Sunday, October 11, 2009

© Eso Antons Benjamins

37 Not-Violent Populism (IX)

The Latvians have come up against an existential challenge. This challenge faces today every nation. For a number of reasons, however, it has reached the Latvians in an acute form before it has so reached others. [The situation of Iceland may be similar.] The challenge concerns the very existence of the Latvian community and nation.

While the challenge is of a do or die nature and, thus, a profoundly serious matter, the cheery side to it is that if the Latvians meet it, they may become leaders of a series of similar community revolts. Indeed, the challenge necessitates a revolt against the positivism designed to maintain the status quo in favor of neo-liberal democracy, i.e., the rule of a “more equal than others” ideology so favorable to large corporations.

At its most elemental, the Latvians [serious communities the world over are in need of a similar figure] need to lead a revolt on behalf of Johns (John in plural). Johns is a collective name of the ancient bondsmen-teachers of Latvians. The Johns bonded their communities by ever returning to them (dzimteneh) to die there. Before the dead were put in charge of a Mother of the Dead, it was Jahnis who was in charge of them. He (they) taught against the authorities who keep God in heaven and conspire to have Johns replaced by one who lives far away indeed.

If the Latvians have the will to survive, they will have to will their Jahnis back. In effect, they need to recreate him. If they do, it will be a deed loaded with political consequences for the future, their own nation and the nations of the world. If they do not bring him back, some other nation will, because the name of John remains ubiquitous, and this fact alone is crying out for attention. The true significance of the name of John will be found out; the question remains—by whom?

Ever hear of Inti? Inti is the Inca sun god, one of the most important gods in Inca religion. All Inca Emperors descended from Inti. Inti is represented by the gold of the sun disk.  Inti = John = Jahnis = …… The Latvian sun is a goddess, but Jahnis, her son, is the same I[Y]nti, the king as the son of the Sun who bonds his community by ever returning to it to die. Jahnis often returns to the land of his birth just before his death. Indeed, we may claim that he returns in order to sacrifice his life to the land of his birth. Inti’s day of celebration is the Inti Raymi  , which coincides with the Latvian midsummer’s day, re Jahnu Diena (Johns Day). To translate the name Inti Raymi in terms more meaningful to us, let us read “Inti Raymi” as Inti Roma (Johns Rome) and Jahnu roma. The specific meaning raymi-rome-roma-rama may escape us, nevertheless, we can easily see a connection to round, romp, rope, and, surprisingly enough to the dom-jon, the core, the strongest point of a castle in the middle ages. The reliable (at all costs) return of Jahnis—the village boy who went to see the world—is why he represents the faith of the community.

Sounds like a desperate plan for survival? It may be. However, when all is said and done—it is the only alternative to death. A cynic may say that he prefers to drift to hell in the boat that he already is in and will not change boats and risk tipping into hell so much sooner. However, perhaps the Latvians will find that they have the will to make the maneuver, because they wish to wake up as a community again. To do so, they must—as in the fairytale—recall the sylvan forests they come from, take another look at the suburbia they either live in or dream of, and see the hole behind their house become, day by day, an ever larger and deeper garbage dump.

Neither the Incas or ancient Balts were mad, nor were the ancestors of Latvians mad because their universe went along similar lines of thought as those of all the namesakes of John. The parallels are not a paraphenomenon. John-Jahnis-Inti- all have one mother and father—the Sun, who may be a male one time, a female another.

If the Latvians do not unhook from the Pop culture that grips the cusp of the 20-21st centuries, then it hardly matters if they live on for a while or die right away. One way or another, it will be apparent that the blip on the screen (too quick for easy recognition) is all that became of the descendants of this particular sylvan branch of humankind. On the other hand, if the Latvians do get John to return to Earth and he becomes John for real again (Johns Eve and Day, among other events, is a time for tragic theatre), then Ivan, Ian, Jean, Huan, Johann et all will soon follow.

So, here is the question: Are the Latvians as a people worth their measure as populists who have their own self-sacrificial God, or are all of the bonds-men and women of Latvian communities dead? This is the question and the challenge of our times, at this time most pressing for the Latvians.

These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you have read—you will consider reading the previous blog and/or the blog hereafter.

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