The following series (not exactly serials) concern the importance of self-sacrifice in the creation and maintenance of a community. Do not be put off by the name "Latvia", the name of the country where I live, because you can probably replace the name with that of your own country. I believe self-sacrifice is "religion" without you or me necessarily having to believe in God.
At the time when the Spirit was in the care of the self-sacrificial Church of John, the Muslim nations, too, were part of the Original Empire. This fact reflects in the Russian name Ivan, the Muslim Mohammed (Johammed), the Jewish Hannukah (Jannukah), the Latvian Jānis, and the English John.
The Muslims will have to come to terms with their history on their own. The Hannukah War of 2008 at the time of this writing has claimed 384 Gazan dead and 1400 maimed and wounded. As for the Christian people, they have not yet finished fighting their civil war. That war is yet waiting to end on terms of the arch-Christians, that is, he-she who self-sacrifices most are the victors. Neo-Christendom continues to dream of Armageddon come by the sword, and for some the Israeli War on Gaza 2008 is the opening gambit. It suits them that King John at Khan Younis be a ruin. http://electronicintifada.net/artman2/uploads/1/khan-younis-destroyed_001.jpg )
I have had friends ask: “What do you mean by ‘arch-Christian’ and ‘neo-Christian’? Is it not but one Christianity?”
The answer is a hidden Yes. The Yes comes by way of Georges Bataille, who quotes Nietzsche (Visions of Excess, Selected Writings 1927-1939, p. 194):
“Our ancestors were Christians who in their Christianity were uncompromisingly upright: for their faith they willingly sacrificed possessions and position, blood and fatherland. We—do the same. For what? For our unbelief? For every kind of unbelief? No, you know better than that, friends! The hidden Yes in you is stronger than all the Nos and Maybes that afflict you and your age like a disease; and when you have to embark on the sea, you emigrants, you too are compelled to this by—a faith!” [Nietzsche, conclusion of section 377, The Gay Science.]
After he gives the above quote, Bataille goes on to write:
“Nietzsche’s teachings elaborate the faith of the sect or the ‘order’ whose dominating will creates a free human destiny, tearing it away from the rational enslavement to production, as well as from the irrational enslavement to the past. The revalued values must not be reduced to use value—this is a principle of such burning, vital importance that it rouses all that life provides of a stormy will to conquer. Outside of this well-defined resolution, these teachings only give rise to inconsequential things or to the betrayal of those who pretend to take them into account. Enslavement tends to spread throughout human existence, and it is the destiny of this free existence that is at stake.”
I submit that our ancestors—whether Balts or anyone else—never were “pagans”. Those whom the neo-Christians insult thus were, in fact, arch-Christians who self-sacrificed their lives for the sake of a free existence that they were being deprived of by the “use value” of a John decapitated and dismissed through the figure of Jesus to heaven. Heaven is the last resort, because greener pastures are no more. However, as an arch-Christian, I vote for “greener pastures” still.
Great Ring Dance: http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/shakers.gif [Y]anno 2009!