Friday, January 31, 2014

Eso’s Chronicles 290 / 3  
A Civilization of Persecution
© Eso A.B.
All comments appearing within brackets [ ] are editorial in origin.


The camera and the photograph have realized the fears of so-called ‘primitive’ men who feared being ‘shot’ by a photographer and thereby have their spirit taken from them.

These fears are, of course, based on the importance of subjectivism to all of us hominem*. As this video link shows , subjectivity is a jealously guarded matter by all ancient tribes.

As the video shows (and proves), our subjectivity in former times was often projected by imagery. This imagery was projected by body paint and face or head mask. The end result may be described as a form of self-portraiture.

While subjectivity is a singularity or personal matter for us, it lends itself, nevertheless, to the creation of traditions, which are created to honour our ancestors. Such an honour to those who have died is given because we identify with the experience of death that took them away. And because the dead are clearly gone, we wonder just where it is that they went. Perhaps this is why the Spirit is so often identified with Water, because the body, once a full pitcher, is now an empty pitcher . It makes sense to imagine that it has gone to the ‘other’ (or nether) world below the sea or horizon with everyone’s mother, the Sun.

The objective nature of a tradition is not, however, experienced as oppressive, but is, instead, treated with great reverence, because we inherit it with our mother’s milk. Unfortunately, the modern nation State, which presumes to rule over us through the means of ‘law’, and enforce the ‘law’ with the tools of violence, sees subjectivity as an enemy of the ‘law’.

Indeed, the modern ‘federalized’ State, which became such through the disarming of localized territories, threatens to disarm all hominems by identifying itself with fearsome violence, which is nothing short of Death personified. The federalized State appears to believe that the fear of death will immobilise the subjectivity of the being of hominem altogether.

As those of us who follow the news with more than a passing interest know, the ‘faith’ of the federalized State in its capacity to intimidate has been put on notice by strong winds of doubt.

At this time, the doubt is being most strongly projected by so-called ‘Muslims’, who profess not to fear death, because death according to their faith is a gateway to the Great Spirit (God, Allah), or as the secularized might say—the Great Whole Whatever It Is.

The spying presently conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and its justifications [‘…The terrorist threat to this country is real. We need to do everything possible to make our nation safe…’ (see 8th ‘talking point’ ], significantly contributes to making the modern hominem an ever more ‘naked’ individual and, thus, ever more, to use legal language, homo sacer—one who cannot be sacrificed, but may be killed by anyone without fear of being accused of murder . The infamous detention centre of non-persons, Guantanamo, administered by the U.S. government, implements this persecution of hominems.

It may surprise some readers that we have arrived at the same justifications for violence used by the early Catholic Church against so-called ‘heretics’.

The reasons why some early Christians were called ‘heretics’ by the Catholic Church was not because the accused were in any way ‘heretics’, but simply because the Church wanted to consolidate its power in territories, where it was new, but the ‘heretics’ were of old and probably from the days before Western Crusaders had destroyed the seat of early Christianity in 1204 or Fourth Crusade against Constantinople.

Writes R.I. Moore, a scholar on medieval history, in his book “The Foundation of a Persecuting Society” (Blackwell, PB; p. 11) : “So I began to think of Western Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as a persecuting society. It also seemed to me… that Europe had not exhibited the habit of persecution to anything like the same degree before the eleventh century, but it continued to do so thereafter for the rest of its history….”

This leads me to the question: Can a persecutor make of him- or herself a self-portrait unless it is a photograph?

I will venture to answer my own question with a “no!” and a “yes!” Heinrich did shave off his moustache:
And why would Europe become a persecuting society? Again R.I. Moore:

“Neither the theory nor the practice of persecution was the invention of the twelfth century. On the contrary the danger, or at least the fear, of schism had attended the church since its infancy.,,, ‘The factious man (hereticum hominem) ’after the first and second correction avoid,’ wrote Paul**, ‘knowing that he is perverted and sinful and condemned by our judgement’ (Titus 3, 10-11).”

What stands out among R.I. Moore’s words are: “…the fear, of schism had attended the church since its infancy”.

Why should this be so? Once again, R.I. Moore: “After his conversion [313 AD ] the Emperor Constantine made it clear that the privileges which he conferred on Christians ‘must benefit only adherents of the Catholic faith’—that is, adherents of the Nicean creed and of the bishop of Rome….”

Do we have a self-portrait of Emperor Constantine? No, but plenty of portraits:

But why should the church fear a schism since its infancy? It is at this point that I (not a scholar) diverge from Moore and other historians.

*hominem—to replace the awkward name of ‘human being’, which replaced ‘man’ for its exclusion of the feminine sex, I have chosen the old Latin form of ‘hominem’  to replace, both, ‘human being’ (for its awkwardness) and ‘homo’ (for its autoerotic) connotations.
**Paul—likely Paul of St. Pere of Chartres, “the apologist for the winning side in what was a highly political affair (Moore, “Birth of Popular Heresy, p. 10-21), who greatly contributed to the burning of fourteen ‘heretics’ in Orleans.”

Save the Wood!

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