Friday, January 2, 2009

51. Latvia’s Profound vs Shallow Traditions [1]

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.

As the resercher Agita Misāne points out in her article “Dievturības priekšteči” [The Forebears of “Believers in Latvian Gods”—my translation] ( ), the early nationalist movement among Latvians, searching to legitimate itself, created Latvian Gods which had little to do with fact, but was the result of an overflow of enthusiasm among those, who were in the forefront of those who created Latvia.

If not all the Gods and traditions suggested by poetic license have taken hold, we cannot call those who suggested these “dishonest”. Their motivation was a desire to see Latvians achieve their own sovereign nation, and, no doubt, they based their ‘discoveries on the oral traditions passed on to them by their forebears. That these oral traditions were frequently confused was the result that the cultural environment in which their forebears lived was a zone of conflict between East, West, and Ancient.

Such motivations led the artist Ernest Brastins to found (in 1926) the above mentioned Dievturu movement. While Misāne believes that the movement never exceeded a thousand members, its influence on Latvians was—1000 to the nth power. The reason was that the people felt themselves not only reborn, but wished to know more about whence their origin. True, one cannot tell what course the movement would have taken if Latvia had remained a sovereign nation.

Unfortunately, the half a century occupation of Latvia (1940) by the Soviet Union created a vacuum in the development of critical sensibilities among Latvians. The Soviet Union severely repressed the notion of Latvia as a sovereign nation. On the other hand, the Latvians who had fled to the far abroad in the West and called themselves exiles, continued to find the movement helpful in keeping their identity. For all that, the Dievturu movement had about it something of pseudo-religious nature, and this nature hindered it from becoming an influence on rabid nationalists, whose movement was not only wholly secularist, but likely heavily infiltrated by foreign intelligence services, particular that of the U.S. For reasons of its own, the U.S. government agreed with the political wing of secularist exiles that the Soviet Union had occupied Latvia, and the day would come when the exiles would return to a ‘free’ Latvia in Western orbit.

In effect, the secularist influence among nationalist oriented Latvians and the pseudo-religious nature of the Dievturu movement, hindered both movements from taking an in-depth interest in the history of Latvia, which remained resting in shallow waters. While the Dievturu movement sometimes elicited passionate rhetoric, the movement failed to make any life offerings, and, thus, failed not only to become charismatic, but failed to sacralize and imprint itself as a religion of the Latvian people.

While the ancient Gods had remained on the consciousness of the Latvian people through the longue duree effect, the ultimate validity of this perspective soon collided with the history of the region (Livonia) in which the Latvians had settled. While it was a widely held popular belief that the Balts were ‘pagans’, no one could define what spiritual views a pagan represented. Pagans largely retained their public presence by putting themselves in intellectually unsustainable opposition to the orthodox Christian Church. At the same time, the nation had no scholars or public of sufficient curiosity, who would call for an investigation of the differences between Eastern and Western Christian churches or who would dare to suggest that the Western (Catholic) Church may have displaced an Eastern Church (the Bogomils, Cathars) that had long made its presence felt in the West. If such an assertion were to prove true, then it would become obvious that Eastern Christianity had been long present in the region of Livonia. The major topographical evidence for this presence is that the Albigensian Crusade by the Catholic Church against the Cathars of Langvedoc begun in 1209, overlaps with the Livonian Crusade against the Cathars (Ķeceri) of the Kingdom of Yersika—also begun in 1209.

Incidentally, when I speak of the Eastern Christian Church, I do not have in mind the largely Westernized Russian/Greek Orthodox churches, but trace these to Ancient roots, such as are reflected in the Japanese Shinto religion, Mexian Aztec religion, and others. All mentioned have based themselves on the perception that religion legitimizes itself when it perceives that a community can be bonded only by example of self-sacrifice.

The burden of an uninvestigated past weighs heavily on Latvians today. The longue durée  of history makes them inherently religious, while such religiousness is a replacement of Ancient strata by a Church that has grounded itself in a history of false flags, the chief events of which are the Crusades of 1204 and 1209,_5th_Earl_of_Leicester .

The humanist-secular government of ‘renewed’ Latvia has denied Latvia from its inception (1991) a sovereign nation status. While this, no doubt, has much to do with the infiltration of Latvian exile organizations by Western intelligence services, a no lesser contribution was made by the failure of Latvian Dievturi to dig into the historical past of Livonia in greater depth and breadth. This fact left undiscovered that the Kingdom of Yersika (in the region of Latgale) had, indeed, been a Baltic country, and while its religion was not composed of imagined Gods, it had once possessed a Christian religion similar to its Eastern branches in Albigensia and Byzantium.

The present Latvian government while ‘legitimate’ by Western humanistic and secularist standards, may—from my perspective—be viewed as one that denies Latvians a community, which it displaces in favor of individual rights favored by the dictatorship of humanist European Union.

In summing up, the ancient Gods of Latvians (it might be more correct to say proto-Latvians), soon died. The present Latvian government marches passively under the banner of a foreign God, one who walks the clouds as visualized by the dictatorship of Brussels and no longer the Earth at that. The humanist Culture ministry of Latvia has built a so-called “castle of light”, a library that has only the government’s superego to recommend it. There is nothing wrong with the symbol of a mountain, of course, except that it has come to represent the Culture ministry’s attempt to use secularized grandeur to distance Latvians yet further from their Ancient and profound traditions.

(More to follow.)

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