So, my new pennywhistle arrived in the mails to-day. Truth be told, though: at $140, that's a lot of pennies for one whistle. The good news is that the whistle's damned beautiful. for the one person out there who might care, it's a Whitney *tunable* brass whistle in D, handmade and alladat. Sounds like no whistle I've ever played, that's for sure.
So, Christmas is around the proverbial bend. I have no money to buy gifts and no need to take to the streets, bellowing carols at people's closed doors. Hell, I work in customer service, so one more day of unending prefab Christmas carols and I'm going to be ready to shoot Santa Claus.
But gosh, it sure seems like an awful lot of trouble for a man who can't seem to be proven to have existed. In fact, guys like Daniel Lazare and Tom Harpur are doing stellar work in showing us that there is no hard historical basis for anything in either Testament, and that the whole thing is really just a warmed-over Egyptian Horus myth. Hell, even the one apparently historically proven event (a little skirmish that resulted in the fall of Jericho) has nothing to do with the bible story that grew to surround it. The damned walls fell at least a hundred years before Joshua would have happened by. And not only do David and Solomon leave their marks nowhere (a rare feat for a supposed power broker in the ancient world), but there remains no evidence of any of the riches or great kingdoms or battles or anything listed as hard fact in the Old or New Testament. Especially in the cases of David and Solomon, someone's made off with the crown jewels *and* the whole damned reign. Similarly, no conquest of Canaan. The Israelites never spent 40 years trudging through sand to invade and conquer the place, they grew there. The birth of Jesus? Matthew has Jesus's conception occurring sometime during the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC. Luke says Jesus was born while Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Quirinius became governor of Syria in 6 AD. Not only was Mary's 10-year pregnancy a freaking miracle, but so was the fact that Jesus was born in two different places (To Luke, it was Nazareth; whereas Matthew thought it was Bethlehem). Don't get me started on Abraham, either.
what there *is* in these books, is a set of allegories that point to eternal truths, truths that can only be truly understood if they are arrived at after a journey through myth. Think of the enslavement of the Jews by the Egyptians and indeed all the references to their captivity are incarnation allegories. Samson is a sun-god, as you can easily see if you look at the story allegorically (hell, that's the only way it makes *sense*): Delilah is the process by which the sun's power wanes throughout half the year, which is obviously the hair-shearing bit. When the theatre crashes down on Samson's enemies, it symbolises the Sun's inevitable resurgence.
It gets better. The Crossing of the Red Sea, the example after example of older, barren women becoming pregnant... If looked at as allegory, all these stories become believable as symbols of incarnation and development. Hell, the whole Old testament is really just the story of a people coming into the light of understanding and communion with their god. The New Testament is something else. that's where things start to mesh so well with the Egyptian Horus myths from so long before, and other ancient myth-lores as well. As Harpur put it in his great The Pagan Christ (Thomas Allen Pub. 2004. Pg 127) 'Historically, virgins don't have babies, but stories of virgin births abound in myths. Stars don't "stand" over houses or stables, and they don't lead people west (especially when they appear in the east!). But they do occur in every ancient myth. Every early messiah figure was heralded by a star. That's the point.'
I guess what's struck me of late is how the efforts by the Church to eradicate the early biblical scholars and clerics who treated the stories as myth lost the point. Every parchment they burned, every Origen whose works were banned was a nail shot into Christianity's coffin. We live in a world where belief is considered Gauche, where anyone whose got half a brain would disregard the concept of someone walking on water as poppycock, and if you can't buy some of the 'facts' upon which Christ's divinity is based, you have a problem. When the bogus 'historicality' is ripped back off and the story is allowed to seep back into eternal myth, it regains its purpose, which is to lift us up into a higher spirit. It's like Joseph Campbell said: 'Myth is what never was, yet always is.'
I know, I know; why think about this stuff? I'm a lot of fun at parties, I promise.
||Gods save the Queen,
One last little note... - 09.21.2006
de-stressing, biking and terrorism - 06.06.2006
Mildly stressed... - 05.29.2006
More crime stupidity - 05.28.2006
Scary stuff - 05.25.2006
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