Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Upon Whom the Ends
of the Ages Have Come…
A fantasy for an Apocalypse
© Ludis Cuckold (2015)
18 How Sweet A Mother’s Milk
While her friends were sympathetic to Daisy’s plight and kind enough to provide for Daisy’s immediate needs, they did not sympathize with her all that much. After all, she had offered herself as a sexual object to a ne’er-do-well and chosen to pleasure herself with sex rather than commit to work.
Daisy’s protestations that she loved the ne’er-do-well did not impress her friends. They took merciless note of the fact that carnal desire (which Daisy claimed to be ‘love’) had trumped her Will and ability to reason. Though the Latvijan Commons had suffered a profound disintegration, the work ethic* instilled by the German Herrnhuter Brother- and Sisterhood, when encouraged and otherwise stoked by money a few centuries later, still becomes its own goal and end for most Latvijans. While the Latvian President Ivars Īyabs** insists that family values are foremost on his mind and that it ought to be the same for all Latvijans, little or nothing of such concerns communicate themselves to the abandoned luddies, for whom, male or female, getting laid and a pocket full of money (who gives a damn where it comes from!) plays the role of the last cigarette before being hung out to dry in front of a government of executioners passing out free home-made nooses.
*’The work ethic’ is a phrase as dubious as “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes Free—over the entrance of Aushwitz concentration camp of Nazi Germany). The trouble with either phrase is that both are susceptible to two interpretations: one good (as in ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’), the other bad (as in ‘I’ll make you work your butt off’). In short, it is not the words, but the inflection given to words that determines their truth and, ultimately, deed it results in. Proto-Latvijans knew this, when they chose to inflect a thingified word into an endearing word, but post-Latvijans have forgotten it when they try to elevate the Latvian language above others without the endearing attribute.
**Ivars Īyabs—a nom de plume for a series of virtual Latvian presidents who have no idea what goes on in the country as a whole. The name of ‘IĪ’ first appears in the magazine “Rīgas Laiks” (November 2015 issue) in an interview with one such virtual president.
No one cared to understand that having been thingified, Daisy was doing nothing more than seeking to recapture love stolen from her. A mythologist once called such adventuring ‘follow your bliss’. Daisy’s adventure (real as life) made her put off coming face to face with reality by hoping that the ne’er-do-well would wake up and take responsibility. But for six months Stud did nothing, but fucked her, until six months pregnant (and having been fucked, and again become an unloved thing) in a strange land, Daisy was crawling out of desperation for not knowing what to do either with regard to herself and her yet unborn.
Her friends advised her to return to Latvija. Her mother and stepfather in Latvija were advising the same, even as they reminded her of the children she had left behind. As I was to discover, her stepfather did so certain that he owed her no fatherhood (what with his wife making no defense of the honor of either herself or her daughter), but continued to call her a ‘whore’ and dreamt cannibalistic dreams of fucking Daisy again as soon as opportunity arose.
I saw Daisy after she had returned to Latvija, had given birth, and thereafter called me to ask if I had work that I could give her. By then her youngest had begun to walk.
Since I had been living in Latvia fifteen years and had come to perceive its government as a lack luster organization aligning itself with a foreign power’s interests to develop its future along a Zionist political path, and had spent my loose cash trying help renew the Johns Day Festival and helped out any number of needy individuals, I felt almost as destitute as my neighbors.* Still, I had more resources than they. Given its needs and deliberate demoralization by the emotionless rigidity of the Latvian government, I, too (in the course of time), was forced to let my countryside home fall into neglect** and was in need of affordable labor.
*I tend to follow the logic of the saying: “You must do it in order to understand it”. This helped me survive the 2008 financian/economic crash without regrets over my financial losses. The losses put me roughly in the same financial position as most of the men and women of my home country, which enabled me to join what was left of the Latvijan Commons without guilt.
**The catastrophic state of the dictatorial pseudo empire known as the European Union (EU) is not unknown to Latvians, but fear*** of further impoverishment and deprivation is so great among the people that the vital statistics are kept a government secret. An example of this is a book called “Silenced Stories” (Valsts Meža Dienests, 2011). The book is published under the auspices of Estonian-Latvian Borderzone Cooperation Project, which verbalizes its mission in the phrase: “Unknown cultural heritage in common natural and cultural space”. Through pictures and text, the book projects the consequences of poverty through the destruction of continuity between centuries and ruling regimes.
***Fear—its cause generally ascribed to the former Soviet Union. However, a more real source of it is the medical profession of post-Soviet Latvija. While medical services are essential, the government keeps the incomes of countryside doctors at near poverty level, which fact, causes their treatment of patients to be superficial if not dismissive, at the same time it forces the doctors to be more money than patient oriented. The referral services (to the hospital or for laboratory analysis) to treat serious medical problems often have lines ten months long. When combined with the medical profession’s atheism and dismissal of God as a an unwelcome vagrant come to sabotage the workings of the material universe, fear and helplessness among the population results in a form of demoralization that knows no hope and keeps it phlegmatic.
Daisy came to work and brought along her youngest, who she was still breast feeding. Sometimes she brought all three of her children. The work I offered was not difficult, and since it’s nature was that of personal assistance, I was not a demanding employer. The work included weeding my garden and cleaning my indoors and outdoors living space. Since Daisy lived several villages away from me, it was I who went to pick her up at her parents’ residence in the wood and brought her to my home that had formerly been in a wood. A local saying, now long forgotten, had it right: “If you meet up with a wolf, cross to the other side of the road, and all will be well.” A homestead known as “Roma”, a nest in the wood, is but two kilometers from my home.
When the Herrnhuters arrived in Livonia, they began to rebuild the society destroyed by the Great Northern War (1700-1731) from the ground up. Since the would be rescuers of the lost proto-Livonian Commons were sponsored by German barons, who had occupied Livonia for many centuries, the immediate employment of the Moravians was from the German estates where they took managerial positions. Yet another unique aspect is the Hat Wearers was the fact that the role of the Moravians was like that of shamans: they functioned less as doctors than fellow field workers. Perhaps this was because the Herrnhuters insisted that they earn their own keep and that there should be no difference in status between themselves and the locals. In their heart of hearts the German- and Latvian Herrnhuter brother- and sisterhood were Christian Communists as most small farmers tend to be.
The barons of the German manors placed my forebears in supervisory positions. Thus my great grandfather worked as a ‘starasts’* (my favorite saying about my great grandmother told by local farmers: “Hey, look! There’s starast’s wife shoveling cow sh*t!”). The barons also permitted the Herrhuters to build wayside inns. Sometimes the inns were built near churches, where churchgoers (church attendance by the indentured population was obligatory) stopped either to build up their fortitude for what they were about to hear or coming from the sermons to deny what they had heard. In either case, Herrnhuter spiritual work, Lutheran pastors notwithstanding, was supported by many of the barons, and the proto-Latvijan Commons, each according its own needs and traditions. To be specific: the Lutherans (their theology differing not at all from that of the Catholics) were globalizers in the sense of the political reorientation that followed post-Westphalian Peace reform. Whereas the barons had their immediate need of a reconstituted competent work force in mind; the Herrnhuters advised their protégés to listen to their own consciences, which listening they enhanced by teaching the people (ludies, lyaudis, die Leute) how to write. Not surprisingly, the first books among proto-Latvians were handwritten single copies.
*Starasts=starac or elder, a religious rank of the Boxena or Bosnia Church, nostably of the 14th century, apparently a remnant of the Cathars. Re Malcolm Lambert, “The Cathars”, Blackwell, pgs 295-306. Noteworthy is also the Latvijan word ‘pātari’, now out of use, but formerly standing for ‘prayer’. The word likely derives from Patarenes, who were monks of the Bosnian Church, and represented a remnant of the Cathars. Whether the word was introduced by the Herrnhuters or it had hung on in Livonia in folk usage (from the times of the proto-Latvian Kingdom of Jersika) waiting to be reawakened six centuries later is not in the competence of my “fantasy for Apocalypse” to assert. See chapter 19 for the link that may connectf 18th to 12th century.
The Herrnhuters brought revival not only to the Latvians, but also to their own movement, which in so many ways was—beginning with the Bogomils, Cathars, Diggers and others—heir to a series of repressed Christian eschatological movements. This is why soon, following their successful revival efforts, many barons came to see the Herrnhuters as a threat to their interests and there followed yet another repression—by way of the authority of a combined German and Latvian Lutheran church.
The essence of the Herrnhuter method of moral uplift was to insist that there be no third party intervention between God and His communicants. This is why their theology opposed early baptism and transubstantiation (which they replaced with transmigration), and advocated redemption by means of a self-sacrificial acts rather than passive reflection. The Kabala teaches that the truth is not only in one’s heart, but is also revealed through acts—the first of which is speaking, the second taking one’s self seriously and acting on the words one receives. For this reason, the Herrnhuters did not close their ears to the Kabala, which is why some claimed they were ‘Jew lovers’*. Indeed, many Herrnhuters ridiculed the passive teachings handed down from the pulpit by establishmentarian Christian preachers.
*Antisemitism is not unknown among Latvians. Most explanations source this in the presence of apparently numerous Ashkenazy Jews among the Bolsheviks. However, it may be closer to the truth that its source is the Herrnhuter interest in the Kabala, both of which the Lutheran Church authorities did their best to discredit and besmirch.
In the course of time, the Herrnhuter movement prepared ground for the Baptist Church of Latvija and by finding common ground bolstered the role of the Russian Orthodox faith, which was being blocked by the Western Christian Church. It also furthered the development of a nationalist movement, which was followed by the founding of the Latvian nation. But it is also true that having got the ball rolling, so to speak, the Herrnhuters were repressed*, and today there is little left of them but passive memory. We ought not to forget, that the post-Westphalian peace brought to us the sociology of Durkheim, who insisted that ‘society’ is a thing, thereby causing it to become its own fetish. As anthropologist Taussig puts it: “…the history of Western Man turns out to be bound, hand and foot to fetishism from which it is itself inseparable, and of which it becomes exemplary”*.
*Herrnhuter repression in Livonia resulted in the Herrnhuters taking recourse in what they called “the silent walk” (klusais gājiens), which by means of secrecy continued to try maintain its nascent Commons. The silent walk was not unlike that among the Cathars, who—following the 13th century masacres by live cremation—continued to meet secretly in the wood and wherever the eyes and ears of the Inquisition did not reach.
** Michael Taussing, The Nervous System, Routledge PB, 1992.
As in primordial Byzantium, it was Bog (God) and His sons and daughters, who the Herrnhuterns believed should be the ones to lead the congregation and the Commons. It was the Commons, not government that spoke best on the People’s behalf.
The success of the Herrnhuter theological premise, not to say its attractiveness among the people (ļaudis), who had been reduced to bare life in the wood, provoked intense jealousy among Lutheran establishment, which considered itself the victor and benefactor of the Westphalian Peace Treaty. While the treaty had put an end to decades of religious Wars, one of the causes of the conflict and the source of its popular support—taxation—went unrecognized. During the peace negotiations no side was recognized as being more right than wrong. Therefore, the opponents of taxation were believed to be guiltier than those who had imposed it, simply because taxes continued and continued to have government support.
The Westphalian Peace Treaty enabled Catholic theology (presumed to be Christian), to reconfigure itself into a ‘new’ more or less secularized globalization-bent effort that became integrated into a ‘state religion’, i.e., politics. Because the Peace of Westphalia recognized no differences in the theology of the Catholics and Lutherans, their sameness was formalized by law. Sweden and some centuries later Latvija made the ‘new’ monopole theology the religion of the State and called it ‘Democracy’, while ‘democracy’ splintered Christian theology into numerous churches sympathetic to secularist measures. To put it another way: the populist Commons (the cause of existential disagreements) was eliminated in favor of political fascisms (Senate, Saeima, Duma) where the sacraments were transubstantiated into political parties.
Since Herrnhuter religious ceremonies like that of black slave congregations in America did not take place in buildings with a spire, but in ordinary barns, granaries, or inns, and even in the wood, word was passed by the Lutheran clergy that whatever went on at these informal meeting places was of an abnormal nature and likely involved Devil worship. It is at this point that the Balts acquired the reputation of being ‘pagans’. Not that they were bona fide wild men, but Christians weeping for the lost wood that had once been the source of their innocence and Paradise.
Whenever my grandfather was cautioned by his family that he was working too hard and should be easier on himself, he responded: “Do not worry about me; worry about my devil (‘dieveLis’=spirit).” In fact, the Devil is not the name of the Evil One, but of God powered by the inflection of an Endearment. Dev = derived from ‘Diev s’ (God), + ‘il’ = vinysh (the inflection that endears); re: Diev+viņš = Devil. One may imagine that when Jesus called God ‘Abba ’, said to be a name that endears, he was using a ‘primitive’ inflection of speech.
By the time Daisy returned from England, I was in my mid-seventies. As was true during my earlier acquaintance with her, I found Daisy to be a dazzlingly good looking young woman, gentle to the point of shyness, and sexually attractive in a way that brought pain to an involuntary celibate. The pain soon found a way to spill over the rim. One day while Daisy was breast feeding her child, I asked if I, too, could have a taste of her milk.
Daisy did not refuse me either her breast or milk.