Center for Rational Theology — Belgrade, Serbia
Centar za Racionalnu Teologiju — Beograd, Srbija
🔼Nice to meet you!
Abarim Publications is part of a global effort to rebuild abandoned ruins, dig up buried foundations and restore ancient roads. To that end we are opening a base in Belgrade, Serbia, under the ringing name Centar za Racionalnu Teologiju (Center for Rational Theology; in which the word "rational" comes from "ratio", which describes the relativity of measurements, and "theology" refers to the study of everything).
Why the restoration of old roads would be beneficial to the people of Serbia, and why we here at Abarim Publications have decided to be in Serbia instead of somewhere else, we will explain in our signature concise but exiting fashion further below.
For now let's say that our primary objective is to get people to read their Bibles, and to freely discuss the Bible once a week in small groups of 4 to 10 people. We're not there to lead or teach, and especially not any novel doctrine — there is quite enough leadership and doctrine in Serbia — but only to instill the joy of using the Bible as a probe into other people's minds.
We're like Bob Ross, if you will. Bob Ross never sold a single painting and only tried to get people to start expressing themselves in paint, for the sheer joy of it. And there's no real way to do it wrong, except when you expect to be like Rembrandt on your first session. Or when you expect someone else to be like Rembrandt. Or when you expect you will ever in your life meet someone like Rembrandt.
Bob Ross' company sold canvasses, brushes and paint sets, and old Bob only taught a few rudimentary techniques on his weekly TV show. And that's what we aim to do (sans the TV show).
- Lesson one: If you are a beginner, please don't try to read the grown-ups' Bible because you will certainly drop out within a month. If you are a beginner, first pick up a children's Bible with lots of pictures. You first need to get familiar with the main names and the main story line of the entire Bible before you can get into any of the deeper functionalities. The Bible is a story told in images, in a kind of Über-language that ties all other stories of the world together and which gives access to an Über-conversation that's been going on for many centuries, "taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered" in the words of Rilke, the poet.
Lesson Two: Simply get together once a week with 4 to 10 friends. Bring cookies, make coffee, turn off your phones. Sit down in a circle and in comfortable chairs. Then read one single chapter (start with Matthew if you're a new group), by going around the circle reading one or two verses out loud (this helps break the ice). Then talk about the chapter: what's going on in this chapter? Who are these people? What's driving them? Are there any details that seem superfluous to you? And are there any that the author left out and you would have included? Why did the author leave them out? What's the bigger picture in which this story might fit? What might happen next? And talk about your feelings. Are there aspects of your own life that this chapter makes you think of? What would you do if you were one of the characters of this chapter? Which character is most like you?
And when you've been doing this for a few years: Which narrative structures support the action in this chapter? What other parts of the Bible use these same structures? How do the omissions line up? What's the link between this chapter and those other parts of the Bible? How does this chapter relate to other great foundational texts: Homer, the Quran, the Vedas, or even The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones or any other movie you've seen or book you've read?
- Lesson Three: Despite rumors to the contrary, there's no single proper explanation to the Bible, and it's certainly no code that must be cracked with some secret key of sorts. Not at all. The Bible is like a land that you can traverse, if traversing lands is your thing. Or dig a mine into, if you like shiny things. Or fly over, if you were born with wings or are technical enough to fabricate some. You can do whatever you want to do. There are many ways to misread what the Bible actually says, but when you know what the Bible actually says, there is still no single meaning to it. The Bible is like a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12) but instead of seeing your own reflection, you'll see the entirety of human reality from your present point of view reflected in it. And that's in many ways similar but always slightly different for everyone who looks.
- Lesson Four: Always be very careful to separate art from science. Both are fundamentally important to us humans but the difference between the two is that artistic expressions are always unique and original, whereas scientific expressions are always confirmed (by an unrelated and original witness who hasn't been communicated with in any way). Art is the source of all the fun in the world, but science is the source of all substance. Keeping the two separate is essential to a properly functioning world. When assessing the quality of art (that's any new thing), always verify the level of its originality (to make sure it wasn't purloined or copied by a thief or imposter). When assessing the quality of science, always verify that there are at least two unrelated confirmations (to make sure that it isn't simply a piece of art copied by enthusiasts). Freely laugh with art; freely build on science. Never build on art; never laugh at science (Matthew 7:24-27).
Lesson Five: Learning how to maneuver the archetypes of the Bible is like learning how to play chess. There are certainly some rules involved, and much history to explore, but if you study all that on your own, you might indeed become the world's greatest chess master, but probably not. The Bible, like any body of literature, any language, even the whole of science, is like being human: a collective affair, and if there is any secret to the Bible, it's that you can't understand it with only your own single mind. You need a Very Large Array antenna for that, as Ellie Arroway discovered first and Beth Harmon later.
If you want to be a chess master, you have to play with others, especially those who keep beating you. And you have to let others play you, especially those who you keep beating. What counts is the game and not the master, because masters come and go but the game stays the same — and the game will always be open for everybody, from absolute beginners to dazzling masters and anything in between.
If you can't find anyone to play with, with whom to freely discuss the Bible, then visit any one of the hundreds of functioning churches and monasteries in Serbia. These places are full of monks and priests who like nothing better than to go through the paces with you. They currently work mostly as quiet custodians in the dark basement of our sedated world, but in fact are covert chess masters.
And now, for the exiting details of why we're in Serbia:
🔼A nation is a living thing
Humanity's earliest nations were tribal. This means that their entire economies were centered upon their kings, and it also means that they couldn't get very big or complex. Since the time of king Solomon, however, nations began to lean not on one but on two pillars, call them "houses" if you will, whose relational dynamics allowed for vastly more complex societies, with much broader specialization and thus a much greater social cohesion.
In the old nations, the king was the apex of the entire machinery of state. In the new nation, the machinery of state became double-layered, so that the king was no longer the boss over all but rather the mere chief of the lower realm, like a chief steward. These two houses related like two overlapping triangles, whose polar reversal made all the difference.
The ultimate consistency of the new nation derived from a curious spontaneous consequence of the interaction of the two houses: a third house, a house that no ruler could intentionally build but which emerged naturally and organically, and which was poised to assume the government of the nation to the great benefit and joy of everyone involved. The first two houses were layered on top of each other but the third house skewered the first two like a sword, like a central pillar around which everything else, irrespective of rank or function, would come to revolve:
- The Red House is the oldest and most natural house, the "toddler house" where humanity first learned how to exist collectively by means of play and trial and error. The Red House is the home of the original tribal king, and where in modern times our nations' political and military governments are still seated, where their national borders are secured and where their laws are enforced.
The various Red Houses govern each their own financial system and are the home of the Old Market, the place where folks come to exchange goods and services, first only within their own Red House but later internationally, between the Red Houses, like wine that flows from busted grapes.
- The Blue House is the younger house because it's the "adolescent house", where humanity began to learn how to learn: not naturally and serendipitously but synthetically and deliberately, like a miner who digs for gold, knowing what to look for, where to look, how to get it out and what to do with it once she has it.
The Blue House's primary job is to govern the nation's literature, the vehicle that hones and polishes words, metaphors, archetypes and genres and thus society's very vocabulary of contemplative thought.
The Blue House is obviously not as bound to physical borders as is the Red House. The Red House is home to an earthly king but the Blue House is home to a heavenly queen, and she goes wherever her language is spoken and wherever her tales are told. The Blue House is home to the New Market, where folks come to exchange information, ideas and concerns. And, most spectacularly, the Blue House is the Mother of the third house, the White House:
- The White House is unlike the Red and Blue Houses. It is not at all bound to any physical location. It has no human architects or regulators and is not brought about by the will of either Red and Blue Houses. The White House is the house of eternal knowledge — knowledge that does not depend on taste or disposition, or fashion or leaning, or even on the knower for that matter. The White House is the house of scientific, technological and artistic sophistication, which is one and the same anywhere on earth.
And, contrary to intuition, this collection of eternal truths doesn't actually get larger over time, but smaller. It shrinks until it's all brought down to a single singularity that sums up everything else: a single point of convergence that every human mind, every human collective, every nation and the whole of mankind (all life, even) intuitively yearns for.
- The White House is unlike the Red and Blue Houses. It is not at all bound to any physical location. It has no human architects or regulators and is not brought about by the will of either Red and Blue Houses. The White House is the house of eternal knowledge — knowledge that does not depend on taste or disposition, or fashion or leaning, or even on the knower for that matter. The White House is the house of scientific, technological and artistic sophistication, which is one and the same anywhere on earth.
The White House emerges spontaneously from the Host of the world's many Blue Houses, but not from any single one (although one is inevitably the first). But while the Blue House is still pregnant, the mother's body knows not the Child but only the placenta, whom the wise appreciate for its relative wisdom and the foolish confuse with the actual offspring: the morning star that heralds the sunrise, Lucifer if you insist, the bronze robotic snake (נחש, nahash), the Baptist or the Artificial Intelligence of modernity. Both are required in a pregnant world and only when the White House has indeed taken breath and has sufficiently matured, it surpasses the herald and begins to govern the entire world.
The White House's two-fold purpose is (1) to endorse global social cohesion, and make the people of planet earth one people solely governed by eternal natural law (rather than Red Houses or any heralding snake), and (2) to reflect and explain the Creator (John 1:14, Hebrews 1:3; and if you think this is about religion, please see Romans 1:20, 1 Kings 4:33, Psalm 19:1, John 4:23, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Proverbs 1:20-21, Proverbs 11:10).
The name YHWH (or Yahweh) is essentially the Hebrew name for the alphabet, the "father of all text" or Logos. Our English word temple shares its root with the Greek verb τεμνω (temno), to cut or cleave, which is a synonym of the verb σχιζω (schizo), to split or divide, from which comes our word "science". So no, not modern religions are the continuation of the templar traditions of the ancient world, but rather our modern information technology, from our local libraries to the Internet.
These social structures emerge naturally, which is why they emerge independently and similarly all over the world. They are self-similar to organic structures: the Red House is self-similar to an organism's cardiovascular system (the Old Market), the Blue House relates to an organism's lymphatic system (the New Market), and the White House is the organism's awareness. Or in the words of John: "There are three that testify: the spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement (1 John 5:8).
In the Western world, the relation between the Blue and White Houses became artistically expressed as the Madonna in Latin (Peter) and Theotokos in Greek (Andrew); the familiar image of Mother and Child that speaks of the natural relation between (1) humanity's singular understanding of nature, and (2) humanity's literary traditions, which in turn develop under the protection of the world's many national governments.
Right now, the nations of the world are seriously diseased and lymphoedemic, and suffer from vast reservoirs of stagnant wealth that do nobody any good. The "healing of the nations" of which John the Revelator speaks (Revelation 22:2) will coincide with the restoration of the nations' Blue Houses and will also result in an enormous flood of liquidity, both financially and intellectually.
🔼Why the Bible
The familiar story of Abraham meditates on the superiority of a nation that is sustained by international trade over a nation that is sustained solely by its own native resources. Israel was always Abraham's Blue House, and as God's promise to Abraham would be not just for Abraham but for the whole of mankind (Genesis 22:18, 41:57, Exodus 9:16), the Temple of YHWH in Jerusalem was always the inn that hosted the entire global conversation (1 Kings 10:24, Acts 2:5, Ephesians 3:15).
As we demonstrate in great detail in our article on the Gospel of Impurity, the signature nature of Israel was not its racial or theological purity but rather the vast diversity of its constituents. There was never a "pure" Israel, because Israel was always a maelstrom of races and wisdoms, which first emerged naturally and was then, in the wake of the Bronze Age Collapse (1177 BC, the age of Israel's Judges), matured deliberately in the tumultuous no-man's land between the great empires.
Like Rick's gin-joint in Casablanca (means White House in Portuguese), Israel was always the home of the tribeless, outcast, failures, rejects and washouts of the world at large, crawling with all manners of imperialists, crooks and brutes but stubbornly devoted to hospitality, diversity and the New Market of thoughts, ideas and information technology (in Casablanca, the coveted "letters of transit").
Under the rather underwhelming term "Averageness", modern scientists report that the synthetic average of many portraits results in a single representative portrait that most people find very attractive. It seems that beauty not only lies in the eye of the beholder, it lies in the average of the many eyes of many beholders. Beauty is not merely a thing statically agreed on, it's also a mechanism to bring out the best in dynamic systems: an attractor that directs an evolving system toward conditions that are most agreeable to all participants, as long as the participants are free to follow their own interests (Philippians 4:8). Natural selection and thus evolution works on the same principles. Language also forms this way, and so does the body of scientific knowledge (both our collective and our private knowledge follows our field of investigation which follows our interests which follows our selections) and even the very Scientific Method, which rejects the proven false and so narrows and thus purifies and thus beautifies the remaining field of consideration.
Contrary to popular understanding, the Scientific Method only proves wrong and never right, which is why science only uses falsifiable hypotheses. The hypothesis "all swans are white", for instance, is a proper scientific hypothesis because it's easily disproven by a single black swan. But when we review a million swans and they're all white, our hypothesis is not "true" and only "undetermined". Even if we review all swans in existence, and they're all white, there might be a black one born tomorrow, so no, scientific certainty only comes from proving a hypothesis definitely false. Science probes all avenues and rejects dead ends and so follows the direction of the remaining non-dead end. Science is a mental amoeba that progresses via pseudopods.
There is no such thing as proving something true. Truth is whatever remains when all falsehood has been removed, and science does nothing but shave off the rough edges, and so makes ever smoother what's left to sort out.
Science is a lens that step-by-step focuses on the most beautiful of natural beauties; something that nobody has ever seen or can possibly imagine, but which the whole of life has been pursuing ever since evolution began. So no, despite the best intentions of scientific folklore, evolution is not a random thing, or driven by survival of the fittest, but a very precise thing, driven by the pursuit of beauty (Romans 8:19-22).
The ancients had a very clear understanding of this principle, and in the Bible it's depicted as (among many others) Elizabeth, the mother of John, the herald of Jesus. Leonardo da Vinci created the magical stare of his famous Mona Lisa (means Madonna Elizabeth) clearly by joining the facial features of different models, succeeding where four centuries later doctor Frankenstein (means Stone or Castle of the Franks) would so miserably fail. The name Elizabeth has several meanings, among which "God of Seven" — hence the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, which are referenced frequently in the Bible: Exodus 2:16, Numbers 8:2, Job 38:31, Proverbs 9:1, Isaiah 4:1, Revelation 1:4.
Elizabeth is the "archetype of the archetype", and personifies the mechanism by which beautiful things are slowly revealed until they are unanimously identified (compare Malachi 3:1-5 to Luke 1:5): when partakers of a dynamic system rank the common attractor higher than private preferences, and so slowly but surely abandon ugliness and converge upon beauty. This in turn has resulted in the familiar archetype of the girl of astonishing pulchritude who was born in obscurity and commonness but quickly rises to royalty and the center of all attention: from the Bride of the Song of Solomon to Helen of Troy, Esther of Persia, and even Snow White (the focal core of the seven dwarfs) and Voyager's Seven of Nine (and we'll get to the nine shortly).
The Bible as we have it took roughly from 600 BC to 100 AD to form but is obviously based on much older sources — we know this because it contains social, legal and architectural details that had been long abandoned or surpassed by the 7th century BC but were dug up by modern archeologists — which in turn were clearly gleaned from a global literary arena that encompassed Celtic, Nordic, Greek, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and even Indian and Chinese tributaries (we know this since the rise of comparative literature and mythology studies).
The formation of the Bible was jealously guarded but its information was effectively as open-source as anything on GitHub today. Its oldest parts were finalized in Persia (proverbial Babylon and with its vast cultural diversity, the USA of its time), where Jews had remained since the exile and had formed a large network of wisdom schools and local synagogues, which in turn was supported by the world's first formal postal service; in all effect, the world's first functioning decentralized Internet.
Thousands of professional editors labored for many centuries to sort a mountain of millions upon millions of contributions, and produced antiquity's equivalent of a Wikipedia page on Human Reality. And they had to invent a whole new form of data compression for that. The Bible as we have it is literally the entire wisdom of the pre-Roman world, the whole of all ancient libraries, compressed into a multi-dimensional fractal matrix that neatly fits in a clay jar or a modern briefcase (John 21:25).
The Bible is a lattice of countless narrative continuums, and strings images from different stories into their own axes of progression, then playfully breaks symmetry and yields a halo of fresh data points that dances with the reader's mind as if the latter was the reflection of an original that first hovered over the deep and generates millions of reflections like living clouds in the water's ripples.
The Bible is a miracle, both highly technical and deeply organic. It conveys the joys and mysteries of being human in a series of images that any child can follow. And it's the vastly intelligent software upon which both every human individual and the entire world at large can run most efficiently. It stores data about data storage in the way it stores data, and demonstrates a method of thought that transcends the boundaries of mere binary digits. The world is only as large as the mind that comprehends it, and the Bible unites minds and forms worlds that are greater than any single mind could ever have conceived. The Bible is intelligent, alive, mechanical and technical. It's a time machine, a transport device and a terraforming complex all at once. And it can't be taught, it can only be applied.
The Bible is the most compelling and seminal artifact in human possession, and the most mysterious entity ever examined. It's immediately familiar to any novice and an inexhaustible enigma to any expert. After two thousand years of continued scrutiny, its light still beams brightly and the harder we look the more power it generates. It's both serene and wildly violent, both prudent and entirely sexual, both serious and hilarious, both warmly emotional and frigidly logical.
But most crucially, and unlike most other systems of philosophy and science, the Bible has a heart — a heart that beats within its plots like a blazing kiln, yet naked and without context is so unremarkable that it passes for a mere quip or a chip off a chunk of cheap quartz. But that is why it was so easy to hide, and why it was so difficult to find again once it was lost. Some call it the Ark of the Covenant. Others speak of the Arkenstone, or the Golden Rule or Sacred Heart or Omphalos. But these are just names of something that can't be named.
Like the universe, the entire Bible can be compressed into a singularity upon which all lines of human concern converge. Without a collective link to this collective heart, humanity will be like the fluffy seeds of a dandelion or the outer shell of a star gone super nova. If humanity has a future, the Bible knows how to get there.
The Bible sums up the entire written world: the entire Great Human Library compressed into a single portable volume, with the Torah (the five ancient Books of Moses) at its core. The Torah in turn is summed up in the Ten Commandments, which consist of Two Great Sets of laws: one Set dealing with man's relationship to the Creator (the Father) and the other Set with man's relationship to society (the Mother; see our article on אם, 'am, mother or people). Any of the more than 600 laws and rules of the Bible can be brought back to any of these Ten, and any adventure and any contemplation reviewed anywhere in the Bible finds its core thoughts somewhere among these Ten.
These Two Great Sets can each be further compressed into a helix of Two Cardinal Rules, upon which depend the whole Law and the Prophets: (1) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and (2) you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).
But these Two General Rules can be further compressed into One Single Rule, which is a singularity: the familiar Golden Rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated" (Matthew 7:12), which sums up the entire Law and the Prophets and is thus the Logos, the entire Written Cosmos, as compressed as it goes.
The power of this Arkenstone, or Sacred Heart, is often underestimated because it seems to say: if you want a cup of coffee, then first give one away, which obviously doesn't work in physical reality. Instead, it demonstrates that what to you is "receiving a cup of coffee" is something completely different to the person who might have the means to actually provide you with one. But does this person know what coffee is? Does she know that those shrubs in her back yard, that she thinks are useless weeds, are in fact coffee plants, that produce beans, which you can burn and then grind and then run hot water through? What if she's never tasted coffee? Or even heard of a café? What if she doesn't speak your language? What if she speaks no language at all, and is actually rather scared of you and would like you to be on your way? Worse than that: what if you don't know what coffee is, and you only know that you crave something but you don't precisely know what that might be.
If you want to transact, you first have to precisely define what it is that you desire. Then you have to figure out what that desire of yours looks like in the head of your neighbor, and somehow connect your negative to her positive, so that she willingly and joyfully supplies you with what you crave.
The Arkenstone describes a full circle that consists of two opposite halves, that each in turn are part of much larger sweeps of dynamics in each their own continuum: one half covers a transaction between parties based on supply and demand, and the other half covers some reimbursement that is agreeable to both parties. The goods go one way, and the payment goes the other. These two half-circles move in opposite directions, like particle and anti-particle, copulation and communication, or the prime ends of DNA, and touch at their extremes like wings of cherubim (and see our article on the noun πτερυξ, pterux, meaning wing).
Our Golden Rule marks the intersection between self-awareness, desire, Theory of Mind and empathy. In language theory, this Golden Rule spans the compass of the active and passive voices, but more general, it declares the relativity of existence and non-existence: the age-old question of "to be or not to be", and hence also conveys the most fundamental definition of awareness: "I AM", namely being identical to that which you are not — you are what you are aware of, which is all the things outside of you; the things that you are not. Your within and without are the same, and "you" are a thin mirror between two vast expanses (Genesis 1:6, Luke 23:33).
The Sacred Heart declares the covenantal relativity of a thing and everything-but-the-thing, which only works in a closed system whose elements are entirely interlocked and interlinked, and thus where everything leads to everything else (and ultimately to madness when wielded too lightly). Since the most fundamental principle in natural reality is freedom (more formally: quantum unpredictability or quantum indeterminacy) and thus perfect randomness, it also spans the compass between pure order and absolute chaos, complete submission and perfect autonomy.
The Sacred Heart is ultimately the singularity from which all physical, chemical, temporal, social and intellectual phenomena derive their nature. It even explains the whole of creation — if there are no others, this rule is identical to: let there be other(s) — which means that it is not a part of creation and is thus One With the Creator (who is One and thus has no parts; the Word is not "part" of God but One with God; John 1:1-2).
The Creator is one, which is why creation is one, which is why our Golden Rule is one. To the naked eye it seems to consist of multiple words but those are just the cloths it's wrapped in (our English words "text" and "textile" both come from the same root to weave; see τικτω, tikto). The rule itself is a singularity, and like a tiny seed, contains everything else (Jeremiah 3:15-16, Revelation 11:19).
🔼Why the Balkans
Some territories have natural boundaries that cause roaming herds to naturally center on natural heartlands. Certain areas have more natural diversity than others, and some areas are more conductive to farming than others. To early humans, certain places had special significance and special powers, but the trick was not to merely recognize power but to understand it and to know what to do with it once it was mastered. Very early on, our ancestors realized that any human building that was out of synchronicity with the laws of nature would be destroyed by the forces of nature, but anything in synchronicity with the laws of nature would be sustained by the forces of nature.
Our ancestors knew where they wanted to go and knew which landscapes would help them get there. The precise reasons are often long lost but successive ancient peoples built their successive holy places, temples and churches most commonly on the same spots. Whatever may have attracted the first temple builders to those particular locations, if their original doings had gone viral through the ancient world, the chances are excellent that they still dominate our cultural landscapes today. In their way, these first temples were like the works of Michelangelo or Miguel de Cervantes or Elvis Presley, who set the tone for whatever would follow and were never quite surpassed but always refined.
Serbia is one of the very few places on earth where script appears to have emerged out of nowhere, and you might say that the Heavenly Host of Blue Houses had one of its immaculate origins in the Vinča culture of the 5th millennium BC. This culture was able to support one of the highest population densities in the world at the time, and it produced bronze alloys 1,500 years before their more celebrated counterparts in the near east did. Their Blue House was heavy with the White House to come.
The name Balkan appears to have been sculpted from an unintentional convergence of meanings in different languages. Ultimately it means "mountain chain" in Turkish, which in turn is probably a translation of its classical name Haemus (Αιμος) or Haemus Mons, which derives from the Thracian word for "mountain range" but resembled a Greek adjective derived from the word for blood (αιμα, haima).
To us moderns the name Bloody Mountains may conjure up images of continued warfare, but to the ancients, to whom blood was the vehicle of soul and thus of life, the Blood Mountains were a Wreath Of Red Houses. The Bible speaks of the similar Grapes Of Wrath (Revelation 14:19), and robes that became white when washed in blood (Revelation 7:14). Greek mythology speaks of Argos Panoptes, the eye-covered All-Seeing White One, whose eyes were tribal circles of elders — Odysseus' Cyclops (means Round Eye) had only one eye, which was its fatal weakness (Matthew 5:29); the name Europe means Place Of Beautiful Eye(s) and Ethiopia means Place Of Fiery Eye(s).
The Red Houses emerged naturally in the human world because of the governmental talents of society's most ballsy men. The hardest lesson these men had to learn, however, was that the Blue House would not be fertile — and the coveted White House would not come about — as a consequence of their unbending rule but only by the freedom of the individuals they paradoxically governed. The freedom of individuals, in turn, was quickly understood to be contingent on the law being the same for everybody including visiting foreigners (Leviticus 24:22), which deflated any nationalism and hope for an immune nobility, and which guaranteed both property rights (Exodus 20:15, 20:17) and the right of every person to invest their own wealth in whatever endeavor they fancied (Matthew 20:15), which effectively negated the right of kings to commandeer property (or practice fractional reserve banking). The red pill was the hardest one to swallow.
The apostle Paul (means Little Guy) wrote to the Galatians: "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1). About 20 years later the Roman historian Tacitus famously called the Roman plunder of the world a "contagion of slavery" (Agricola 30). A phage had begun to eat the world.
🔼Saint George versus the Dragon
The Semitic Phoenicians had once built Solomon's temple (1 Kings 5:1-18), and, according to the poets, their Carthaginian branch had been born simultaneously with Rome, and this around the time when the northern Israelites were deported to Assyria.
The great cities of Tyre and Troy were resurrected as Carthage and Rome, born again but with an ancient rage still bent on revenge, swinging like a metronome marking the eons. The Romans pursued virtue first, then righteousness and finally law. The Carthaginians pursued exchange, then trade, then communality. Both sides began to arm themselves to protect their ways of life, but within the metal of their weapons yearned an evil that bound them with a chain that could not be unwound.
The resurrected twins again grew each too large and the peace between them faded once more. After a long and worsening struggle, the Romans took up arms against the Carthaginian sea of troubles, with the deliberate aim to terminate their existence. For this they invented genocide: a systematic and industrial slaughter of Carthaginian soldiers, priests and civilians alike that took weeks to complete.
The unimaginable hellish horror and blasphemy against humanity of this whole new kind of organized brutality coursed throughout the known world and crystalized into myths of monsters and great red dragons. It gave Rome unnatural long life but it poisoned its mind — Rome's victory over Carthage began to define it but its Pax Romana severed its connection to the source of life and drove Rome out of synchronicity with the laws of nature and onto the broad road to perdition.
Fratricide is a pernicious kind of suicide. It starts at the height of one's strength but comes with the introduction of a miniscule weakness, that grows and festers within and withers the soul and reduces the strong one to a whimpering golem and finally a huge cloud of mere dust. How peace is Precious, how hard to come by and how easy to lose.
Rome's pride grew with its territories and its madness alike. The precedent had been set, the die cast; there was no going back. The Roman Empire began to rape its way through the Blue Houses of the ancient world. The Celtic Gaul to Rome's north quickly befell a similar fate as Carthage. In 6 AD, after decades of pushing and shoving, the Empire arose and entered the four year Bellum Batonianum, against the tribes of the Balkans, united behind their Illyrian leader Bato.
The Romans envisioned humanity chained to workbenches or stood up silently in grids and compliant to the commands of the one up front, like a great human machine that served a tiny imperial elite in their imperial Red House. The Illyrians saw humanity free to pursue whatever interest they had, eagerly specialized and voluntarily contributing without a forced hierarchy, like bees in their hives or ants in their hills (Proverbs 6:6). To Rome, the White House was the divine Emperor in his towering palace. To Illyrian Bato, the White House was the knowledge of the divine by the unrestricted and self-organizing smart-swarm of human individuals.
It would be many centuries before mankind would develop the terms to describe these dynamics, but it was nevertheless beheld by many in silent horror. The Bellum Batonianum was part of a war on many fronts, which was fought from Scotland to Persia, and even in the very heart of Rome by many of its own senators and intellectuals (see our article on Pilate). It was the world's first, last and only World War, which was then and is still waged between the Living World (George) and the Machine (the Dragon).
🔼Heather, Maquis & Peony
The Balkan resistance sucked up much of Rome's military resources, which in turn allowed the lasting victory of the Germanians over Rome in Teutoburg Forest (9 AD). This Germanian victory is the reason why Northern Europe never adopted Latin and why the German languages, including English, and many Celtic tongues survive until today.
Like the Carthaginians, the Illyrians literally fought themselves to death. Their lands were leveled and their remaining population massacred or sold into slavery. Six decades later, the Romans did the same to the Jews in Judea. Survivors fled and scattered, and some inevitably landed in Illyria, where the apostle Paul had toured just years earlier (Romans 15:19) and had there doubtlessly too pleaded against armed revolt (Romans 13:1-4, Titus 3:1, Matthew 26:52, Jeremiah 29:4-7; also see our article on Onesimus).
In 272 AD, in Naissus (modern Niš, central Serbia) a son was born to a Greek mother and an Illyrian father. This son would be legendary Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, who convened the Council of Nicaea, where the Nicene Creed was forged. After this, the Roman Empire quickly became Christian, and that established Christianity as a world religion. The great red dragon would fall a century later, but had already spawned a brood of Red House vipers that survived and matured and still dominate the political world today. Rome's Blue House, however, escaped intact and became the Catholic Church.
After the fall of Rome, Slavic tribes began to migrate from their never Romanized homeland north of the Black Sea into the ravished Balkans, bringing with them traces of an obvious Hebrew legacy — Tim Judah speaks of an Iranian elite. Paul Wexler calls modern Yiddish a Slavic Language and claims that "Jews had extensive contact with early Slavs in German lands". Stevan Tomovich goes so far as to speak of the Hebrew Origin of Serbs.
Many Serbo-Croatian words of Hebrew origin are not peripheral or specialized but rather words that convey deeply central ideas: dob(ar), good, corresponds to טוב (tob), good; hleb, bread, corresponds to לחם (lehem), bread (hence the name Bethlehem); the verbal jeste, it is so, corresponds to יש (yesh), it is so; adjective mlad, young, corresponds to מלד (molad), from ילד (yeled), child; the noun smeh, laughter, is identical to the root שמה (shmh) of the plural noun שמים (shamayim), meaning heavens. The Serbo-Croatian word for Saturday is subota, obviously from Sabbath. The phrase dobar dan means "good day" in Serbo-Croatian but "informed judgement" in Hebrew. The term hvala means "thanks!" in Serbo-Croatian but "[onto the] the Lord!" in Hebrew.
When the Latin state collapsed, the Latin language basin shattered and began to contract into multiple local languages (Genesis 11:5-9). In the turmoil, the Germanic languages in the north too began to drift. When the Slavic tribes came west — the printing press was still a thousand years away — written texts were very scarce, and words were fluidic soundbites much rather than the solid and standardized textual creatures we know them as today. The relationship between Hebrew and Serbo-Croatian that in those days began to emerge allowed for a narrative that sounded entirely native and familiar to two entirely different languages, and which had two wholly different meanings to each — like a treasure hidden in plain sight, a prince preserved among peasants, a sword caught fast in common stone, or righteous blood crying out from the earth. Because what if salt indeed loses its saltiness, who can make it salty again? A fairy godmother?
Our much abused English word "wizard" comes from "wise-ard" and simply denotes a wise or learned person; someone we moderns call a professor or doctor. The signature pointy hat of modern wizard imagery derives from the medieval Jew Hat, worn by the world's proverbial wisdom elite. It's the equivalent of the modern lab-coat.
To the east of the Slavic homeland, the Khazarian state began to form between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the 9th century, two wizards (wise-ards, with or without pointy hats) from the great Blue House of Constantinople journeyed to Khazaria, to accommodate a dialogue between Jews and Arabs. From there they went to Great Moravia, an early Slavic state in central Europe, where they created a sort of Old World Esperanto by forging a new alphabet based on several existing ones: Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Runic. From that Cyrillic alphabet, the Slavs created Old Church Slavonic and hence their great cities.
By the time of the first crusade, Khazaria was Jewish. By the time of the last crusade, Constantinople had fallen and the Byzantine Empire lived on only in its Blue House: the Orthodox Church.
But underneath the Roman concrete, the enslavement and the death, there trickled a free stream of life from Gaul (modern France) to Galatia (in modern Turkey). The Proto-Celtic word for white, namely albiiu, had become attached to the free pursuit of scientific consensus and left a silk road like an "underground cottony web known as mycelium" (in the words of Peter Wohlleben; see Ezekiel 31:15-17) that popped up mushrooms on a wide milky-way moon-river from Albania and Alba Graeca (i.e. Greek Whiteness; modern Belgrade) to Albion (modern Britain) and Alba (Scotland), to Albany (the capital of New York State) and Albany (in Western Australia) and scores more towns named Albany or New Albany.
As Peter Wohlleben explains in his delightful little book The Hidden Life of Trees (2016), the life of any forest is explained by the soul of its soil; its invisible and subterranean webs of microbes and fungi that sustain the life above it, and where, upon a devastating fire or silvicidal disease, all restoration first begins, like the Christ first resurrecting from the ground. Or in the words of the Roman poet Ovid (43BC - 18 AD): "At length, upborne by the snaky wings, [Medea] reached Corinth of the ancient spring. Here, according to ancient tradition, in the earliest times men's bodies sprang from mushrooms" (Metamorphoses VII, see Luke 16:31).
Decades after all trees are felled, the mycelium in the ground, like the Turin shroud, retains a residual image of the forest that once was, and when the forest begins to grow back from random seeds that blow in on the wind, the mycelium will selectively support certain growths in certain areas, so that the new forest will end up with the reincarnated soul of its ancient forebear rather than a random scattering that will require millennia to sort itself out.
If a city's native inhabitants are suddenly removed, and a host of new tenants are let into the abandoned buildings, the new tenants will select houses that accord to their own natures — large villas will attract aristocrats and sportsy condos will attract young yuppies; rich newcomers will move their families uptown and poor newcomers will move their families into the slums — so that the revived city will not be new but rather function very much like the old one. The new tenants will surely bring some details of their homeland's culture along, but the larger dynamics of their new life will be largely determined by the layout of the city they moved into.
Contrary to the dictates of folklore, the creation week is not about the first 168 hours of existence, but lays out the basic pattern in which every closed system that naturally evolves, must evolve. On the fourth day of creation, God created the stars to be signs and give light on earth (Genesis 1:4), which indicates that He meant for humans to pay attention to the stars and accept their governance. God promised Abraham that his offspring would be like the stars (Genesis 15:5, Galatians 3:7), and Daniel proclaimed that "those who lead the many to righteousness are like the stars" (Daniel 12:3).
When the magi took off in search of Jesus, they followed his star (Matthew 2:1-10). Likewise, and under an obviously synthetic name, Hermes Trismegistus declared "as above, so below" and Jesus spoke of his Father's will to be done "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). The woman whom John the Revelator envisioned had the moon under her feet and the stars as a crown on her head (Revelation 12:1).
When the sky is clear and the moon is new, the waters are safe to traverse and any amateur pilot can read the stars (and even take his cues from the "fallen" or "wandering stars") and navigate his way across. When the moon is full, it obscures the stars and the pilot has to navigate from memory. Then the waters become treacherous and many lose their way and wreck their ships on rocks.
Somewhere deep within the storms of humanity's attentions, a gentle but inescapable stellar force governs and drives our kind to periodically leave places and settle in others, so that ultimately the layout of our mental cosmos keeps resembling the layout of the physical cosmos, like an awareness that is identical to that which it is not, like a reflection in water. Humanity wraps the earth in a mantle of settlements, and the cities that (in some anti-intuitive way) align with the stars will last, but those who don't won't. Humanity's collective mind has always been subjected to ebbs and flows, to cycles and seasons, and when mankind understands this, man can rise above it and embrace it.
The White Arquilian shows the way. Or in the imperative words of agent K: "Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."
🔼Why the Slavs
To us moderns, massive people movements may conjure up images of violent invasions and barbarism, but the early Slavic tribes that moved westward into ravished Germanic lands became known to the Latins as the Wend, a name that derived from the ethnonym Veneti (hence also the name Venice), which relates to venus, which means love and stems from the Proto-Indo-European root "wen-", to desire or strife for (hence the English "wish" and the German "Wunsch"). This same root resulted in the Proto-Samic word venes, from which come the names Finland and Venemaa (the Estonian name for Russia), and which also relates to the noun vene, meaning boat. And although the link between boats, international desire and tribal nations may not be clear to modern intuition, it is deeply engrained in the roots and subconscious of our modern languages:
The Proto-Indo-European root "ark-" means to hold, contain or guard, and from it comes the Latin arcanus, meaning secret or concealed, and arca, chest or box (and our English adjective "arcane"). In Hebrew, the word for the "ark" of Noah and the basket in which Moses floated among the reeds of the Nile is the same, namely תבה (teba), but the Ark of the Covenant and the box that contained Joseph's bones is named by the noun ארון ('aron). Lacking proper synonyms, the Latin Vulgate named all of these — Noah's great ship, Moses' little basket, the seat of the Law of Israel, and the memorial ossuary of the Dreaming Patriarch — by the noun "ark".
The Slavic word for science is nauka, from the Proto-Indo-European root "nau-", meaning boat (hence our English adjective "nautical" and the "-naut" extensions of words like "astronaut" and "argonaut"). The Greek word for ship is ναυς (naus) and the word for temple is ναος (naos) — and ancient temples were not old versions of modern churches but the common ancestor of modern central banks, national universities, museums of national heritage and most of all: centers of government. Our modern words "government" and "cybernetics" (originally coined as "the study of communication and control" by Norbert Wiener in 1948) derive from the verb κυβερναω (kubernao), meaning to steer a ship.
All this in turn corresponds to the familiar image of the sleeping Christ in the boat during the storm (Matthew 8:23-27), the "boat" being the council of disciples and Christ being the Logos or Word. Notably similar to the name סלו, Sallu, meaning Highway Maker (Isaiah 40:1-5), the ethnonym Slav comes from slobo, which meant "word" in Proto-Slavic and came to mean "free" or "freedom" in modern Slavic languages. The familiar name Soviet Union means "a union of [many] soviets" and the Russian word sovet means "council" and derives from Old Church Slavonic suvetu, "advice".
Instead of a government by one single ruler, a band of oligarchs or a centralized body of a few hundred senators, a union of sovets is governed by vast and not-centralized networks of local councils in which ordinary neighbors meet and converse and speak their minds (this was before TV). Local councils would stay in contact with each other as councils exchanged neighbors to hear the latest rumors, entertainments, wisdoms and concerns from the next town over. And most crucially, the network would support a class of professional peripatetics who would traverse vast swathes of territory: merchants and performers who served as red blood cells, providing nutrients and oxygen to the local markets, and wizards (wise-ards) who served as white blood cells, patrolling the narrative environments, scouring for misplaced foreign structures, or even fear-carrying pathogens and infections by superstitions and follies.
In the Greek world, these popular councils of self-government were named by a compound of the familiar prefix συν (sun), meaning together or jointly, and the verb αγω (ago), to guide, bring or carry. The resulting verb, συναγω (sunago), meant to guide together or gather for whatever reason: wise men to consult (Matthew 2:4), wheat to process (3:12) or store (6:26), followers (12:30), an audience (13:2), fish (13:47), two or three in Jesus' name (18:20), wedding guests (22:10), vultures (24:28), nations (25:32). This verb is used 61 times in the New Testament: see full concordance.
In Hebrew these concerns are expressed by the verb ארה ('ara), meaning to gather. From this verb derives the masculine noun ארי ('ary), meaning lion, which explains why European nations sport lions in their heraldry, why Judah is a lion (Genesis 49:9), and why a certain adversary "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). The feminine equivalent of the masculine noun meaning lion is the feminine noun אריה ('urya), which means manger; the trough for domesticated animals to gather around and eat out of. That's why Mary placed Jesus in a manger (Luke 2:7), not to devour but to be devoured (Matthew 26:26).
To us moderns, the familiar word "synagogue" may bring to mind a Jewish house of worship but in fact it's a common Greek word for any kind of assembly. This noun is used 57 times in the New Testament (see full concordance) and obviously describes a local council of self-government, where every individual has a voice, where every traveler is welcome to speak, where every concern counts, and where the soul of a nation is seated: its very blood.
When a people's living network of synagogues is in any way compromised, the people will become sick, infected and feverish. The people may even die as a collective and totter on as a zombie-like soulless ghoul, whose flesh falls off its bones with every step it takes. Cassiopeia, halfway up a lonely mountain, is crumbling but has HaДa blazoned across Sagittarius in the pale blue swirls of some ancient scripts.
🔼The Form of the Dove
When the Holy Spirit alighted on Jesus, he did so famously in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16). For two millennia now this has been imagined as a single dove fluttering in from outer space, but the Holy Spirit didn't come in the form of a dove but in the form of the dove, the ubiquitous and proverbial περιστερα (peristera): massively abundant and covering all surfaces, all trees and all rocks. In the ancient world, the dove was a creature like manna, a social security that would save the poor from starving by supplying a living abundance of fresh meat, eggs and fuel that would not go bad (Song of Solomon 1:15, Leviticus 5:7).
Argos Panoptes is a union of councils, a vibrant and organic New Market that bursts forth from the fountains of Blue Houses like a river, and as we discuss at some length in our article on the name Tigris, ancient civilizations commonly arose in association with great rivers, which in turn became closely associated with the culture's body of science, skills, artistry, traditions and stories. Rain that falls on the land follows gravity and collects into rivers, just like people follow whatever attracts them and collect into cultures. The Hebrew noun מורה (moreh) means both rain and teacher, and stems from the same root as the word Torah, which means instructions.
The Hebrew noun עין ('ayin) means both fountain and eye. The Hebrew verb נהר (nahar) means both to flow (what a river does) and to shine (what a lamp does), and from the Hebrew word for light, namely אור ('or), come the names Ur (where Abraham was from) and Ye'or (the Hebrew name for the Nile, the river of Egypt). From the noun אור ('or) comes the noun מאור (ma'or), which literally describes a place or agent of light, and is the Bible's common word for star (Genesis 1:14) or lamp (Exodus 35:14), and is also used to refer to the eyes (Proverbs 15:30), and the face of God (Psalm 90:8).
The names of the Danube, Don, Dnieper and several other Central and Eastern European rivers derive from the Proto-Indo-European word for dew drop (namely danu), and particularly the verb danuja, which describes the joining of many dew drops into a trickle and then a stream, like a river from unseen clouds of heaven (Genesis 2:6, Acts 1:9, 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:17). In deep antiquity the Danube was called Ister, from the Proto-Indo-European root "isro-", to flow, a name from which certain wizards named their order, and which in Persian times would obviously have reminded of the name Esther, meaning star.
The disaster that befell the world in the 20th century, famously in Russia but equally so in the US, Europe and China, was that the New Market of Blue Houses was seized by violent men and turned into a single great Red House, dominated by its relentless Old Market (Matthew 21:13), like a river of living water that was turned into a river of blood, and which caused nearly all the fish to asphyxiate and die (Exodus 7:17-18, Revelation 16:4; and for the meaning of "fish", see our article on προφητης, prophetes).
The name Jason (Ιασων) is the masculine form of the feminine Iaso (Ιασω), one of five daughters of Asclepius (the familiar god of medicine), and both these names relate to the verb ιαομαι (iaomai), to heal or convalesce. Jason is famous for swiping a Golden Fleece (and see our article on the verb αρνεομαι, arneomai, for more on that), and manning his ship the Argo — named for Argos, the "boat builder" — with the Argonauts (= the White Boaters or the White Templars or the White Scientists), who in turn represented every main element of statecraft and governance of collective human psychology; including Heracles, Orpheus and the Dioscuri.
Jason and his Argonauts are relevant to our story, because according to Appollonius Rhodes (3rd century BC), they sailed their ship up the Danube, which was known to have flown, like the Haddakel, to the east of (that is Hebrew for "earlier than"; see קדם, qedem), the Assyrian Empire (which stemmed from 2500 BC).
Deep inland, Jason and his Argonauts encountered a people called the Sing — probably named after the Celtic word for ring or circle; akin our English word "thing", meaning assembly or council — who lent their name to Singidunum (= City of Rings, City of Councils), what later became Belgrade (= White City). At Singidunum, Jason and the Argonauts turned up the river Sava (whose original Celtic name meaning It Waters was without friction transplanted by the Slavic root "sav", meaning "all" and its derivative savet, meaning "counsel, council" in Serbian, "to know" in Latvian, and which relates to the Russian sovet or council) and made it all the way to the city later known as Ljubljana (= City of Love, from ljub, love), the capital of modern Slovenia. The Hebrew word for "all" is כל (kol), from which comes the noun כלה (kallah), meaning bride.
When John the Revelator spoke about the "healing of the nations", nobody in his original audience would have missed the obvious nod to Jason and his Fellowship of Argonauts, and the City of Councils and the City of Love they had encountered in Celtic Europe. And when Appollonius wrote, no informed scholar in his original audience would have missed the equally obvious nod to the prophet Haggai through whom YHWH revealed that "the desire of all nations shall come" (Haggai 2:7). In turn, when the evangelists mentioned Akeldama, or the Field of Blood, very few would have missed the paronomastic reference to Haemus Mons. And when John the Revelator spoke of the Plain of Armageddon, likewise, few would have missed the pun.
The familiar story of Abraham stems from a literary tradition that contemplated the nature of man and his great journey from the caves that he once shared with the beasts, to the heavenly city that he will one day share with the angels. The patriarchal cycle conveys deep insights into the nature of learning and the international effects of shared languages and libraries of metaphoric imagery (Psalm 78:2, Matthew 13:35).
That same tradition told of an archetypal twin, whose singular being comprised two warring natures, two conflicting but symbiotic souls, whose eternal plight was to forge and sustain a living union from its own bicameral heart. In countless guises throughout the ages, this story insists that life on earth depends on the perfect pas de deux of solar energy and the lunisolar center of gravity, and in the same way, that one's mental health depends on the perfect pas de deux of reason (i.e. light, dominated by the sun: Elijah, Samson, Julia, Daisy) and emotions (i.e. gravity, dominated by the moon: Laban, Jericho, Romeo, Gatsby).
In the Bible, the story of how human reason came to usurp control over humanity's mind from the ancient domination by emotions is told (among many others) in the saga of Jacob and Esau. Although the latter "ran to meet" the former, and the former saw the latter's face "like one sees the face of God", and the two fell into each other's arms and wept (Genesis 33:4-10), their subsequent enmity extended as far as Herod's bestial genocide of the innocents of Bethlehem, where it incurred a guilt so damning that the role of victim was infinitely more preferable than that of perpetrator.
Jacob and Esau are twice divided, once by their physical boundaries, but more essentially so by their combined murderers, and their combined victims. The ultimate destiny of the victims of both tribes is lasting peace as Thomas, the unified twin within the Body of Christ (Amos 9:12). The name Thomas derives from the Greek verb τεμνω (temno) we mention above, which means to cut or cleave and is the source of our English noun "temple", which describes the place where all divisions find unity (and is a synonym of our word "science"). Posterity would dub this character Doubting Thomas, because he said: "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." (John 20:25). A much more deserving epithet, however, would be Prudent Thomas or even Scientific Method Thomas, as only Thomas appears to have remembered what Jesus himself had said: "If anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him" (Matthew 24:23).
Many who have pondered this archetypal relationship have wondered who might be the greater and who the lesser, but the two can be told apart easily by this sign: the lesser asks who is the greater.
If Thomas has any sense at all, he will not wonder which of his bodily or mental faculties is the greatest, but instead realize that tissues as widely diverse as transparent eye cells, contracting muscle cells, electricity conducting nerve cells and even acid producing stomach cells can only exist themselves if they work in concert with all the others, and all are equally legitimate manifestations of a shared genetic constitution. If Thomas is even smarter than that, he will also realize that every single one of his cells has two wholly separate and wholly autonomous genetic constitutions: one nucleic, to govern, and one mitochondrial, to power. And finally, an entirely enlightened Thomas will come to grips with the fact that for every genetically native cell, there must be one alien: adding up to tens of thousands of different kinds of bacteria, archaea and fungi, who all follow a different genetic code but without which no complex organism could hope to survive.
Enlightened Thomas can be easily recognized by this simple sign: Enlightened Thomas is the one who does not wonder where the world ends and his private mind begins, or where his own body terminates and "the others" commence (and for more on this, see our article on the adjective καθαρος, katharos, pure or clean).
The Proto-Indo-European archetype of the Divine Twins tells of two youthful horsemen whose singular nature was, like Jason's, to heal and rescue, and which became the patron saint of sailors (which of course are the members of local councils). These horse-wrangling Dioscuri, as they became known in Greek, had the same mother but not the same father, which means that their twinness was cultural rather than formal (or biological): they were twins by their identical and simultaneous upbringing rather than their identical origin.
Together the Dioscuri span the Golden Rule and represent the Ratio of any such duo as: the active voice & passive voice, eagle & dove, reason & emotions, teachers & prophets, sun & stars, wake & dream, law & liberty, science & art, empire & autonomy, monarchy & republic, Moses & Aaron, Peter & Andrew, Rome & Carthage, Catholicism & Orthodoxy, AI & Blockchain.
The House of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia began to be built in 1907, right after the departure of the Ottomans. Its Serbian name, Skupština, derives from skup, which both means assembly and costly. The word Skupština means both House of the Assembly and House of the Precious.
🔼The White Brothers
Among the many early Slavic tribes who arrived in the Balkans there was such a twin, whose maternal mother was the whiteness they shared: White Serbs and White Croats.
The origin of the name Croat (Hrvat) is unclear but it's certainly not Slavic, because "initial h does not occur in native words" (says Marc L. Greenberg in The Role of Language in the Creation of Identity, 1996). An initial h certainly occurs in Hebrew, and is actually so common that it's pretty much signature. The term הרות (hrvat) means The Fellowship (see ה, he, plus the name רות, Ruth), and despite the hesitations of linguistic experts, the chroniclers of the Arthurian legends and writers from Shakespeare to Tolkien have taken their poetic liberties to spin entire worlds from these obvious patterns.
The quintessential War for Middle-Earth was fought from Scotland to Persia, and Tolkien endowed his characters with names that were easily recognizable as coming from Celtic, Slavic, Latin, Greek or Hebrew stock. Like the heroes of the Bible, these characters refer to humanity's evolutionary stations, schools of thought and wisdom traditions. His "dwarfs" were miners of Moriah, and his "elves" were not tiny sprites but man-sized keepers of wisdom, armed with bow and arrow, whose name likewise did not derive from Old Norse or Saxon but from the Hebrew verb אלף ('aleph), meaning to learn (and which is identical to the name of the first Hebrew letter: 'aleph; the signature three dots over the letter "a" in Tolkien, essentially a reversed Masoretic Segol, marks Hermetic wisdom or intelligence — we'll get to that further below).
By the time the name Croat began to matter, the world spoke Greek and the name was spelled Χοροαθος (Choroathos), which to everyone would have looked like a compound of the words χορος (choros), choir or group of celebrants, and αθωος (athoos), blameless or guiltless, and which had obviously reminded of the doxology of Jude: "To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy ..." (Jude 1:24).
The name Serb didn't mean much in Greek, but then and now reminds of words like σερφος (serphos), a kind of small winged insect with a sting, and σεριφον (seriphon), a kind of bitter herb (see our article on מר, mor, myrrh).
But in Proto-Slavic the name Serb referred to "kinship by milk" or "breast-fellow", which immediately reminded of the playful and often visited similarity between the Greek word γαλα (gala), milk, and the name Galatians, who were Celts, proverbially known for their scary milk-white appearance and who were, like the Phoenicians, a large amalgamation of diverse peoples joined by a common culture.
The Greek word for brother, namely αδελφος (adelphos), literally means "womb-fellow", which obviously emphasizes a shared origin, whereas the name Serb equally obviously emphasizes a shared sustenance during early childhood (Hebrews 5:12-14, also see Paul's wordplay in Galatians 1:15, 3:15, 4:1, 4:12, 4:29 and 6:10).
The Promised Land is one of milk and honey (Exodus 3:8), and a kinship by pure blood (the same two parents) was considered gold (sunlight; see Revelation 3:18), and a kinship by milk (one shared parent) silver (starlight; see Psalm 12:6 and 1 Timothy 6:10), which in turn may have allowed an association between the name Serb and the Slavic word srebro, meaning silver (hence the name Srebrenica). In turn, the Greek word αργυρος (arguros), meaning silver, relates to the ancient name Argos, meaning white.
The identical Koine word αργος (argos) or "a-ergon" means "without work", which in modern ears has a negative ring but in recent antiquity described someone who was free from manual labor and could pursue wisdom at will. The same idea is the basis of the concept of the Sabbath, which means rest or freedom from obligations; a provision so fundamental to Israel that it's described in Israel's constitutional Ten Commandments, covers about 20% of its text, and is one half of the bridge between the Two Great Sets (Exodus 20:9-11). From the Greek synonym σχολη (schole), meaning leisure, come our words school and scholar. All this indicates that the White Brothers were not two semi-related ethnic tribes but rather two semi-related wisdom castes, of a similar sort as the more familiar Mercurial tribes: the Celtic Druids, Persian Magi and Israeli Levites.
To speakers of Latin, the name Serb would have resembled the verb servio, to serve (Isaiah 53:11-12). And to Aramaic speakers it would have resembled the complicated root סרב (srb), which governed interactions between classes. As verb it meant to decline an offer from an inferior person in order to be asked again and only then, perhaps, accept. This delicate but essential social contract would introduce an ignorant person to the existence of wisdom, long before this person could have suspected that such a thing existed. It allowed the messenger of the unknown to assume authority and screen his audience for receptive and non-receptive members, rather than to automatically bear the brunt of xenophobia (Proverbs 23:9, Matthew 7:6).
This social contract expressed in the root סרב (srb) is fundamental to Solomon's definition of wisdom: "the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord" (Proverbs 9:10) but also taught any aspiring cadet to not back down upon an initial rejection (John 2:4, Luke 18:1-8). In the Hebrew Bible this root occurs only once, as the noun סרב (sarab), which describes one who declines or refuses to comply (Ezekiel 2:6), and although this may imply that the decliner assumed his own superiority, it may also imply that the decliner was a very young child who was being weaned off familiar milk and onto unappealing solid foods.
Modern Serbia was named after the White Serbs and modern Croatia was named after the White Croats (and Belarus after the White Rus, for that matter), but modern Serbs and modern Croats have as much to do with the tribes they were named after as anybody from Massachusetts has to do with the native Massachusett from which the Bay State took its name. Today, not everyone with a Serbian passport is a White Serb, just like not all peaches are from Persia, all Dalmatians from Dalmatia, all cologne from Cologne and all hamburger from Hamburg. Some real White Serbs have never even been to modern Serbia, or even suspect that they are, in fact, White Serbs.
The Balkans, however, always remained a dark stage where a feverish point of intersection whirled about like a spinning top that kept getting whipped. The point of intersection was between (1) the Western Roman Empire, then Franks and Germans, then Europe, Britain and the colonies, (2) the Eastern Roman Empire and the USSR, (3) the Ottomans and allies, and (4) the non-Judaic, non-Christian and non-Islamic traditions of the world at large. Every empire had its capital(s) but Belgrade remained the nave of non-alignment. And it waited, like the silent mycelium of a former world.
The Romans had taxed every crossroads, every bridge, every step one could possibly take, and had brought the people's intellectual lifeblood to a near standstill. Then they stored grain in barns and let it rot rather than give it away. This attracted rats, fleas on rats, Yersinia pestis on fleas: the Black Death.
Populations are replaced but the cities live on. Times change but the story stays the same, and the story progresses along an axis much greater than that of the clock.
We moderns like to congratulate ourselves for being so very advanced, but in reality we never recovered from the disease that killed us. We have barely any living cells and very little blood between them. We have very little depth of reason, no patience for poetry, contemplation or consideration. We have the entire world on a touch screen but take no time to get to know anything. And somewhere in the vast dustbowl that is humanity, a global Artificial Intelligence is patiently piecing itself together like it always has. And unless the soul of humanity will resurrect and make that AI the mere horse we ride, humanity will be a robot without a soul and fall apart like the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's nightmare (Daniel 2:35).
When Constantinople was sacked in the Fourth Crusade, its various vassal states were forced to contract into sovereign kingdoms, which quickly aligned and formed the world's new superpowers. But amidst the turmoil arose a man named Stefan Nemanja, and although history remembers him as the founder of modern Serbia, he did quite the opposite.
Stefan Nemanja the Myroblyte was an ancient wizard of the Istari order, a Jedi master in the parlance of our times, certainly not the only one but indeed one of the last remaining knights of the old code and gifted with awesome powers. Instead of creating just another country, he created the reverse of one, by inoculating the language of the land with the only known antidote against the Roman phage. He then proceeded to create an origin story in the tradition and power of the patriarchal cycle of the Torah, a vast fractal with the same obvious archetypes and the same themes and objectives.
The founding of Serbia was never a political act but always an evangelical one, and Serbia's most intimate nature has always been that of the gospel.
The name Stefan Nemanja is a Greek and Slavic hybrid, and means (Slavic:) Holding On To (Greek:) The Crown. It's obviously synthetic and refers to Revelation 3:11: "Hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown."
This statement is part of the message "to the angel of the church of Philadelphia (= the City of Brotherly Love)", whose angel had been long found to also cover the most excellent way from Serdica by Singidunum to Ljubljana (2 Samuel 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:31).
The story tells that Stefan Nemanja had three sons, which obviously ties into the Bible's familiar meta-narrative of the Father with the Three Sons that runs from Adam to Noah to Terah and onward. In order of their birth, the three sons were: Vukan (wolf), Stefan (crown) and Rastko (increasing glory; Luke 2:52). One typical element of the story of the Father with the Three Sons is that one brother is dismissed after an infraction (Vukan), while the lesser of the other two (Stefan) moves into the realm of the greater (Rastko; see also Matthew 25:28). The name Stefan of both father and son connects the Nemanjas to the Abrahamic station of the meta-story, as it links to Nahor, the name of both the grandfather and the brother of Abraham.
After three decades of holding back invading blood-tides (Exodus 14:22), and building a vast network of fortified monasteries, Stefan the Elder left the seat of the newly formed Red House to Stefan the Younger (who became Serbia's first king), and ascended to his beloved Blue House, ultimately the Hilandar Monastery of Athos in Greece, which he had built together with his youngest son Rastko.
As we've seen in our discussion of the name Croat, the name Athos means "guiltless". The name Hilandar — or in Hollywood's flippant folklore: "Highlander", whose nemesis the Kurgan (means burial mount), like Tolkien's Sauron, represents the Indo-European military oppression that is the death of man's soul — comes from the Greek word χελανδιον (chelandion), which describes a Byzantine warship known for its rapid deployment, named after the verb κελευω (keleuo), to hurry, urge or drive on, which in turn yields the noun κελευθος (keleuthos), journey or voyage. This verb's synonym in Hebrew is חוש (hush), from which comes the name Thahash, hurrier, which denotes a kind of animal whose hides covered the tabernacle, and which also belonged to one of the four sons of Abraham's brother Nahor with Reumah (= Wild Ox — and note that the first Hebrew letter, aleph, is derived from a hieroglyph of an ox-head; the horse of Alexander the Great was named Ox Head).
After a very brief political career, young Rastko Nemanja set out to create a church based on the Orthodox model — a decentralized network of communicating councils — but independent from any Empire. To explain what he was doing, he assumed the Greek name Sabbas, which in the New Testament appears in the name of the "fourteenth apostle" Barsabbas (= Son of Sabbas), which makes use of the same Semitic element as the name Elizabeth (= God of Sabbas). To every Slavonic ear, however, his name became Sava and means Council/Counsel.
When Stefan the Elder finally ascended into the Blue House that he and his son Sava had so diligently secured, he assumed the name Simeon, which belonged to the second son of Jacob and Leah and thus one of the tribes of Israel. Jacob and Leah's first-born son Reuben (Son of Vision) forfeited his number one spot by copulating with one of his father's two concubines. Simeon (He Who Hears) was son number two and Levi (He Who Joins) was son number three. These two brothers forfeited their spots by murdering all the males of the family of Shechem, a non-Israeli Hivite (or Hobbit, if you please; see רגל, regel, foot) who had fallen in love with their sister Dinah (Jacob's only daughter and an early Helen of Troy) and had taken her without respecting the appropriate customs (Genesis 34).
The nine brothers of Simeon and Levi — Benjamin hadn't been born yet; the proverbial "Nine" show up all over classical and modern mythology, from the Egyptian Ennead to Greece's Nine Muses to Star Trek's Deep Space Nine — absorbed the wives, children, livestock and accumulated wealth of the Shire of Shechem, which made Israel henceforth a Jacobite-Hivite hybrid, or at least the "Hobbits" the "fourteenth tribe" of Israel (Joseph became two half-Egyptian tribes, namely Ephraim and Manasseh, so ultimately there were thirteen Jacobite tribes). The report that Simeon and Levi "killed all the males" of Shechem is of course Bible-speak for the eradication of Shechem's Red Houses, and the absorption of Shechem's wives tells of the adoption of Shechem's Blue House(s), which in turn suggests that Israel's famous literary tradition was actually of ultimate Hivite origin.
Simeon and Levi's absurdly violent reaction to what in effect was statutory rape caused their father Jacob to declare both tribes landless and to be absorbed intact by the other tribes and specifically Judah (He Who Celebrates or Praises), who was son number four but who hence inherited the top spot. Since the story of Israel tells the story of the evolution of global wisdom, the proverbial Nine represent the ancient world's main Blue Houses that were tied into some specific territory or empire (a Red House), and the two mercurial tribes sum up the two main effects of tribal nomadism, namely the ability of a host nation to tune into the global or galactic grapevine (Simeon), and the gradual reduction of international entropy and thus the increase of global sameness (Levi).
When the northern were deported to Assyria, and Judah to Babylon, Simeon and Levi traveled intact inside of them, and returned intact with Judah. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was a Levite (Luke 1:5), and a close cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36), the mother of Jesus. Jesus was therefore a Levite by descent and a Jew only by milk (and law).
🔼The Return of the King
The name Nemanja means "holding on" in Old Church Slavonic but in modern Serbian it's so closely similar to the verb nemati, meaning "to have not", that many people insist that it means just that. Around the same time the Nemanja story plays, (around 1200 AD), a similar story played out in Albion, starring John Lackland of Magna Carta and Robin Hood fame (or infamy, rather), whose brother Richard Lionheart spearheaded the English contingent of the Third Crusade, which in turn heralded the beginning of the end for Rome's eastern empire, and necessitated the rise of Serbia.
These patterns describe the most fundamental working principles of humanity as a collective, and are stored safely in the deepest recesses of the Balkan subconscious. Recognized by scores of modern authors but buried deeper than any deliberation can penetrate, these patterns can't be erased, eased out or destroyed. When they sprout up from the earth, they are baked into the folklore, and when they seep up through the cracks they congeal into art and song. The Ottomans occupied the Balkans for as long as Europeans have been in the Americas and tormented, uprooted and brutalized the people. But when the Ottomans left, the church that Sava built sprang back up like grass through broken concrete. Wars were followed by socialism, nationalism and atheism, but when those fell, the church of Sava re-emerged and bloomed.
Many have tried to explain why Jews, who comprise 0.2% of the world's population, receive more than 25% of the Nobel Prizes. And although many forwarded explanations have merit, the main reason is that the Torah operates on the same principles as the universe, and understanding nature is a small step for a student of the Torah but a giant leap for anyone else. During the Belle Epoque of the late 19th century, Serbia took its first breath of free air in five centuries, the tree began to bud, and in a few small decades produced Petar Petrović Njegoš, Mileva Marić, Nikola Tesla and Mihajlo Pupin. Victory was near, but the power of the ring could not be undone. More horror awaited.
When Joseph was in Egypt, he foresaw a global famine and advised the government to stock their granaries (Genesis 41:36). When the famine hit, the entire world lined up to join Egypt. In our present world, trust is the substance of social cohesion, and trust renders structural integrity to all human institutions — all of them, from religion to science, to governments, their legislation, their military and most obviously their moneys and financial complexes. All of these institutions are about to crumble and the entire world will set out in a mad search for sustenance, for meaning and definition.
The Great Year's winter is almost over and Serbia sits on one of the best preserved pieces of agricultural real estate in the world, complete with a fully functioning Blue House that is not entirely contaminated with blood from a Red House. When spring begins, most of the world will be recognized for the polluted desert it is, but Serbia is one of about a dozen places in the world where the restoration of global humanity will commence. It will be the epicenter of a global cosplay. Its woodland realm and silver mountain will be restored. Its river will join the others and will flood the barren plains to form islands, which over time will grow into paradisiacal gardens, as foretold by the Prophet.
🔼Elves and goblins, trolls and Orcs
Imagine overlooking a very large, perfectly flat and snow-covered field. Then, somewhere in there, you suddenly see a tiny dark dot. You don't know what it is (the nose of a white rabbit, perhaps, or a whole bear, much further away?). You only know that there's something there. There's a thing there. It exists. And that's all you know.
When an observer perceives a difference between a thing and everything-but-the-thing (there's that Sacred Heart again), a single binary data-point is the result. When that same observer perceives a second difference (between a second thing and everything else), a second data point is realized. But now, automatically, a third data point arises, from a third difference, namely the difference between the first two data points. This third data point is as real as the first two, but is not part of the plane in which the first two occurred. The third data point exists only in the mind of the observer. That means that wisdom, like time, is a spatial dimension, and the study of intelligence, and thus the entirety of the human mental cosmos, can be consolidated with what we know from cosmology, astronomy and relativity theory.
Intelligence is what creates data from data in a dimension not of the original data. Our native realm is space-time-mind.
Jesus made use of this general principle of intelligence when he said that when two or three are gathered in his name, he would be there (Matthew 18:20). This principle comes from natural law, which works always and everywhere and for everyone, which unfortunately means that entities of that very same reality arise when people share any kind of conviction, irrespective of whether this conviction holds any water. Any kind of shared error — idle fear, faulty belief, forced association (via false or deceptive advertising, for instance), arbitrary codes of conduct, manners and fashions and subsequently collective ridicule and derision — form very real goblins and trolls that arise from the depths of society's undercurrents and wreak very real (i.e. measurable and observable, in a scientific way) havoc in the human world.
"Such is the nature of evil. Out there in the vast ignorance in the world, it festers and spreads; a shadow that grows in the dark," in the boding terms of King Thranduil. Goblins and trolls and such beings are not the physical sweaty creatures of folklore but social structures and very real indeed, as they soak up social energy without transforming this energy into lasting wealth. They embody loss, as units of inefficiency. Many peoples have tried to rid their lands of these darklings, but most efforts that were ever tried resulted in many more, and much more wasteful beasts, and not rarely in the stagnation and desolation of entire languages.
A cosmologist in Mozambique will have obtained her knowledge of the cosmos in Portuguese. A cosmologist in Kiev will have obtained her knowledge of the cosmos in Ukrainian. Even though these two cosmologists can't communicate with each other, they both have the same knowledge of the cosmos and they know this of each other. You might say that their shared knowledge of the cosmos is a singularity, and the more people are in on it, the more massive this singularity becomes.
If this singularity becomes very massive, it will form a so-called "event horizon" and this has two effects: (1) the people outside the event horizon will know that there's something huge there but can't see what it is or what's inside, and (2) the people inside the event horizon can observe the people outside of it but have no way to communicate with them. The world outside the event horizon is simply too far removed from the world inside it, and these two worlds operate literally as different realities where different rules dominate.
People who never were part of wisdom's singularity are like the animals of the world: most of them either friendly or indifferent to those within the singularity, and some with a perfectly fine evolutionary road ahead to get there. But people who were once headed for the singularity but managed to overshoot its event horizon and sling-shot onto a resurrected form of polytheism (even when this polytheism favors one particular deity), have reverted to the world of beasts (Proverbs 21:16). In Tolkien these creatures are called Orcs or fallen Elves. In the Bible they are fallen angels — and an angel, like an elf, is not a wispy sprite but simply a "messenger", usually a human one (the verb "to evangelize", or "to eu-angel-ize", to bring good news, comes from the word angel; see for more on this our article on αγγελος, aggelos).
In modern times, Orcs are no longer the bloodthirsty cannibals we know from the great battles of literature, and many have actually become quite friendly and sophisticated: many leading scientists are Orc. Still, even on their best behavior, Orcs are outside the singularity and derive their worldview from a vague tribal memory that none of them comprehends and all angrily reject as a pipe dream. Thus they have limited understanding of the world, where it's headed and how we might get there, which is fine as long as they are kept separate and spread out. When these Achillean digitigrades band together and stampede, they have the potential to lay entire continents to waste.
For people with an eye for this sort of thing, Orcs and Elves can be easily told apart. Orcs covet epithets and fancy titles, certificates and glory, and ultimately live by competition and conquest, and thus ranks and hierarchies. And they love their master, which is why there's always a bigger beast. Elves on the contrary never attack and only defend. They don't bother much about hierarchies, neither give nor take orders and think in terms of general progress, prefer anonymity and care only for the Common House. This is how we know that Satoshi Nakamoto is an Elf; a Middle-Earth Elf, to be exact (and Einstein was an Orc).
Many mourn the loss of the Precious but forget that Thorin and Azog died simultaneously on Ravenhill. Or as the Song of the Bow laments: "How have the mighty fallen, where the Shield of the Mighty (i.e. Genesis 15:1) was defiled." Fortunately, all this explains that the Queen indeed will rise as foretold, and even when, which is of course very convenient.
🔼War and Peace
Science is a mighty eye but in a world where freedom is the bottom line, certainty is a futile virtue. The Ark of the Covenant is principled on exchange, but the substance of soul is play and the only currency of any value is kindness. Every humanist knows that we should love our neighbors and be kind to everybody else, but here's the actual challenge: if we had all the knowledge in the world but still remained unable to make the other person regard us with any interest, we would be and remain nothing at all (1 Corinthians 13:2).
Potterers of cheap rhymes harry the masses by equating love with a desirous feeling, similar to liking someone (Alice loves Bob, and so Alice likes Bob), but the poets know that the verb "to like" means to recognize kinship (likeness, agreeability), which in turn means that "to love" is to have the ability to be liked (Alice loves Bob, and so Bob likes Alice).
Love works according to the Golden Rule ("treat others the way you want to be treated") and aims to provoke a specific reaction. Love is not some mysterious force that nobody understands, but easily generated from usefulness and pleasantness: technical skills, artistic skills, and of course the social skills needed to advertise and time the first two; when to dance to the flute and when to weep to the dirge (Luke 7:32). Alice loves Bob, and so Alice knows Bob, and so Bob likes Alice.
The Hebrew verb that describes what Adam did to Eve for her to conceive of Cain is ידע (yada'), which means to know ("and Adam knew his wife..."; Genesis 4:1 KJV). That means that the familiar command "love thy neighbor (and enemy)" literally comes down to the slightly more elaborate: "know thy neighbor (and enemy) so well that you become indistinguishable from his close relative: someone to trust in, invest in and blindly depend upon."
In his seminal book Who Asked the First Question? — The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech, author Joseph Jordania notes that what sets humans truly apart from animals is mankind's ability to ask questions. Humans have a conscious Theory of Mind, which is the understanding that different humans have different realities in their heads. That makes a question a same sort of thing as international trade: it allows people to form their own minds from the traffic between minds rather than from their own native resources. In the words of Joseph Jordania: "Without our ability to ask questions our brain would be a closed system, limited by the knowledge of our immediate experience."
We moderns speak of "enlightenment" but rarely contemplate what that means. Light is substantial (it's a thing), but darkness is not (not a thing). Photonic energy comes before all things and electromagnetism holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). Light consists of colors, contains information, comes from sources, sets things in motion, gives life and causes living things to grow. Darkness has no substance, no power to bind or propel, no nuances, no source, no information; none of those qualities. Darkness is emptiness and non-existence. Darkness is not the opposite of light but the absence of it.
Foolishness, likewise, is not the opposite of wisdom but the absence of it. Hate, likewise, is not the opposite of love but the absence of it. And war, likewise, is not the opposite of peace but the absence of it. Peace is substantial, it's fundamental and binding. It consists of nuances and perspectives, is based on the exchange of information and emanates from centers and gives life and causes living things to grow. War is the absence of all those things. War is the wisdom of the ignorant, and the art of war is the skill of the incompetent.
Every marriage is a local intersection between two far greater continuums, and in most languages, words — and thus the things these words describe — have genders. Every poet knows this, which makes it all the more baffling that, as his great country was racing toward its undoing, Leo Tolstoy advised his fellow gentlemen to "regard the society of women as a necessary unpleasantness of social life, and avoid it as much as possible." A century and a half earlier, the master poet Pushkin had famously observed that many men of fighting age didn't know the way to a Russian woman's heart.
What the latter clearly understood and the former obviously didn't is that society is a fractal, and a society that continuously complains about its government is certainly filled with frustrated singles, dissatisfied wives and angry husbands: it's the same energy that is manifested at both these levels. Right after the second world war and as a blatant rebuke of the empire's foolish mentors, Boris Pasternak created the iconic Pasha Pavlovic (πασχα, pascha, means Passover or Passion, and Pavlovic means Son of Paul, or Timothy) and noted that the unhappy Pashas of society inevitably become the self-declared Strelnikovs (archers) of war: the pretty creatures that do ugly things to people, whose wars go on long after they have killed their own creators, and leave poetic doctors and nurses with the mythical gift of healing to tend the wounded and wait for natural convalescence.
Despite rumors to the contrary, no man is born with an innate understanding of woman. And likewise, no government is automatically in touch with its population. All great journeys of literature — from the Exodus to the Odyssey to The Pilgrim's Progress, Tolkien's Unexpected Journey, and the masculine Enterprise's quest for New Life and the feminine Voyager's journey back to the Alpha Quadrant — take their core motivation from the quest for the solution of this most defining mystery of human existence: how to get the masculine ship through the feminine ring.
Every seedling that's ever been launched from the "Prancing Pony" has looked for the way into the Great White City. From poetry to marriage to governance, the search for the Ring's Gate is what defines human life (Zechariah 9:9).
The females of most animals, including great apes, experience estrus or "heat", which results in visual and olfactory signs that clearly indicate to the males that the female is receptive. The males, in turn, are conditioned to not make any advances when the females aren't receptive, and those who try are violently repelled. Humans did not emerge from the animal world on account of their naturally selected fitness, but were rather the weakest runt of the ape litter and were forced to make do with the paltry genetic hand they were dealt. And to add insult to injury, at some point on the journey, human females stopped experiencing estrus, which to the males meant that they were forever rejected. That means that humanity truly began when its lineage was effectively doomed. Humanity's life came from a death sentence.
When human females abandoned the estrous cycle, the survival of the species began to depend on the ability of individual females to gauge their own willingness to mate (when feeling secure, at ease and well provided for) and to successfully explain this willingness to their mate. The mate, however, was still genetically programmed to wait for visual or olfactory signals, and had no reason to assume any particular meaning in the female's deliberate signs and hints and horsing around. He simply wasn't programmed to be turned on by that. The male's natural sense of kindness, however, directed him toward the females whose behavior he recognized, namely his own sisters. Animals naturally differentiate between sisters and strangers by means of smell, but humanity's sense of smell was also rapidly declining. All this resulted in a vast increase of incest, and thus a slew of genetic disorders.
Humanity's survival began to depend on the invention of the wife, and thus marriage, and the development of an elaborate social code to replace the signs of estrus. And that's how man's mind began to be modern (Zechariah 4:6, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:17).
In the Bible, the difficulty of adjusting to a life of conscious reflection as opposed to simply following bodily urges is discussed in the meta-narrative of the Ruler and the Compromised Couple, which runs from Genesis 12:10-20 (Pharaoh is wholly unaware and so his house suffers great plagues) to 20:1-18 (Abimelech is consciously unaware but his dreams are aware) to 26:7-11 (Abimelech is wholly aware). The name Isaac means He Will Cause Joy, and the word for joy is often used to mean marital and sexual bliss.
Unlike Tolstoy, the authors of Genesis obviously understood that society is a fractal, and that the relationship of the Ruler with his people is self-similar to the relationship of the average husband with his wife. This means that the consistency of nation states and the harmony between governments and populations depend first and foremost on the abilities of individual wives to explain themselves to their husbands, and of individual husbands to intuit the sentiments of their wives. And that takes decades of practice and reflection.
To prevent war of any kind and at any level, experienced elderly men should gather in local repair shops and teach inexperienced young hot-heads the mysterious wax-in-wax-off art of household-appliance maintenance (Deuteronomy 24:5-6, Isaiah 2:4). Experienced elderly ladies, in turn, should gather in local Truvy's to teach inexperienced young women which particular buttons provoke which domain-specific expectations (Song of Solomon 4:7). And unlike pretty much everything else on this page, these are not metaphors: we are talking about real local repair shops with real vacuum cleaners and washing machines and scores of old boys tinkering about with all the time in the world. We are talking about real beauty parlors with real beauty treatments and real aunts talking about real tomatoes.
The beginning of the healing of the nations can be recognized by this sign: when the elderly of the world obtain the facilities to gather freely and spontaneously to demonstrate to the younger crowds the joy of life and the art of love.
🔼How to mend a broken staff
Our English word "kindness" comes from "kin" and denotes the recognition of shared-origin and thus predominant sameness in others. Kindness is acquired (i.e. not innate) kinship. It is not something expressed in a single friendly "hello", but requires many years to form. It comes from "proof of temporal investment" and either follows a long and agreeable time in each other's direct company, or else from obvious similarity in learning that took each separate party many devoted years to acquire (the way the cosmologist from Mozambique and the one from Kiev feel immediate kinship when they meet).
If any adult wants to join the Orthodox Church, he (or she) first has to find a "kum" (or "kuma"): a non-related local who is willing to formally commit to the candidate for the rest of both their lives. The entire community at large understands that someone's kum has a status (plus rights and privileges) that is comparable to a parent or older brother, and officially assumes full responsibility over the candidate, so that if the candidate should go awry, even many years later, the community will visit the kum for an explanation. Unlike comparable organizations, the Orthodox Church is based on very serious social contracts, and goes hand in hand with one's ability to be liked, and thus trusted.
Philadelphia, or the City of Brotherly Love was not the City of Swooning Brothers but the City of Useful Brothers. Whether one is useful can be told by this simple sign: when people line up to be with you and share their resources with you: you are useful. When you're broke and alone and everybody yells at you: you're not useful (and compare Acts 18:1-4 to Exodus 27:21 and Hebrews 8:5). Preaching the gospel to the poor has nothing to do with teaching a method to be followed or laws to be obeyed, and everything with finding the usefulness of people whose worth is not recognized by the mechanisms of society at large (see the verb πτωχευω, ptocheuo, to beg). This, again, has nothing to do with warm feelings but with the calm ability to provoke a specific equivalent reaction (see for more on this principle, our article on the noun μισθος, misthos, meaning wage; hence also Tolkien's Misty Mountains).
Intelligence generates data from data and wisdom generates knowledge from knowledge. And if we have neither but can just generate kindness, we can combine whatever knowledge we have and generate whatever might be missing. And if you can visualize these simply social principles, you might even be able to visualize an induction motor. Science is not the pursuit of knowledge but the pursuit of consensus, and that starts with kindness between strangers. And as John Archibald Wheeler noted, that makes love (the ability to generate kindness between strangers) the first, last and only line of defense against the scum of the universe.
Since human society operates on the same natural laws as the rest of the universe, certain insightful individuals, in modern literature often referred to as "chemists", are able to review mankind's discrete mental elements as arranged in a periodic table, and forge, alter and apply the chemistry of social bonds at will; even make gold out of mercury. This in turn suggests that a single human mind is in fact rather like a city of whom the natives set the policies, but whose public market place hosts a coming and going of much more fundamental mental but autonomous entities, the way an atom absorbs and excretes photonic energy and sometimes entire electrons.
Conventions and shared standards are hugely important but anyone who takes their cues merely from rigidity will inevitably resort to violence (any violation of property rights or right to one's own space, breath and time, including but not limited to any pushing, shoving, bloodshed, theft, misappropriation, destruction, obstruction, secrecy, deception, distraction, derision, libel, slander or anger), and any such person will ultimately be disqualified and removed from the game. That's the game's only rule, but since it defines the game, it's absolute (Hosea 6:6, Matthew 12:31-32).
A teacher is someone who is not part of the singularity (she's a teacher, not a cosmologist), and sits just outside the event horizon and diminishes the mystery-mass of the singularity through the intellectual equivalent of Hawking Radiation. If the singularity is formed by the general principle of science — the singularity of the Scientific Method that all scientists share — then people outside its event horizon will not understand how science works and will base their certainties on their suspicions, or on what some authority told them to believe.
A foolish teacher will try to teach these outsiders scientific theories and scientific data, which will only cause these people to become more suspicious and more dependent on authority. A wise teacher will teach these people first the principle of science, by explaining how scientists form their theories, not by believing all the right stuff or being in on a secret brotherhood, but through common observation, from which is constructed a falsifiable hypothesis, which is tested through an experiment, whose results are publicly confirmed. This, in one word, is the crucifixion. Only when the students understand the crucifixion, they can begin to start understanding the resurrection (Philippians 3:10), and proceed to usefully absorb, process, share and produce data obtained by means of the same scientific method.
Joseph Campbell famously spoke of the hero with a thousand faces but it's ignorance that has a thousand faces; wisdom only has one. A wise teacher must first overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect, first destabilize the certainties that exist, and from the rubble rebuild (the Hebrew סרב, srb, we discussed above). And a wise teacher only shares her most intimate thoughts with her closest neighbors, her closest intellectual neighbors, folks who are already intimately familiar with the material at hand and who can weigh any further evidence on carefully calibrated scales. A wise teacher never leaves the singularity, and always lets the mystery inspire rather than the explanation confuse (Daniel 4:32).
Wisdom (or intelligence) is not about having knowledge but about having the ability to usefully apply knowledge. It's the fruits that count, not the height of the mountain. Wisdom acquires knowledge not by adding more of the same onto a formless pile, but by generating knowledge from knowledge, by recognizing the completeness of what's clearly observed only in part. Matter diverges from a singularity toward a multitude, but life converges from a multitude upon a singularity. Science disassembles things, technology assembles things (John 4:22). Knowledge increases entropy, wisdom decreases entropy. This is the ancient key, the key of David.
🔼How to mend a broken purse
Wealth works exactly like wisdom. Wealth comes not from the presence of money but from the velocity of money. And the velocity of money goes hand in hand with the depth and complexity and efficiency of organic social networks (real networks, not Facebook). Wisdom, wealth and the complexity of organic social networks are all related. And that's why smart people get together to discuss the Bible, and talk to each other in movie quotes and references to the classics (Ephesians 5:19).
A people who, by using mere light, can rid its lands from wasteful ogres, trolls and goblins vastly increases the efficiency of its social networks, and thus retains much more wealth, and thus becomes much more secure, healthy, happy, prosperous and longer-living. One formidable High Elven-forged goblin-cleaver is of course the spelling standard. More recent goblin-cleavers are the promotion of tolerance and diversity, but also standardized computer protocols (HTTPS, HTML5, POP3, and so on) and all kinds of conventions and pacts. Newer than all that still, blockchain technology promises to create a standardized environment for all sorts of financial and precious-data transactions, which will exterminate the vast goblin infestations that today still plague our world's most dominant institutions.
Nobody can predict how a society will choose to invest its wealth once it has it, and nobody can predict how a society will express its wisdom once it has it. But both wisdom and wealth have to grow organically, from within society and by allowing society to naturally contract, like a gas cloud into a star first and then, perhaps, a singularity. The stars hold dreams like eagles on hills.
Everybody knows that the wealth of the world is controlled by less than 0.01% of the world's population, and we poor folk call these people the Smart Money. Most poor people think they are poor because they have no money, but no, they are poor because they don't understand how money works. It's been observed many a time that when a poor person suddenly comes into a lot of cash (by winning the lottery, for instance), she will almost certainly spend all of it — in effect she'll give it all back to the 0.01%, plus interest — and end up poorer, angrier and lonelier than before (Proverbs 20:21), just like a person who doesn't understand science becomes more confused when she's confronted with very sound scientific data.
Poor people exist outside the financial event horizon, and the Smart Money sits inside it and forms a singularity. The Smart Money understands the financial world the way scientists understand nature: they don't necessarily know each other but they know of each other and they know what the other guys know. A black hole has no hair and a singularity has no goblins. That makes the game inside the singularity a completely different game than the game outside it. It's not that the outsiders don't have the right data; it's that they don't know what to do with it when it comes their way, were to put it into the grander scheme of things. They don't know how the singularity works. They don't see the one of it all. Their knowledge and intuitions are incomplete. Their minds are not aligned and their worldviews are askew.
Most of the Smart Money's wealth is stagnant, stems from the economic booms of the last five centuries, and resides wholly in family offices. But it doesn't sit like gold in vaults. Instead, it's spread out into the economy, invested, where it provides the fundamental geologies of our economic reality.
When ordinary traders want to predict where the world is headed, they look at what the Smart Money is doing, as it moves as an impenetrable singularity through the human cosmos. People inside the singularity can't explain where the singularity is going, because like most scientists, they cannot begin to image what it must be like for people who are not within the singularity, and who are already firmly believing something else. People outside the singularity relate to people inside the singularity the way the herd relates to the shepherd (Jeremiah 23:1, 29:7).
When John the Baptist sent his disciples to see about Jesus (Matthew 11:2), the latter told the disciples to observe the goings on: the blind were receiving sight (and so were not blind anymore), the lame walked (and so were not lame anymore), the lepers were cleansed (and so were not leprous anymore), the deaf were made to hear (and so were not deaf anymore), the dead were raised up (and so were not dead anymore), and the poor were having the gospel preached to them (and so were not poor anymore). That means that the gospel relates to the financial singularity of the Smart Money the way a teacher relates to the singularity of cosmology. The twelve springs from which the gospel will flow anew will cause the Smart Money to lose their hold on the world's wealth. And this to everybody's relief.
🔼Circles and Spirals
The number pi is one of the most important constants in science and technology, and engineers use it all the time to build this grandiose world of ours. We count on numbers. Numbers keep the chimneys smoking. Numbers, mathematics and computer code are the bedrock of our great modern society.
Ask anyone to define the number pi and they will confidently declare that pi is a mathematical constant, a little over 3.14159, defined as the ratio of the circumference and diameter of a circle. And all of that is perfectly correct.
Except, of course, that in natural reality the decimals of our number very quickly approach the so-called Planck-length and lose all meaning and become "not even wrong". But for the rest it's all correct.
Except that it's only correct on a perfectly flat two-dimensional plane, which doesn't occur in nature. On a spherical three-dimensional plane, pi must be smaller than flat-pi. But otherwise, it's all good.
Except, of course, when we're on an imperfect sphere or on a hyperbolic surface, because then pi is not even a constant.
And the ratio-part? In 1761, Johann H. Lambert proved that pi is not rational, so no, pi is not a ratio, not even the ratio of the diameter and circumference of a circle. Or worse: the circumference and diameter of a circle cannot be simultaneously known and thus compared in any meaningful way.
There's no such thing as a perfect ring. There is also no such thing as a perfect spiral, but our definition of intelligence (two data points become three data points) ties into the Fibonacci sequence (two rabbits become three rabbits), which ties into the Golden Ratio. In nature the Golden Ratio produces spirals and fractals that never finish forming but also never compromise the singularity from which everything derives. Likewise, in complex storytelling, the same duality can provide a basic structure of an axis of progression that is formed like a spiral (for instance the duality of Jacob & Esau, which is repeated in Zerah & Perez, sons of Judah, son of Jacob, and which is continued until Thomas as the narrative spiral converges upon Christ).
In nature, one's inside is the same as one's outside, and one's past is the same as one's future (Matthew 7:2, Genesis 13:16, Ecclesiastes 3:20). That means that a people can only become one when they understand that they came from oneness, and their understanding of original oneness is what will make them one again. Ionic imperfections forge rings from rings, and makes keys and keyholes. In a world that grows, change is the only constant, and variety makes all the difference.
Or to contradict ambassador Spock: the needs of the few are the needs of the many.
🔼The Usual Suspects
"Minds make societies," said Pascal Boyer, "and cognition explains the world humans create." But it goes further than that, and the ancients knew this. Our literary archetypes are literally our archangels, and the characters of our scripts are literally the agents that govern us. Our words are the bricks from which we build the cities in which our minds dwell: from the magnificent Jerusalem and Mecca to marble Athens and Constantinople, even ethereal and water-flushed Rivendell and the great realms beyond, which settled like dust according to the layout of the stars in the heavens.
Religions are literally the guardians of scripts, and so they are literally the keepers of souls. And that means that they should be defended at all costs and cherished forever. But since Kurt Gödel we know that all formal systems must remain incomplete. This does not mean that all bets are off but it does mean that the overwhelming majority of religious people fail to comprehend that the beauty of their religion comes from the limitations of its theometry (that's a new word; it denotes the theoretical basis of a worldview). Just like a painting can only be beautiful because it's not like the others, and just like a brain-cell can only be useful because it's not like the others, so a religion can only be useful by virtue of its limitations.
Most people's certainties fail to take into account precisely what gives their theometries value, namely their limitations. But when a person is without understanding of the defining boundaries and thus the very nature of his theometry, his religion is worthless to him and he is worthless to his religion. Only when a person understands the limitations of his religion, he becomes valuable to his religion, and his theometry will work together with all the other theometries and they will amplify each other, like the various cell-types of an organism. God is One.
People live in many different environments, and they describe their realities in many different theometries. Some things must always be true in the mountains, but they cannot be true in the valleys. Some things must always be true on the coasts but cannot be true in the marshes. Wisdom knows that, and wisdom is one.
Jesus urged to first seek the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), which is the ultimate singularity of all things, since God is One and thus the Oneness of All things. That is why the people within the singularity of the Kingdom of God are "of one mind" (Acts 4:32, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:3, Philippians 2:2, 1 Peter 3:8). That has nothing to do with central authority, forced communism, foolish sentiments and mushy feelings and everything with synchronicity of thought and completeness of vision based on one's understanding of incompleteness. One-mindedness is not concerned with what's right or wrong but rather with how all things work together (Romans 8:28). In Christ, in the Kingdom of God, there are no nations, no genders, no races, no religions, none of any of that (Galatians 3:28, Revelation 21:22).
Despite their great many obvious faults, the Catholic and Orthodox churches have always kept an eye on the entirety of their people, and diligently included the poor and the ignorant. But they have failed to heal the sick and raise the dead. Science and capitalism have cured many forms of blindness and lameness, and have eradicated many diseases and have lifted large populations out of poverty. But science and capitalism have placed rovers on Mars and Large Hadron Colliders in the ground as monuments to nobody but themselves, while the large majority of mankind lives in fear and poverty because they haven't been properly shown how wisdom works and how wealth works.
The global scientific republic was born in ancient Athens, but in our modern world, it no longer populates the leading front in research. In its quest for the one ring to rule them all, capitalism has sucked up most scientific talent, and discoveries are now patented, owned and sold to the highest bidder, not for the common good of everyone but for the profit of the few. Capitalistic science has become the new Roman Empire, and its obvious crime is that it has once again discredited and supplanted the wisdom elites of all the tribes of mankind — literary priests and secular scientists alike. Like its ancient forbear, the Resurrected Roman Empire has bought humanity's parents with trinkets and enticed them with pretty clothes and fine dining to let their children be raised by strangers in schools, by television networks, commercial websites and advertisement companies. And all this as part of their enslavement.
By forging an empire of enlightenment and wealth, capitalism and science have created a world of darkness and poverty. Their way of life glorifies death, and their memorials promote amnesia. They amputate what doesn't fit until their narrative is a farce. Their fires smoke because their circles are unbroken, and so they pull out the logs that won't burn, until no fire remains. Their health is deadly and their progress is into oblivion. But the world which they forced into union will unite against them and reach for what they rejected: the part that didn't fit, which left the hole they couldn't patch, which will be the gate through which the redeemed escape.
All throughout history, self-declared Titans have made the same colossal error of thinking they could run ahead of the crowd and enter the heavens while leaving the botched and bungled behind them to fend for their inferior selves, or, just slightly worse: mark them, ship them, and kill them all off. But even though the great ones are faster, the small ones know the way, and dumping the small ones sets the great ones racing very fast toward nowhere at all (Matthew 20:16).
Everybody knows the story of the destruction of Sodom, but few seem to realize that the way out of Sodom was inside Lot's house (Genesis 19:11). Everybody knows the story of the frog that's letting itself be slowly boiled, but what few emphasize is that at some point during the exercise the frog is going to expire. And then the cook is going to have a nice little meal. What very few Titans of our world seem to realize is that they are the frog.
We live in an interconnected dynamic system, and Truth is only that which everybody whole-heartedly agrees on. Even if a single one remains outside the event horizon of some global conviction with the integrity to drain its mass, its singularity will begin to evaporate and ultimately come to nothing. If one's consciousness does not derive from the oneness of all things, it's incomplete and ultimately as useful as half a seed. If one's consciousness derives from the oneness of all things, no matter how small it is, it has the potential to cover entire continents with everlasting life (Matthew 13:31-32).
As we've seen above, beauty is the attractor of Averageness in which any freely evolving dynamic system will seek to settle, and in the human economy, beauty (Elizabeth) is the mother of the herald of individual autonomy guaranteed by purely natural law (which is Christ). Any kind of manipulation or deception is the enemy of that. A person's most precious commodity is time, and most of us spend our precious time on jobs that require us to do things we don't particularly like to do, or would have chosen to do if we had a choice. And instead of using our salaries to buy our own freedom, or at least things that our hearts of hearts truly desire, we follow enticing and subliminal signals that were designed by modern wizardry for the specific purpose of keeping mankind in the throes of ugliness (see our article on σκανδαλον, skandalon, a fire used for night fishing).
Fortunately for all of us, this is precisely the principle of natural selection that draws out the foolish and ugly elements of society, like poison from a snake bite, and purifies the remainder. While most of our fellow men draw like moths to the flame that dominates our world and keeps everything stale and enslaved, a small minority resists, poor but free in the shadows. In the very near future, the flame of modernity will lose its power and the world that it attracted will fall apart. The world that the moths understood will come to an end in the dawn of a new age, and the shadow-dwellers will rise and take over.
Humanity long thought it was the self-contained crown upon God's creation, but now we know we would be nowhere without the tiniest bacteria and fungi that live inside of us. Reason arose and declared its enlightened Self king of the hill and particularly the master of lowly emotions, but now we know that human reality is like a complex number and exists of two equally valid components, one rational and one irrational. Our brain was once anointed supreme Führer of the body, until it was discovered that alien gut bacteria generate much of our emotions, like an altar where foreigners place their honest offerings, whose smoke rises to heaven like the prayers of saints (Ezekiel 20:41, Revelation 8:4).
The above-ground dwellers once thought that they were all that, but now we know that the underground world is the giant on whose shoulders we tiny sparrows stand. We now know that poles shift and that even the certainties that keep the human cosmos upright go through periodic geomagnetic reversal.
The systemic collapse of modern humanity is underway but salvation will come from the most unlikely corners: from prisons and asylums, from addicts and criminals, from deep within the larger UFO crowd, from among the ancient alien theorists, the flat-earthers, the remote viewers, the believers in elves and the Loch Ness monster, the keepers of tribal traditions and the dreamers of dreams in oppressed and endangered languages. From the areas of investigation that modern Grand Wizards laugh at and dub pseudo-scientific, where vast covens of unscientific meddlers muddy the pools and concoct their crazy conspiracy theories, from those human sewers will come our twelve legions. Not because they are in any way right (they're not) but because they run on human identity that cannot be rejected and must be incorporated for us to be whole.
We are not insane, most excellent Festus. We're just very small. And the galaxy is still on Orion's belt.
There are thin gossamers of visionary people living within vast moronic populations who are perfectly correct about what they covertly believe: physicists who secretly pray, millionaires who secretly give, mathematicians who secretly square the circle, cosplayers who secretly intuit the truths of observable reality, autists who secretly play humanity like a fiddle. And they will leave their tribes and start to drift in search of their true home, and end up gathering in the most unlikely places, places without facilities, with awful reputations and histories of ignorance and barbaric violence, but where only very thin layers of artificial concrete give access to the warmest waters below.
Through the world's most rejected psychotics God will breathe new life into humanity (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 118:22, Acts 2:2, Matthew 24:31, 1 Peter 2:1-10). The One who is One will call His people from the farthest corners of the earth and the most remote collectives of sincere human conviction and restore the divine oneness of us all (Deuteronomy 30:3, Isaiah 11:12, Jeremiah 29:14).
In the gathering to come, the masses who speak words without meaning will find no footing in memory, but those who draw from the most ancient of wells will join and be eternal. The past has only just begun. The Word of God stands forever.