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Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – Meditation rooms


In previous posts, you and I have visited several houses of God. With churches as “object in the middle” the faithful express a mutual trust between people and God. This confidence is continuously and periodically confirmed through rituals. Besides, the churches often create a bond between people mutual, but sometimes churches cause rejections. Churches are trying to be a timeless reference point from which the environment – air/heaven and earth separately and in combination – is experienced. The churches also provide hope for a transcendence of human life through a resurrection in an afterlife. We will visit all the churches that we encounter on our Odyssey.

We also encounter “objects in the middle” which give room for meditation. These special areas create the possibility for transcending the human scale and/or experiencing a complete oneness. Specific parts of the natural landscape have been used for this purpose for centuries. During our Odyssey we have seen stone circles, caves and stones in the landscape.

Probably with the occupation of homesteads people have created rooms for meditation that resemble their homesteads. Initially, the rooms for meditation are mainly located in or near their residences. Over time these rooms become major sacred places for worship and/or houses of God. Some of these places have been transferred in worldly contemplation places that we now encounter as museums and art galleries. During our Odyssey we visit almost all museums, but we cannot report on these visits.

Let us visit two special rooms for meditation. This first room – the Mark Rothko [1] chapel in Houston from 1967 – is building for religion and for art. The exterior is a monolithic octagon with a small entrance. At first glance it looks like a mausoleum.

 [2]

We enter the chapel. The interior radiates serenity – as monolithic as the exterior. The light comes from above. Internally I sing the first chorus of Cantata 131 by Johann Sebastian Bach:

”Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr[3], zu dir.
Herr, höre meine Stimme, lass deine Ohren merken auf die Stimme meines Flehens!“
[4]

[9]

The windows to the outside consist of paintings by Mark Rothko from 1964 – 1967, shortly before his death.

[5]

The paintings render all impressions of the World. It seems that he tries to imprint on the panels – in translucent blue/black ink – every word ever written and spoken.” You say.

“That’s right. All glass beads of “Indra’s Net” [6] are included in the paint of the panels, the colours are so dense.” I say.

The sun breaks through. The blood of the earth lights in a purple red glow on the triptych.

[7]

We sit next to a meditating – Zen? – Buddhist. When the Buddhist stands up, we go outside.

Outside you say: “I once read: “A man asks a female Buddhist hermit in contemporary China to calligraphy the essence of Buddhist practise on paper. She puts the paper aside. A few months later, he receives four words by post: goodwill, compassion, joy and detachment. Her calligraphy is strong and clear as her mind.[8] Are these four words applicable to the chapel?”

“Yes.” I say.

“I have hesitated on joy, until the sun broke through.” You say.

In the next post we will watch the last part of the movie “Offret” – or “The Sacrifice” by Andrei Tarkovsky from 1986.


[1] For further information on Mark Rothko: Hughes, Robert, The Shock of the New – Art and the Century of Change; and Arnason, H.H., A History of Modern Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979, pages 533 – 534

[2] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Rothko_chapel.jpg

[3] Maybe the German word “Herr” is linked to the verb root “hṛ” meaning “offer, present” and “seize, take away” in Sanskrit. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta. Both meanings of the verb root “hr” express the two roles of the warrior caste within the cattle-cycle: they rob the cattle and give a part of the cattle to the priests for offers to the Gods. A lord has also two roles: offering protection and taking a part of the harvest. Probably the role of Lord coincides with the role of God. In the experiences of many nationals the king and God are closely interwoven.

[4] Translation: “From the deep, Lord [3], I cry to you. Lord, hear my voice, let your ears hear the voice of my doubt!” In German the word “Flehens” means supplication. Here this word is translated with doubt, because doubt is the origin of nearly all supplication to God. See also the book Job from the Old testament.

[5] Source image: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576118063020357484.html

[6] For further information on “Indra’s net”: the post “Introduction: one – Pantheïsm – Indra’s net” of 8th of April 2011.

[7] Source image: http://hayleygilchrist.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/contextual-studies/

[8] Source: Porter, Bill, Road to Heaven – Encounters with Chinese Hermits. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 1993. page 109

[9] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:In_the_Tower_-_Mark_Rothko.JPG

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Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – Church 2


In our search for the church [1] as “object in the middle” we make a trip of 5 miles. You and I begin in the – more than one thousand years old – Aachen Cathedral in Germany and continue in time through the village church in Wahlwiller in the Netherlands to the newly built church in the abbey Benedictusberg in Mamelis near Lemiers. At the same time this trip leads us back in time from the contemporary city of Aachen, by the village community of 50 years past to the monastic life of many centuries ago.

On this trip we travel through time as the main characters in the book “The once and future King” by Terence White. Kay and The Wart move forward in time and Merlin returns in time.” You say.

“If Merlin would follow our Odyssey back in time, than he has to accomplish an impossible task in the transition from Two to One. He must group an infinite number of fragments together to restore the complete oneness. Maybe Merlin has a chance.” I say.

“That’s impossible. A fractures bowl is beyond repair. I do not know what we may expect on our Odyssey. The transition to Zero is an impossible change in its own. Let’s first see the Cathedral.” You say.

We look at the light in the dome. As I look at the arches, I realize that Charlemagne fought violently with the Moors. But in this house of God that emerged from the palace church of Charlemagne, the shape and the colour of the arches are very similar to the arches in the mosque in Cordoba.

We look at the altar. A group of Germans enters behind us and starts to sing:

“Plorate, Filii Israel. Plorate, omnes Virgines, et Filiam Jephte unigenitiam in Carmine doloris lamentamini.[2][3][4]  

“Jephte makes a terrible sacrifice for his victory. His daughter keeps him to his promise to God by which she completely accepts her own fate.” You say.

“In that time, women keep men in their promises [5]. Will Jephte and his daughter rise from the death by following the promise to God by which they accept their doom? ” I ask.

“I do not know. Let us hope so. I hope that all people will resurrect who accept their fate. The light in the church gives hope.” You say.

The sun breaks through. The light in the dome shines around the altar and creates a golden glow. The cathedral shows itself in its full glory. “The light gives hope.” I say.

[6]

We continue our trip to Wahwiller by the road past the University Hospital, the Hochschule for Technology and the border post at Vaals. After a few kilometres, we see on our right side the Abbey Benedictusberg, our third destination today. A few moments later we leave the main road and enter the village Wahlwiller. We have come to admire the paintings by Aad de Haas [7] in the St. Cunibertus Church. The colours inside and the Stations of the Cross in this church are exceptional. In 1947 the paintings are far too daring for the Catholic Church. After more than thirty years, the paintings of the Stations of the Cross did return in church again.

[8]

We enter the church and again a golden glow. “People show the light of their surroundings. The main altar in the Storkyrkan on Gamla Stan in Stockholm consists of silver on dark ebony. This renders the bright spring light in the Nordic countries.” You say.

[9]

“In South Limburg the light is much softer, therefore this golden glow. The fifteenth station representing the resurrection – in addition to the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross – is beautiful. This painting should actually be directed towards the East and be positioned behind the altar. ” I say.

[10][11]

“The image of the Easter resurrection matches text: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”[12]. Considering the resurrection, I also think about a resurrection from a tabernacle. Probably a tabernacle is mainly empty to give room for the resurrection. Above the Ark the area for Yahweh is also empty.” You say.

“Heaven and earth surpassing; only in the void, the sun rays may shine so beautifully in this church.” I say.

We return in the direction of Lemiers. At the beginning of the driveway to the abbey Benedictusberg, you read that we may join the prayer services. First we examine the photographs of the abbey church [13].

“It looks like the inside of a sanctuary. This absolute beauty of dimensions and the layout of space does not need any further images.” You say.

“Very contemporary and also completely timeless. Modern and also the very first church. It seems like time has no grip on this area. What a beautiful light from above.” I say.

[14]

“Let’s attend the Vespers [15].” You say.

“Very well.” I say.

The following post continues on meditation centers as “object in the middle”.


[1] The source of the word “Church” probably is Greek “Kūrios” meaning “Lord, Master”. Source: Ayto, John, Word Origins, the hidden History of English Words from A to Z. London: A &C Black, 2008. Maybe the word Church originates via the German word “Kirche” from the compound of Indo-European words “kr” (karoti, kurute) meaning “make, do, perform”, and “ish” depending on the “sh”sound either “sacrifice” or “ruler”, or “ich – I ” in Sanskrit.

[2] Source: Oratorio by Carissimi, Giacomo (1605-1674), Jephte

[3] “Weep, Children of Israel. Weep, all young women, for the only daughter of Jephte weep with mournful songs.”

[4] See also: Old Testament, Judges chapter 11.

[5] See also: McGrath, Kevin, STRῙ women in Epic Mahâbhârata. Cambridge: Ilex Foundation, 2009

[6] Source image: http://www.elfduizend.nl/reizen-Aken.php

[7] See: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aad_de_Haas

[8] Source image: http://www.vvvzuidlimburg.nl/beleefzuidlimburg/abc/vermelding.aspx?id=5471

[9] Source image: http://www.tripadvisor.com

[10] Source image: http://www.deroerom.nl/pagina/344/pasen

[11] Complete overview of the Stations of the Cross in the Church in Wahlwiller: http://home.kpn.nl/dreumpie/w/index_copy(1).htm

[12] See also: New Testament, St. John 12: 24

[13] Architecture: Dom Hans van der Laan. See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_van_der_Laan_(architect)

[14] http://www.kerkgebouwen-in-limburg.nl/view.jsp?content=2044

[15] Evening prayer at the end of the afternoon.

Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – Church


In the previous post you and I have met the role of the house as “object in the middle”. The role of the home has changed over the years from the environment where we live to a habitation. This habitation in the form of a house is seen by our ancestors as a safe haven and as a reference point from where the world is experienced. Recently, people started to identify with their home: they give shape to the house and the house expresses who they are. Our society demands of us more and more that we have a nationality and a permanent home and residence. Without these assets, people are not treated as full citizens.

Now you and I are looking into the role of the house of God as “object in the middle”.  The first sacred places, we have already seen. We have encountered sacred stones on our Odyssey. We remember the stone circles as places for ceremonies which we no longer know.

[1]

We also know the golden calf as an image of a (demi-) god [2]. We have read in the Old Testament about Yahweh who is present between the tips of angel wings above the lost Ark of the Covenant,.

Probably the hunter-gatherers have already given shelter to Gods. We have read about rituals performed by the hunter-gatherers to unite the hunters with their prey as redemption for killing of the prey, and to maintain the unique bond between prey and hunter for both their survival. The rituals may be performed at specific times and places. These sites may be seen as a precursor to the house of God. The many caves with paintings of hunting scenes are a next step towards a house of God. Probably, these paintings also had a religious background.

Many nomadic peoples have travelled around with their herds. They may also have known fixed holy sites. And probably they have seen sacred sites of established residents. Have they identified themselves with the gods of the established residents and the hunter-gatherers? Probably not, but maybe they have adopted some elements of the faith of other people. As nomads, they will have carried their sacred objects on the travels with their herds. In their tents special places are reserved for shrines. One example is the Ark of the Covenant that the Jews carried around on the travels and place in a tent during stages. Even in the temple in Jerusalem, the ark is placed with poles on both sides as a reminder and a preparation for a new travel.

The form of Islamic mosques reminds you and me of temporary stays – large tents and outposts to indicate the entrance point – in a desert. These mosques are transferred in imposing houses of Allah with courts and outbuildings around. An example is the Suleyman Mosque in Istanbul.

[3]

Farmers with fixed fields are moving into permanent habitations. Also the gods receive their private habitations. The recognition of the house of Gods does not happen overnight. When we visit the oldest stave church at Urnes in Norway, the guide explains that the woodwork of the church is decorated with dragon motifs on the outside to keep the many evil spirits outside. This is necessary in the long dark winters. The Vikings have to leave their swords outside next to the door. Inside the church has only a few small lights from above. In that light a wooden crucifix is seen from which redemption and access to the afterlife may come. The priests at that time do try to change the image of Valhalla – the hall where the honorary fallen soldiers during battle continue eating, drinking and fighting to the end of time – into a longing for deliverance from sin and a Christian view of the afterlife. The blue paint color – lapis lazuli – on the wooden crucifix from around the 12th century AD comes from Afghanistan according to the guide.

During the explanation of the guide I think of Jalāl al-Dīn – also known as Rumi, who is born around the same time in Vaksh in Balkh Province in Afghanistan. Probably Rumi transcends the “object in the middle” in his contact with Allah: “My thoughts are in the heart of Allah, the heart of Allah will be sick without the thoughts of me [4]”. Later on our Odyssey more about this.

When we leave this church, you say: “Those light openings under the roof remind me of a saying by Oscar Wild:” We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars “.

[5]

“Do you remember the first rays of the sun at 6 o’clock in the morning on the first day of spring? [6]” I ask.

“Whenever I visit a church.” You answer.

The next message continues on churches as “object in the middle”.


[1] Source of image: Marieke Grijpink

[2] See the previous post “Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – part 1” on 5th of May 2011

[3] Source image: http://www.islamleer.nl/islaam/biografie/geleerdenoverigen/758-kanuni-sultan-suleyman-i

[4] See: Nicholson, Reynold A., The Mathnawi of Jalálu’ddin Rúmí, Book II. Cambridge: Biddles Ltd, 2001 p. 281

[5] Source image: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/norway/urnes-stave-church

[6] See the last post on “Two” on 25th of April 2011

Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – part 1


On our last stage “Two”, first the sky and the earth are separated, and then everything has fallen apart into innumerable small parts. Afterwards a first order is arisen. Meaning and purpose given to this order, starts a first creative process.

People give interpretation to their environment, so they may increase their chances of survival by increasing their grip on touchable matters and circumstances. Furthermore, this interpretation takes shape in stories and myths which anchor knowledge and skills – from other times and circumstances – within the known world of people. Religion and rituals bring the unknowable and elusive within the scope of people; by performing recognisable acts we try to influence the unknown and elusive in our environment.

Within the Trito-myth and the cattle cycle you and I have seen the explanation of the originating of the world for people in Proto-Indo-European time. The cattle cycle gives a ritual as basis for trust between gods, priests, people and categories of people. In the previous post we have observed the role of “persons in the middle”- in this case priests and kings – acting as a bridge between the world of people and the world of the gods (or the complete oneness). Now you and I will have a glimpse into the “objects in the middle” that represent the gods (or the complete oneness) in the human world.

Cattle are a metaphor for mutual trust in the world of our ancestors. In our society money has taken over this role of cattle. In earlier societies, also objects – as replacement of living beings – serve their role of metaphor for mutual trust. Special shells, jewelry and precious artifacts are examples thereof.

Some items have risen above the role of metaphor for mutual trust. These objects are turned from metaphor into the physical reality itself. The banner [1] of a Roman legion is the identity (or entity) of the entire legion. If the banner is lost, the legion ceases to exist. The three legions led by Varus, have lost their banners in the Teutoburg Forest; they are never replaced [2].

[3]

Images of gods are worshiped by people as real gods. In the Old Testament, Moses has done everything to have recognised Yahweh – without image – as the only God of the Jewish people. After receiving the tables of the Ten Commandments from Yahweh (including the first two commandments: “I am Eternal your God, and thou shalt have no other gods before me”), on his return he notices that the people are worshipping a golden calf. The Jewish people are completely forgotten Yahweh and they see the golden calf as the “object in the middle” that has completely taken the place of God in the shape of mutual trust and eternal life.

[4]

Furiously Moses throws the tables of the Ten Commandments in pieces. He needs to return to the mountain again for receiving new tables of the covenant from Yahweh. These new tables including the Ten Commandments are carried with the people in the Ark of the Convenant. Later the ark is placed in the sacred space of the Temple in Jerusalem. Since that time, Yahweh is considered to be present above the ark in the void between the tips of the wings of two angels [5].

[6]

During the existence of the ark, Yahweh is deemed to exist in the void between the wings of the two angels. The Ark of the the Convenant was probably destroyed at the one of the devastation of the Temple in Jerusalem. After the destruction of the ark the image of Yahweh is gone. Is Yahweh now present everywhere?


[1] See also: Goldsworthy, Adrian, In the Name of Rome – The Men who won the Roman Empire. London: Phoenix, 2004

[2] See also: Wells, Peter S. The Battle that stopped Rome. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004

[3] Source image: http://www.legionxxiv.org/signum/

[4] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouden_kalf_(Hebreeuwse_Bijbel)

[5] Source: Oude Testament; boeken Exodus 25:22 en Numeri 7:89

[6] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ark_van_het_Verbond

Introduction: Three – Dubio transcendit


You and I arrive at the third stage on our Odyssey. Now we will give a first interpretation to – and derive a first meaning from [1] – the complex universe around us. By making sense and derive meaning from the things around us, a creative process starts. Most of this process of creating and recreating is beyond our perception [2]. This invisible creative process goes its own way. We can only trust in the good event of these developments beyond our control.

The tiny part of the creation and recreation that you and I may control, we try to change to our advantage. We think that we need this advantage for our survival. Here we act selfish. Later, you and I will encounter more complex forms of ethics. Now we start at the beginning of conscious creativity and our opinion about it.

Our selfishness is often overtly and socially acceptable in our society. We hunt and gather, we perform farming, we work in factories or offices, or by mutual agreement we will prevail over others. All these actions are questionable: later we will come back to this. But sometimes this selfishness is unacceptable and is obtained by force or by law suits.

In specific cases, we camouflage our selfishness by adding appropriate images to acts that are not acceptable on its own. Around wars and the conquest of land linger all sorts of myths and rituals [3].

In one particular case the number three is also used to justify the theft of cattle in a myth: it is the Trito myth followed by the myth of the cattle cycle [4] [5].

In the Proto-Indo-European world, the creation of the world is interpreted by the Trito myth.
The twins Manu – related to the word “man” [6] – and Twin travel through the universe accompanied by a cow. The two brothers decide at a certain moment to create the world. This requires that Twin must be sacrificed. From the remains of Twin, Manu creates with the help of the gods the separate parts of the world. By this act Manu became the first priest [7] and the first inventor of the ritual sacrifice by which the world was created.

When the world was finished, the sky-gods gave cattle to the “third man” named Trito. But the cattle was cleverly stolen by a three-headed snake. With help of the storm gods, Trito killed the snake and freed the animals. Some of the cattle were given to priests for a smoke offering to the sky gods. By this act Trito [8] was the first warrior. He restored the prosperity of the people and his gift of livestock to the gods ensured that the cycle of gifts between gods and humans continued.

The second myth – the cattle cycle [9] – is a continuation of the Trito myth. In the cattle cycle, God [10] gives cattle to the farmers who in turn take care of the cattle and and increase the herd. Foreign men raid the cattle. The warriors seize the cattle back and give a part of the cattle to the priests for smoke offerings to God who in turn thanks for the sacrifices by giving cattle to farmers again.

The raiding of cattle has obtained a central place in this culture by both myths.  It is an essential act to acquire property. With the acquisition of livestock by raiding, warriors may obtain means of exchange for acquiring one or more women [11]. In the Proto-Indo-European world, women represent the only real property of value [12]. Only by holding the highly regarded medium of exchange – cattle – warriors can get women for posterity.

The cattle cycle provides a basis for a ritual of mutual trust – Credo (I believe) – between gods, priests, men and classes of people themselves. In this case, cattle are a metaphor for mutual trust, a role that money has taken over in our society.

In the following messages you and I will encounter the “person in the middle, “the object in the middle” and the “spirit in the middle”.

[13]


[1] See : Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phénoménologie de la Perception

[2] See also: Eames-Charles&Ray, Powers of Ten (1977) and the post on this subject.

[3] See also: Keegan, John, A History of Warfare (2004); Goldsworthy, Adrian, In the Name of Rome (2003); Crefeld, Martin van, The Culture of War (2008).

[4] See: Anthony, David W., The horse, the Wheel and Language (2007), p. 134

[5] See: Mallory, J.P., In Search of the Indo-Europeans, p. 137

[6] √man: means “think” in Sankrit; “manu” means “intelligent, thought, wise”. Maybe this name already refers to the division of mind and matter similar to the division of sky and earth.

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

[8] kshatriya means warrior in Sanskrit.

[9] See: Mallory, J.P., In Search of the Indo-Europeans, p. 138

[10] “go” means “cow or bull” and “da” means “give”

[11] See Anthony, David W., The horse, the wheel and Language (2007), p. 239

[12] See: McGrath, Kevin, STR women in Epic Mahâbhârata. Cambridge: Ilex Foundation, 2009 p. 9 – 15

[13] Source image: Povray – Float Cloud JvL

Introduction: Two – Night at the beginning of spring


You and I have tried for several years to see the first rays of sunlight on the first day of spring. Many generations before us have looked for the moment the sun rose above the horizon on the first day of spring at exact six o’clock in the morning. To date you and I have not succeeded to experience this, because once it rained all night, another time it was foggy, or one of us was sick and other years we had our work commitments.

[1]

For you and me, this moment is so important because our ancestors needed this moment to determine the time of the year. This time served as a benchmark for e.g . determining the sowing time of wheat [2].
The importance of this time for our ancestors was evident because in all Catholic churches the altar faces east – the center of the windows above the altar receives the first ray of sunrise exactly at sunrise at 6 o’clock in the morning on the first day of spring. The sermon is always held in the direction of the morning light – the light of the resurrection (of nature).
During funerals, the deceased are carried with their feet forward towards the altar, so that the first thing  the dead will see on the day of the resurrection, is the morning light. Many graves of ancestors also have this direction [3].

Now we are sitting on a peninsula with water all around us. Just to the north it is connected to the land. There is little wind but it promises to be a cold and beautiful night.

After diner in twilight we prepare for the night at moonlight:

[4]

“Did you see my flashlight?”

“It is full moon, no flashlight needed.”

“I like to set the alarm correctly.”

“The alarm is set at five.”

“Enough time to wake up.”

“I hope the night and dawn will be clear. Then we may see the sun rise nicely.”

“We’ll see.”

“It will be a cold night.”

“That is the reason we have warm sleeping bags.”

“I hope there will be no fog and mist.”

“What is wrong with fog and mist.”

“It will spoil our view of the sunrise.”

“You want the sunrise with fireworks and Clarion blasts?”

“Better than waking up in a thick fog.  After so many years we have deserved it. We are not that often in the open air at the onset of the spring.”

“From primeval fog we originate, perhaps it is more realistic to look at the fog.”

“I’d rather see the view that many people before us have looked at. There is good reason for the orientation of the altars to the East.”

“OK, then a beautiful resurrection tomorrow morning. But don’t worry if it we have a different view.”

“How shall we lie, head over to the West and feet to the East?”

“Similar to our funeral. With the feet to the altar.”

“I don’t want to think of my funeral. I’m needed at my family and at my work.”

“I prefer to live. But I would like to be unique by following the footsteps of our ancestors. Who has done this before?”

“No one is as crazy as us.”

“It is nice to look at the sky during a clear night. Our ancestors have done this so often. When you snore I’ll have a view at the universe. Tomorrow I hope to share the unique view that our ancestors have seen. We deserve it after all these years”

“Will you also share the day of resurrection your ancestors?”

“I don’t know. Sleep well, have a nice dream.”

“Dream of dreams”.


[1] Source image: POVRAY – Sunrise JvL

[2] Calvin, William H., De Rivier die tegen de Berg opstroomt – een reis naar de oorsprong van de aarde en de mens. 1992

[3] Depending on the latitude, graves are oriented to the East or to the South. Source must be retrieved.

[4] Source image: POVRAY – Moonlight JvL

Introduction: Two – Twins and opposites


“The previous post is on a first order arising after everything has fallen apart into an infinite number of particles. Your narrator has told the first steps towards a hierarchy and ethics. You have received a glimpse of heaven and hell. In this post we continue with twins and opposites.

Twins are very important to people. In ancient myths and stories twins are often at the beginning of important developments. But around these twins, there exists usually uncertainty and instability. A choice is foreseen. Unfortunately, in myths a violent decision is made. One of the twin children must leave or be killed.

You probably know the twins Romulus and Remus, who are raised by a wolf. Romulus killed Remus in a dispute over the sovereignty of the new city. After this assassination Romulus could continue the founding of Rome [1].

[2]

In Genesis – the first book of the Old Testament – Cain and Abel are the first two children of Adam and Eve. The description gives indications that they are twins. Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. Both brought offerings to God, but God accepted only the smoke from the cattle-sacrifice [3] [4] of Abel.

[6]

Because God does not accept the sacrifice of the harvest, Cain slew Abel – his brother [5].

People are very sensitive to opposites. In a desire for certainty, the opposition have to disappear as quickly as possible – often at the expense of a great loss. As a solution of this dilemma, one side of the opposites is then chosen. Your narrator showed you already the sad fate of Remus and Abel: the opposites within the twins have to be resolved by the disappearance of one child of the twins.

When opposites arise, people require clarification as quickly as possible. Much is put aside to get clarification between yes or no, right or wrong, true or false, belief or unbelief, right or wrong. Often this choice is made by an immediate sacrifice or destruction of one of the two opposites. This choice is so important for that people even commit fratricide; people are killed, war is made, people and dissidents are massacred.

Why should opposites immediately be solved? Why may they not survive? Has humanity a strong desire for oneness or is it necessary to settle unrest and discontent as quick as possible at the expense of great sacrifices? Or may be both? Is the lifting of the unrest and dissatisfaction worth committing major crimes? On their Odyssey, the main characters encounter many of these dilemmas.

Your narrator perceives in the distance the two main characters reappear. They are not twins and I hope that they will not solve their differences through violence and murder on their Odyssey. We’ll see.

Your narrator leaves the report now to the two main characters. In the next post, they will tell their story about a vigil at the beginning of spring in preparation for the next stage in their Odyssey.”


[1] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_en_Remus

[2] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Lupa_romana.jpeg

[3] See also: Mallory, J.P., In Search of the Indo-Europeans, p. 138

[4] See also: Introduction – Rituals 2 (27 maart 2011)

[5] See also: Genesis 4

[6] Source image: http://www.tstl.net/children/coloring/coloring.asp