Introduction: Three – Person in the middle


During our third stage on our Odyssey, you and I have encountered the Trito myth and the cattle-cycle. These myths – with rituals – are a first way of restoring confidence between the gods, priests, men and classes of people themselves. Livestock is a metaphor for mutual trust, a role that money has taken over in our society.

After the first all-encompassing division between earth and air, all is disintegrated in innumerable parts. Then an initial structure is arisen, after which a start is made ​​with a creative process by giving a first meaning and deriving a first order from this initial structure.

You and I remain entirely separate from the complete oneness. It probably disappeared during the separation of earth and sky. Or is this oneness still present in the background? We do not know, but we will investigate this during our Odyssey.

In the Trito myth about the origin of the world, you and I have met the gods: Manu creates with the help of the gods the world from the parts of Twin. In this myth, the gods are necessary for Many to create the world. Who are these gods? You and I do not know. Are there more Gods or is there only one god? We do not know; each society has given different answers to this question. Is there a world without gods? We do not know. Are the gods an integral part of the complete oneness? We do not know. But you and I will investigate this later during our Odyssey. Let us provisionally accept that the gods exist. For now, they are necessary to create and maintain the world.

Following the creation of the world, the sky gods give cattle to Trito. After the storm gods help him during his adventures with the three-headed serpent, Trito sacrifices cattle to the air gods to restore and consolidate the mutual trust.

[1]

Within the cattle cycle, priests sacrifice animals to the gods in order to restore and maintain the confidence between gods, priests, people and categories of people.

According to these first myths, you and I have seen in the Proto-Indo-European world, the gods are needed to create and maintain the world. The trust and aid of the gods is vital for these people. How the people in this Proto-Indo-European world perceive the god in their daily life, we do not know. Though in this society, soon persons emerges who create and maintain the connections between the world of humans and the gods.

The forerunners of people who are not able to live without  a connection between humans and gods, we already have encountered in both myths.

The priests [6] have a role to establish and maintain a connection between the sky gods, the world and the people by preforming smoke sacrifices and rituals. This connection is of paramount importance to maintain and continue the rhythm of life. This connection maintained by the priests in the pre-scientific age, also gives a first answer to the questions where mankind comes from, why they are on the earth and what future awaits them. In the Catholic Church the pope acquires a role of Pontifex Maximus – or the great builder of bridges – between heaven and earth. In this church the Pope is – as first among his peers – the “person in the middle” who maintains the connection between heaven and earth and/or between God and humanity.

[2]

The warriors – and over time their chiefs in the form of emperor, king or general – get the role to establish and perpetuate order in society by conquest and military operations (with its rituals and practices). Later – as a representative of the gods – they regulate the affairs of the society on earth. For earthly matters, they increasingly act as the representative of the gods on earth. In this form they become a “person in the middle” between on one hand the complete oneness and on the other hand society and humanity. According to this way of thinking, society ceases to exist without this “person in the middle”: Roman legionaries fall into despair – their entire existence on earth falls apart – as a general of a legion threatens to leave the legion to its own fate [3].

[4]

The arrangement between priests and warriors – or between church and state – is usual sensitive. The hierarchy between these two roles changes continuously. Sometimes balance occurs: the pope crowns the emperor so the profane role of the emperor receives recognition by a sacral ritual performed by the pontifex maximus, while the role of the Pope – as a bridge between heaven and earth – is recognised and perpetuated within the same ritual.

[5]

The next post is about “the object in the middle”.


[1] Source of image: POVRAY – Clouds JvL

[2] Pope Gregorius I

[3] See also: Goldsworthy, Adrian, In the Name of Rome (2003)

[4] Charles Magne

[5] Coronation of Charles Magne as Emperor by Pope Leo III

[6] In Sanskrit √pṛ means: “be able, to show”; Ish: “ruler, god”; and √tṛ: “to cross”

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