Fire Angel Reach
Photo by Gamaliel Masters
Back in the days before civilization, people lived in a dreamy kind of unconscious. Of course they were awake when they were awake, but the rational mind was still in a slumber trying to figure it all out. Back in the beginning of Time, EVERYTHING was magical. EVERYTHING was mystical. EVERYTHING loomed with supernatural import. Hence shamanism is the world's oldest religion, because primitive people had a sense for the powers inherent in their world, in the animals and the trees and the rocks and things.
First man and first woman were sitting around in a cave making sparks and they invented fire. Ouch. First man said. Fire is Hot. Language was invented. Then before you know it the rational mind started to catalogue things. Words were in dictionaries. People had the power of language to agree and disagree with one another.
Dictionaries had the power to prove who was right and who was wrong.
But in a different cave, on the other side of the island, another first man and first woman also came up with what we call Fire, only they called it by another name...
That's why when rational man woke up from his slumber, he started putting words in dictionaries and killing all the bastards who got it "wrong." That's why we need copy cat religion -- to be sure them other bastards on the other side of the island don't try to tell us the wrong word for fire. It might anger the fire gods, and He might burn down our forest.
Rules of Ownership, a Creation Story:
In the Beginning, Goddess gave Birth to the all. Peoples were part of the All. Peoples were individuals and there were no laws. Peoples tried things to see what worked. Peoples didn't have language yet so they couldn't share ideas and had to think for themselves. In fact, ideas weren't created yet because peoples had to try things first before they had anything at all to think about. Before thought was invented, there was instinct. Instinct said I'm hungry go get food. There was no television, no dictionaries, no radios, and nobody was in charge.
When thought was invented, peoples began to invent language as a way to express thought. Peoples were used to being independent entities with nobody in charge, so when other peoples disagreed with them, it felt like a violation of independent thinking. Reality was based on experience then, not on dictionaries and books. There were no books, so nobody was able to say "I read about this in a book, therefore..."
One day, some peoples got tired of everybody disagreeing so they wrote things down. That way, when other peoples came along and disagreed with them, they would not get all confused in the head and forget what their own thoughts about reality were.
Pretty soon everybody was writing things down, to make their thoughts about reality permanent, to be sure reality didn't fluctuate too much. It felt more stable to have reality written down so it couldn't shift and move; and when other peoples wrote things down that were different, some peoples couldn't stand it -- they didn't want reality to shift. God-damn it they said, I HAVE THIS STUFF ALL WRITTEN DOWN AND NOW YOU DARE TO WRITE DOWN SOMETHING ELSE !!! So some peoples got really angry and destroyed what the other peoples wrote about different realities than their own. They destroyed it because they were afraid of shifting reality. They wanted to nail reality down so they could be in control of it.
This is why we write things down. To stabilize reality. To be sure those other peoples don't come along and mess with our heads.
If you let reality shift too much, it can lead to horrible destruction and terrible consequences.
You have to get a grip on reality. When you write things down and be sure everybody agrees, and kill all the bastards who try to write down something different, this is the way to Heaven ...
Heaven is a transcendent state where reality no longer shifts and there are no more other peoples writing down contradictory stories.
Contradictory stories and differing accounts of the nature of reality have the power to destroy the very fabric of existence...
That's why when rational mind invented books in order to stabilize reality, rational mind invented laws that said peoples weren't allowed to think anymore for themselves, cuz thinking leads to conflicting stories about reality, and everybody knows how dangerous that can be ...
In case you haven't figured it out yet, the people who write the stuff down in the books and tell you to stop thinking cuz it's all written down in a book, those are the people who OWN you. They are the ones who have the right to tell you what Simon Says ... Everybody else has to keep quiet and listen with their hands on their heads (Simon Says) and in this way, those who own us can take care of us and protect us from the shifting nature of reality, and ultimate destruction ...
Back in the days when everybody had household Gods (and by Gods I mean Gods and Goddesses) -- back in the days before monotheism -- when every family had their own Gods -- people used to fight and feud a lot over whose Gods were better. Just like my Serbian Grandfather used to Bitch about how the neighbors made the Bourek Wrong (Bourek is a Serbian Filo Pastry Dough dinner dish, and good god Serbs are the most Copy Cat Worrywarts in the world if you get the Bourek "wrong" it's like you said the invocation to the Holy Eucharist wrong -- Lord only Knows what kind of Eternal Damnation might result, like when they blew up the Twin Towers according to Pat Robertson because of all the Gays and Feminists in America -- see what can happen when you get somethimg Wrong people !?) Oh Lordy the neigbhors made the Bourek wrong. And so they used to Fight and even sometimes KILL each other over whose family Gods were better. Until one day a bunch of really powerful dudes got together and decided to TELL EVERYBODY: "NOW WE'RE ALL GOING TO DO IT MY WAY, SEE? AND WE'RE GOING TO SLAUGHTER ANYONE WHO TRIES TO DO IT DIFFERENT!"
So i guess that settles it then, right? Let's all just follow the leader, play simon says and copy cat spirituality and then we'll all be safe from whatever, from the neighbors, from the tyrants, from the uncertainty of having to think for ourselves.
Memorization sure comes in handy, when you have a hard time thinking for yourself.
Memorizing all the "rules" and "codes of conduct" sure comes in handy when you have no "spiritual sense" of your own; and you are afraid if you make a wrong move you will be cast into eternal darkness, or ousted from the coven.
Memorization sure works well as a substitute for actually Experiencing Reality and Figuring things out on your own, which can be Oh So Scary -- Help me Help me Mommy -- I need my Copy Cat Religion!
Well, that pretty much covers it then. I guess the point is, there are people all over who think they have found the one and only right way to do a thing, and the point I'm trying to make is, there is no one right or wrong way to do a thing, especially in spiritual matters. There are many roads to Rome, as the saying goes, and when all is said and done, feel free to express what is within you, as the Gospel of Matthew says: "If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you..." and don't let copy cat religion and simon says spirituality squelch your personal spiritual quest, or make you feel like any less than the deeply spiritual and profoundly rich and complex individuals that you are.
And as always,
Peace, Love and Poetic License,
4 Nov 2003