to the East and brought foreign thinking and inventions of their own to the Greeks, since neither of them were ethnically Greek. Thales was a Phoenician who lived in Asia Minor (today Turkey) , and Orpheus was a Thracian, living just north east of Greece, or even in Asia Minor. Their middle position between the Greeks and the Persians facilitated, if not caused, their inventions of a new mixture to form. Being already somewhat connected to the East by ancestry, their curiosity drove them to travel there and seek learning. The seeds they brought upon their return and sowed in their lands would afterwards bring forth many disastrous fruits not only in Greece, but also the world, which we can see and taste to this day.

Thales, like other wealthy Greeks in his day, travelled to famous places along the Mediterranean Sea in order to see the world and bring back stories. The most common places were in Egypt, a magnificent and civilized country of great antiquity and wonders. Considering the philosophy he brought back to Greece, he must have visited the great Egyptian cities of the time, each of which had its own cult, priesthood and cosmogony. He may have also seen Persians, Jews and Mesopotamians either during his travels or his stay. Having admired Egypt, but seen the differences in its polytheism (from city to city), at a time of decline in Egypt, it seems that he became uncertain of himself and his own views. When he returned to his native city, he withdrew himself and no longer pursued his old business, but rather began to reflect on the world in general. Within this isolation and uncertainty, he then invented a peculiar view contradicting the Hellenic religion and cosmogony, i.e. that the world is based upon one common principle called nature derived from water, which was afterwards set in motion by an intelligent mind. The Greek Gods to him were nothing but popular manifestations of this single universal principle (see monism), which applied to all people and the whole world. In cautiously teaching this doctrine (to avoid the condemnation of impiety), he must have thought of himself as a second Cadmus, the Phoenician prince who brought the knowledge of writing to Greece. His subsequent followers, were Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, and Heraclitus, who advanced their own views on the universal principles of nature. Afterwards, Leucippus and Democritus developed the same philosophy and advanced the theory of atomism, which, joined with the moral teachings of Epicurus, degenerated into a covert atheism, as we clearly see by the time of the Roman Lucretius. Like Abraham and Zoroaster before them, these men rejected their native cities and ethnic customs, travelled and absorbed foreign views, and invented established forms of universalism that they believed applied to all mankind. However, the new corruption they added to monotheism was an early form of what we call modernism, a mixture of selfish individualism and false intellectualism that plagues the world to this day.

The uncertainty that troubled Thales was later taken for a sign of wisdom, notably by Socrates, when he boasted that he was wise only because he knew nothing. But what is more ridiculous, this uncertainty even became a new school of philosophy that was taught. Pyrrho, a Greek who travelled with Alexander, met with so many Zoroastrians and Indian philosophers, that he at last invented a theory that nothing is certain, i.e. skepticism. Cicero, a Roman skeptic philosopher, not aware that he was undermining the purpose and dismissing the seeming progress of philosophy, later held that all schools of philosophy were uncertain, because they all had as many faults as merits. We can thus conclude that the continual questioning of philosophers, from generation to generation, actually caused their theories to work against themselves and thereby only achieve noise, disagreement and more uncertainty, without any real benefit.

But now to turn to theology. As was noted, its founder was a Thracian by the name of Orpheus. Some believe he never existed, but that is because his followers invented so many fanciful tales about him and even went so far as to insert him as a hero (half-divine character) in Hellenic mythology, as a son of Dionysus. This interpolation would perhaps be excused if Orpheus and his followers had not invented their own cosmogony and doctrines, by which they even went beyond mere theology: in many respects, they invented a new religion. In Orphism, the usual Hellenic cosmogony is replaced with an Eastern one, which placed a deity called Phanes or Eros as the original being, from whom every God, man and thing came (see Dervini papyrus). They thus pretended to purify the mythical stories of Homer and Hesiod which to them seemed full of immoral actions done by the Gods. But this corrupt purification was not restricted to mythology; they adopted Eastern doctrines in their religion, such as the worship of the sun, the rejection of blood-sacrifices, the abstinence from eating flesh, the acceptance of poverty, the reincarnation of the soul, and the dualism of good and evil. Some of their mystical practices were at first derived from the famous and secret Dionysian mysteries, but they later competed with and interpolated them for their own influence an ambition.  For this reason, it is said that when Orpheus no longer worshipped Dionysus and promoted his own religion, the priestesses of Dionysus murdered him in a ritual frenzy. But his teachings continued: not only were new theological cosmogonies (which fortunately don’t survive) written, but a half-Phoenician by the name of Pythagoras adopted many doctrines of Orpheus to form his own religion. This Pythagoras was said to have traveled not only to Persia, and even (according to one later philosopher) learned under Zoroaster himself, but also went as far as India, which if true, it is possible he met with Buddha or his successors. Upon his return, he founded his own mystical religion, but promoted it privately in the Greek colonies of Italy. Within these colonies, the teachings of  Pythagoras later brought forth the theology of Parmenides and Empedocles, who were great influences upon the greatest theologian of them all, Plato. After traveling for 12 years abroad, he invented a peculiar theology that Zeus was only a material creator of forms second to an intelligent immaterial creator (later interpreted as Chronos) who drove the creation, a doctrine very similar to a school within Zoroasterianism called Zurvanism. He must have been very cautious with his academy in Athens, since Socrates was condemned to death for corrupting the religion. From the stock of Plato, so many new branches were formed, especially the Stoicism of the Phoenician Zeno, which battled with Epicureanism during the Hellenistic period (after Alexander of Macedon) for the supremacy of the Mediterranean, whereby it influenced Jewish theology. But as it happened, the teachings of Plato returned as Neoplatonism to dominate philosophy during the Roman Empire, and these were so popular and common, that they were adopted by the Gnostics, the Manichaeans, and even the Christians themselves. Through the Church fathers, Plato continued to influence Christian theology until Thomas Aquinas adopted the teachings of Aristotle in the 13th century, but even so, Plato’s influenced continued and re-appeared as Catharism, Bogomilism and the Neoplatonism of the Renaissance, which were all actually persecuted by the Church. O contradiction!

This is the story of Greek philosophy and theology and how they developed gradually into the atheism and monotheism we know well and bitterly lament. The world shakes from the wars between monotheism and atheism, as well as the wars within monotheism. That some Hellenic polytheists still respect and follow the teachings of Greek philosophy and theology, even going so far as to consider Orpheus and Plato especially as great men who improved and elevated their religion, is a madness that I can’t comprehend. If this were true, why did the Christians use these very sages to corrupt the Hellenic religion? All Plato’s dialogues survived loss because they were viewed favorably by Christians (and hence were not burned), and the teachings of Orpheus were actually adopted by the earliest Christians, who reinterpreted Eros as Agape, and Dionysus as Jesus, and the mystery as eucharist, among other similarities. There was even a Christian theologian (Eusebius) who wrote a book entitled the Preparation for the Gospel, in which he boldly argued that Greek philosophy and theology had prepared the world for the wisdom of Jesus to come. Hellenic polytheists should never be tricked and shamed a second time; whenever we favor philosophy and theology, the sources of individualism and modernism, above the mythology and ritual practices of our ancestors, nothing of real benefit can follow, but only the harm of selfish individualism and false intellectualism. The events of the last 2500 years, most especially the end of the Hellenic religion, are sufficient proof.

Essential distinctions in polytheism (part 4): Localism & Regionalism v.s Nationalism & Globalism

1200px-Pericles_Pio-Clementino_Inv269_n2alexanderthegreat-bust

In my last writing, I reflected on the topic of nativism and justified it as both natural and reasonable, as it differs from racism. In exposing the contradictions and absurdity of universalism, a set of principles invented and espoused by monotheism and atheism, and in supporting the native distinctions of all ethnic cultures, I hinted at the necessity of curtailing the ambition and uniformity of modern thinking and transforming those into the self-sufficiency and plurality that our ancestors enjoyed and rose by. There are many means by which such thinking can be described and justified, but none is so succinct and comprehensive as the examination of all things in relation to geographical place and political systems that arise in them. After all, it is the nature and extent of the land which determines the habits and needs of a people to survive hardships and advance; all mythologies concur that the Earth, with all her natural endowments, was among the first creations, and the first, in her various habitations, to host man.

Localism, Regionalism, Nationalism and Globalism are not merely theoretical notions or modes of communication that differ in scope; they are rather complete systems that determine, in a thousand ways, the nature and extent of politics, economy, culture, learning, warfare, living, and all things related to human society. It is obvious that the tendency of the world has been towards what is large, ambitious and profitable. Although one might think that nationalism and globalism are new systems, an examination of history will prove otherwise. The first nation was founded in Egypt in the year 3100 BCE, and globalism is very often synonymous with the universalism I have exposed before, which monotheism has long supported. Furthermore, the first empire, that is, the first political entity formed by conquering foreign peoples, was established by Sargon of Akkad in Mesopotamia about the year 2400 BCE, and empires have existed, either by name or in effect, with hardly any intermission, ever since (we can, in effect, see the empire of America nowadays). Many scholars have taken notice of the concurrence between larger political entities and larger (or universal) systems of belief that grow within them; as with Abraham appearing sometime after Sargon, the Greek philosophers appearing after Cyrus of Persia and later Alexander of Macedon, and Jesus (among others) appearing after the Roman Empire. But if the history of universalism and empire are so ancient and well-established, how can any sensible person think of curtailing them? This is certainly not so difficult to answer, as to put into practice.

It has been said that invention is the child of necessity. The present state of the world is such that there is excessive plenty without necessity, which leads to various sorts of moral corruption, represented under the universal forces of monotheism and atheism. The empty ambition, embellished as human progress (whether through religion or irreligion), has driven ethnic cultures to extinction and the world to horrible wars. The two destructive forces of monotheism and atheism, always from a common source of universalism, have now declared themselves as open enemies to each other to gain the supremacy of the world. Meantime, the peoples of the world shake and reel amid the daily contest, and daily flock to join sides, because of conversions and fears of being crashed between the two powers. Add to this struggle, the internal wars within the differing species of monotheism that are also ruining the world’s nature, peoples and cultures. As members of mankind, we often reflect “When will this end and how will it end? Will we witness a complete destruction, or some sort of new beginning?”. As polytheists, on the other hand, we can’t help but wonder at our direction and purpose in a world so entangled in its competitions rather than connected by its humanity.

The truth is, universalism has failed mankind once again. The dreams of universalists (whether religious or irreligious) to rectify the world, perpetuate peace, and advance man to a heavenly position as one race on earth have all proven too fanciful in theory and baneful in practice. Because they deny history by “looking forward”, and dismiss the experience of their ancestors as inferior, they are bound to stray from reality and common sense. Have these universalists truly accomplished something great that can be sustained in the world, by inventing technology, multiplying nations, increasing populations and promoting universal commerce? A modest share of historical knowledge and honest foresight will find greater danger than good in these so-called accomplishments. What has become of the distinction of cultures, the freedom of religions, the modesty of people, the strength of families, the purity of nature, the quality of social dealings, and many other blessings that raised our ancestors to greatness and earned them esteem? What does it matter if a new planet was discovered distant from the Earth, or a new machine was invented to quicken production, when people cannot take care of their own Earth, and preserve such worthy things that truly make them people? The more excess we acquire nowadays in material possessions and easy comforts, the more excess we will incur in material troubles and difficult complications for nature, people and culture.

Since globalism, in both theory and practice, is total madness, it won’t be difficult to object to nationalism, as a lesser form of the same notion. People don’t exist naturally within nations, and hence such political entities are usually established by an ambitious ruler who conquers neighboring tribes and cities that share a common ethnic lineage. The consequence of such conquest is the supremacy of a few over millions, and the promotion of one local culture (the capital city) over all the rest, a situation that breeds conflict, injustice and a decay of original cultures and dialects. And because of these internal troubles, the only means by which a ruler can quiet the people and unite them quickly, is by finding an outer enemy to fight against. We see this trick over and over throughout history, from Alexander’s conquest of the city-states of Greece to invade Persia, to Hitler’s policies in Germany to wage war on his neighbors. Now, it is this very trick, as history shows, which leads subsequently to empire; and then when several empires exist in competition, the natural consequence is some sort of globalism. The conflict we witness today between nationalists and globalists is thus superficial and rather ridiculous, since they are both advocating different degrees of the same thing.

Localism and regionalism, on the other hand, reduce political entities to a natural and reasonable scope that gives dignity and opportunity to its inhabitants. It is by this means that people can truly live well, enjoying freedoms with their distinct practices and preserving their original culture without wild competition. It is a model of society that is binds man to his land, encouraging agriculture and civilized pursuits rather than conquest and empire; it allows man to evolve his thinking and living at a safe and reasonable pace, rather than revolt against reality to advance his condition quickly. As example is better than precept, we need look no further than a comparison between city-states and the empires that ended them, after which modern examples will be given. Which deserves more praise for its accomplishment and worth, the city-states of Sumeria, or the empire of Sargon; the city-state of Athens, or the empire of Alexander; the distinct cultures of Europe, or the Roman hegemony?  Which modern states are more prosperous and satisfied in their independence and freedoms, the smaller ones, like Switzerland, Monaco, Malaysia, and Taiwan, or the bigger ones, like America, China, Russia, and India? Since polytheism developed within distinct tribes and city-states, the answer should be both easy and significant.

Essential distinctions in polytheism (part 3): Nativism v.s Racism

nospin_2-lgThe word race carries great weight in modern times, but its significance is too often misunderstood, even to the degree of bare contradiction and absurdity. Because there have undoubtedly been grievances during certain periods in history from the domination of one powerful set of people over another, the term racism never fails to raise emotions concerning such events in history, and especially when an instance of it is seemingly repeated nowadays. But the notions of race and racism, since they command and induce such high emotions, have become too sacred for some to reconsider and comprehend, and hence the people who subscribe to the usual definitions and historical lessons on the subject run the risk of being employed as mere tools and servants to fulfill the interests of those powerful and hidden ones who profit or generally benefit from civil disturbances or unregulated immigration. I will attempt to explain this rather complicated case.

In monotheism, which still rules the world (along with its modern and degenerate offspring, atheism) with absolute power, the religious hierarchy seeks to end all opposition to its doctrines and views, by using high promises and harsh warnings to induce action and fear within the minds of its followers and proselytes towards a private cause that is always misrepresented as a common one for the benefit of all. Now, since monotheism subscribes to notions of universalism, that is, absolute truths and one supreme way for all mankind, the easiest means to gain and maintain followers is to call them “chosen people” who have “no differences at all” and who will all go to heaven together for eternity if they become “obedient servants” to their deity and the deity’s “representatives on earth”, but otherwise the disobedient will be punished in hell forever. Monotheism thus tortures the mind to choose between two miserable and unnatural extremes, and where the mind flees, the person is subject to torture and distress by other means, till he submits to the “will of heaven”. I find a clear parallel in this point between the old monotheism and the new “liberalism” that exists nowadays.

There are certain powerful leaders nowadays (counterparts of the priests of old) who subscribe to a general and absolute notion of universalism that at first may seem the height of what is good, but in reality brings a great deal of harm of the world. This universalism states a dogmatic syllogism to this effect “all people are good and the same, and they were created equal: therefore, it does not matter where they live or travel, how much their races intermarry, or what culture they subscribe to, since they are all one people without differences”. These words are superficially logical and just, but when this white surface is examined and scratched carefully, especially through the actions that they induce, the true colors of the fallacy appear, along with enough contradictions and absurdities to confirm the evil motives of those modern leaders, and the poor blindness of their followers.

Although there are many ridiculous faults within this fallacy stated above, it will suffice to expose only three, the greatest of them. The first and most obvious contradiction in this deceitful universalism is that the notion punishes and degrades the “white man”, not only by using all his collective historical actions as evil things to be condemned, but also by raising emotions against him as a person, which if done with any other races (or even person), would be criminal. This is racism in itself, because it attributes certain qualities and collective guilt to a people because of the actions of former generations, which they had no hand in. But what is yet more repugnant to the mind, is when some white men reject this view of their being “the devil”, and call it a grievance and a return of racism, they are cried down and shamed further, a sort of torture that cannot fail to remind us of historical monotheism. Indeed, unless a white person entirely accepts his inferior position as an evil race that must be kept in check, without speaking well of his ancestors or glorifying anything at all in his history, such a person will be threatened with “hell”. The second fallacy, is that of unregulated immigration, which has become a subject of great debate nowadays, and rightly so. Although I am not a proponent of nations (I support smaller entities, like city-states, but this is a future topic to write upon), there is no doubt that borders exist for a very particular reason. It is unfortunate that the childish logic prevailing today, i.e. borders should not exist for the race of mankind, is not only an invented dream of returning to a Golden Age that had never existed, but it also dismisses immediately thousands of years of history and millions of lives lost in wars that contributed to the present situation of the earth. It is as if they believe in a simple view that all wars can end by opening borders and letting all people live together in one land happily forever. If they were only ignorant of history, it would be tolerable to debate them, but there is hardly any sense at all in their idealism. For example, let us consider their notion of absent borders in a smaller scope: Would anyone leave his front door open, or even worse, to remove it altogether, and thereby allow anyone to come in? This would hardly be accepted in one’s own neighborhood. But why is this the case? Is it because we hate people and our neighbors, or because things are bound to go wrong without certain rules and “boundaries” in place? One could help another home or family, if it is poor or temporarily miserable, but nobody in his senses will allow that other home to occupy his own freely and continually. A child, well brought up, could answer this question easily, but unfortunately there are so many “children” nowadays who were not brought up well at home, and have been falsely raised at the “university”. The third fallacy is the benefit of continually mixing ethnic cultures and people together, i.e. globalism. The pretext always given for such a notion is that all people are alike and equal, and should be allowed to know and help one another; again, this is a rather simple view that dismisses the complication of human society and the historical experience that we have been gaining throughout the ages. It is wrong to confuse the words “equal” and “same”, since they are distinct; equal means neither superior nor inferior, but same means not different. The danger in dismissing the differences of ethnic cultures, which should be celebrated as such, is that the cultures mix together too much and lose their value, i.e. their distinction; this turns worse when the exchange of cultures becomes a commercial enterprise to profit from, as we can see nowadays. Even the most austere and isolated practitioners of strange and original religions have become  preys to the commerce and interference of globalism. But as if commerce is not bad enough, there is yet another more dangerous consequence of this mixing: Because of the differences of ethnic culture, mixing them too much and profiting from them too much leads to continual competition, and hence it becomes inevitable that one culture will attempt (and in time, succeed) to rise in superiority or commercial “value” over the rest, to the detriment of all other cultures. Don’t we see this clearly with American culture, which spreads throughout the world and “converts” all youth to follow its consumerism and forget of their native cultures? Have not innumerable cultural treasures been lost at the false altar of this new American deity of pleasure and entertainment?

We polytheists must grow wary of these points and continue to reflect on them, for surely it is in them we can foresee our destiny. When ethnic cultures are protected and maintained as distinct, they retain their inherent value and original beauty. I must say that the same with ancestry in general: All people are certainly equal in worth, but we are too numerous and diffused to be considered as the same. Nor should we be the same, otherwise the world will become dull and of one color: Even one ethnic people has distinct tribes. Our equality, I would argue, derives in itself chiefly from our distinctions, because unless we know what we are, from whom we came, what did our ancestors do, why we should follow them, and how we differ from others, we lose sight of our distinction, whereby, in attempting to mix together continually and create a “new superior culture”, we actually lose ourselves in a universal crowd and grow miserable, because our inevitable differences soon bring about inequalities and competition. It is a great fault to confuse between nativism and racism, as monotheists and atheists do: the first is the desire to maintain ethnic culture at nobody’s expense, but the second is to maintain it at the expense of others by calling them inferior or conquering them. As a Hellenic polytheist, I value any other polytheist throughout the world, of whatever ethnic religion, equally, without setting them above one another. Nor are my people inherently superior to others, but I am bound to serve my ethnic Gods, ancestors, and culture first, in precedence to others. This is natural and reasonable, and history has proven it to be true. If there is anything to disagree with what polytheists had done in this regard, it is the establishment of empires, but this subject will be taken up at a future time.