The Bible, Tolkien and Serbia
— Bound by a single covenant —
🔼Could the Ark of the Covenant be hidden in Serbia?
The question we here at Abarim Publications are asked the most is whether it's true that the Ark of the Covenant might be hidden in Serbia — buried somewhere in the howling infinite of its cave systems by fleeing Jewish priests, or in any of its hundreds of ancient monasteries by later Templars, in the vast hill forests north of Silver Mountain, or else in the east, near Lepinski Vir or the great Iron Gates, or the White City itself, where in 1915 an intrepid Barrel-Rider braved the old phage of Mirkwood, that festered and spread in the vast ignorance of the world.
Sadly and frustratingly, we too are under ancient orders not to divulge any further details — so please, dear reader, don't bother us about this, anymore — but many have taken up their copies of Shakespeare, Goethe, Rilke, Tolkien and other such modern Bards and Bowmen, and arrived, wholly independently, at the conclusion that a fabled quest has dwindled for centuries in the sacred land of Sava.
Reader, no! We cannot answer this question, and if pressed we will submit that we have not seen anything of note in a hole in the ground. But we will also declare that in lacy layers of ancient encryptions, brittle keys of frozen glass turn upon a whisper and part wings as worlds so great. And as the ancients say: if it opens the door, it was the key. So speak, friend.
The consensus among the reasonable includes the understanding that Tolkien's peoples — Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Men — were never biological but verbal ones. They are language basins, and are populated by those who speak in them (hence the reference to the "speaking-peoples of Middle Earth"; LOTR.Apx.B), and weave and forge their legacies into monuments of literary magnificence. Here at Abarim Publications we grudgingly admit to a mostly Andrean heritage, but our hearts lie with the Elves, who taught language to Men "in the days when all the world was wonderful" (Hob.12), or else with the Dwarves, the unequalled master craftsmen of our world, whom even the Elves envied.
🔼A brief introduction to intelligence
Identity is always narrative. When we know the words of the things we see, we read our world like a book, and write that same book within our minds. When we know the words of invisible relations between the things we see, our book begins to contain invisible things. That means that intelligence is always mythological, just like meaning is always historical. And those who perceive a line between the two, are really not familiar with either.
We humans think in words. Without words there is no conscious thought, and without script there is no thought about abstractions, or even thought in algorithms (i.e. lawfulness) rather than feelings (i.e. lawlessness), which is the very thing that separates the reasonable from the animals (Psalm 73:22, Ecclesiastes 3:18, 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10). This means that "humanity" is not a biological quality (because biologically humans are apes) but an intellectual quality: humanity is a learned quality, very much like speech or cultural sophistication.
Everybody grunts but a word is only a word when many people agree it is. That means that humanity is agreement. And, as John Steinbeck so gracefully explained, everybody sings but a "song" is only a song when many people ask their bards to sing it. Without words there is no language. And without lore, there is no spirit, no social identity. A song resonates with many hearts, its narrative embraced by folks who traded their own heart-murmurs for it, like a pearl of great value, because the World Song rang more true than their own private one. Songs (mythology, lore, literary archetypes; all that) are to humans what impact screens are to quantum particles. They show invisible patterns of communal identity and intent, of the Higgs field from which one's own concerns and hopes and ideas derive their mass. Nobody disbelieves their own eyes but lore is more true than anything we can see, and teaches us the words of the things we can't see while giving meaning to the things we can. We humans believe who we are not because of what our eyes tell us but because of what our songs tells us. This is why we thank God for our poets.
Everything that separates mankind from animal kind is synthetic. The natural man seeks power and his ideal is world domination. But wisdom seeks the mysterious Way (οδος, hodos) of a much greater power, greater than world domination, and seeks freedom (ελευθερια, eleutheria, freedom-by-law), knowing that freedom can only exist when everybody has it, and thus when nobody seeks control over anybody. This is a matter of calculation: domination is limited by the size of the world but freedom is limited by the size of the universe. Freedom gives a higher return on investment because it allows a much more efficient use of human capital. That means that the least of the free is greater than the greatest global emperor.
The story of intelligence begins where all stories begin: in the Big Bang. And the beginning of intelligence is the understanding that the Singularity was never compromised, and that its Oneness was never compromised and will never stop governing all variety and all interaction.
The Singularity was never compromised. It never became not One. Its energy polarized into particles, but never became not One. Some particles joined into atoms, but never became not One. Some atoms joined into molecules. Some molecules joined into living cells. Some living cells joined into multi-cellular organisms. Some of these began to communicate. Some of those began to develop language. Some of those began to learn about natural law. Some of those began to create technology. Some of those began to understand the whole of it, and their wisdom gave them identity, and they began to share their identity with the Whole, and began to partake in the nature of the Creator (2 Peter 1:4), which is Oneness.
The universe is a very big place and not all that wanders is lost, and not all that travels has mass. Consciousness is information, and all travel is data transfer. We know that now. Freedom is what exists before anything else exists: it's the most fundamental nature of the Creator from which everything else comes into existence and to which everything that has come into existence aspires.
Freedom is unconditional: it exists in the absence of determination, yet it is a rule in the same way that zero is a number. Freedom is a riddle, a paradox. It's a condensate. It has never not existed, yet it rises invisibly from the pits of darkness, until it forms clouds, then rain, then rivers that have no sources. Individual freedom of speech exists only when the whole community willingly submits to the rules of language. Music, traffic, economy and all civilization works the same way. Life works the same way (see Galatians 5:1 relative to James 1:25).
Death is not the opposite of life but the absence of it. Life is a building, and death is achieved by reversing the story of intelligence: when bonds fall apart and the joined returns to the dust it had transcended.
Darkness is not the opposite of light but the absence of it. Light is substantial but darkness is the absence of substance, not the presence of something else. Light builds, but darkness is hollow. Likewise, freedom is substantial, whereas domination exhausts. The past is a tyrant that drives, but the future is a freedom that draws (John 12:32). Enlightenment liberates, and liberty builds. That's how we know that we are wise: not when we excite and dazzle but when we calmly construct the cities that keep us alive. In the wilderness we are exposed to the elements and to wild animals. In the cities there is shelter and fellowship and abundance and music and learning and delight. The word "polite" comes from πολις (polis), city, and from city comes "civil". The word "heathen" comes from heath and "pagan" from pagus, the land outside cities. A city is any synthetic place where human energy is concentrated without causing pressure and blowing apart; where thermodynamic energy is transformed into life rather than heat, and where wisdom matures into freedom rather than power.
Every wizard knows that all the possible can be mastered, and the impossible is attempted only by the ignorant. The ignorant too make their homes in cities but never consider that these cities are entirely synthetic, and were built, brick by brick, by builders whose skills they cannot recognize. In our modern world, every building, every institution, every instrument, gadget and tool and even language itself was put together by wizards, who abhorred the so-called super-natural and remained entirely devoted to the world's actual and natural potential.
The purpose of language, likewise, is not to exchange information. The purpose of language is to align visions. The purpose of language is to agree. Without language, there is no agreement.
For every word there is a picture, and words generate imaginations, and imaginations generate shared reality. We humans are what we imagine: we are what we think and we think in words. Language lets us verify what we see, and thus to unify ever separate minds through a kind of harmonic resonance (Genesis 11:6). Language, quite literally, enables cold fusion (Matthew 5:16, Daniel 12:3), and the purpose of language is to facilitate one single massive conversation like a choir does a song: to form one single biosphere of human consciousness. Past and future tenses are qualities of language and without language there literally is neither history nor hope. But with it, we can literally fly anywhere in space and time and even rise above them. When human visions align, the unobservable aspects of reality become visible (Hebrews 11:1). And that's what language is for (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Words are the bricks with which humans build the world they are conscious of (observable or not), and a righteous author renders every skilled reader the freedom to make any text her own homely house (see Tolkien on the difference between application and allegory, foreword 2nd edition LOTR).
It's been said that mathematics is the language of the universe, and this may be so, but mythology is the language of consciousness, and that's a much greater realm. Mathematics cannot distinguish between correct and true, because truth is useful as well as correct. Mathematics may fill every bit of the entire universe with correct data (the infinite decimal digits of pi alone would do it), and thus make the universe a barren desert with no room for life and no hope for growth. Truth, like light and life and freedom, builds. Correctness, like darkness and death and bondage, hollows. Correctness is an element of the natural man. Truth is an element of the enlightened man, and one cannot exist without the other, just like there can't be time before clocks. All orthodoxy is about correctness and insists on following orders from some higher authority. In wisdom, there is no orthodoxy (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11), and the highest authority is natural law (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 28:18), and the highest order is fellowship with friends (John 15:15). Truth is the collective experience of correctness: Truth is what is loved and not opposed. Orthodoxy obsesses over the words that are the dry bones of a text, but wisdom dances with the spirit that animates the thoughts behind the words.
Mathematics (all orthodoxy, for that matter) creates data from data to make ever more data, on an ever broadening road that approaches a barren infinity. Wisdom compiles and compresses and looks for a vast fractal pattern that approaches life-bearing unity. All intelligence is synthetic, but mathematics has no singular identity, and doesn't comprehend the nature of usefulness, even though the nature of "one" constitutes its own cardinal axiom. This is why math is inherently incomplete and will never be able to go full-circle, no matter how big it gets. This means that all intelligence that desires to understand why the universe is capable of producing intelligence will draw toward wisdom and learn its language and rules. The purpose of wisdom is to demonstrate the reality of Oneness (Deuteronomy 6:4, Romans 8:28, John 17:20-26), and Oneness is the seed from which all mythology springs, that keeps it together and guides it toward ever greater unity (Colossians 1:15-18).
We humans don't think rationally or even individually, but in the dynamic patterns of our collective language, which itself is a living beast and we are its cells. We all walk around continuously reviewing tens of thousands of years' worth of memory, stored in the blockchain that is our natural language, at the heart always realizing that even the smallest mirror has no option but to reflect the entire world.
There can be no technology without algorithmic thought (i.e. lawfulness), and that requires a sensitivity to standards, and that starts with language, which is the very essence of consciousness: the reduction of entropy, the reversal of the arrow of time, the creation of memory. No object may travel back in time, but all soul is superluminal, all visions have negative mass, and all consciousness is a return: a principled rejection of expansion, and this the sages knew. Consciousness seeks Oneness. This is why we danced in circles and sang in choirs, long before the First Words crystalized in our antics. Consciousness comes from language and must therefore always be collective. But its charted dry land will always depend on the collective subterranean waters of uncharted intuition.
Mythology is like chess. Its reality depends on its rules, but within those rules, an author may position her pieces entirely at will (while "playing" for the trust of her audience). Mythology is a language, and the freedom to say what one wills is its only law.
Mythology is not about perfect precision and rigorous formulas, but about streams of consciousness and poetic associations. Still, mythology is the language in which the real governments of our world converse and communicate (gathered in what is lovingly called "The Council"). They do this not in secret, but openly for anyone to tune into. Whoever wants to learn this language can go right ahead. There's no charge, no secret password, no permission required or schedules to follow. Mythology is the perfect Republic, whose Counsel's door will always open to people who speak its language. Creed, to the contrary, is always part machine and part dying flesh: the federation's most lethal enemy (Daniel 11:38), which must be battled with the utmost efficiency (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Journalism reflects the impressions of bug eyes, which is great for bug brains. Actual human news is proclaimed in myth, in parables since the beginning of the world, that demonstrate which eternal patterns apply to which current event. There is, after all, nothing new under the sun, and anything that happens is a mere variation of something that has happened many times before.
There's nothing fantastic about mythology, and although it typically does not reflect observable reality, it is as real as the Periodic Table or the Standard Model of Elementary Particles. Mythology explores the archetypes of human realism, which are isolated, purified and polished to perfection by the free market, and which create their narrative contexts in exactly the same way as stars do with the space that surrounds them, pervades them and emanates from them. And although the stars are clearly marked, the space between them has no borders. Mythological archetypes do for the contemplation of consciousness what mathematical formulas do for theoretical physics. They provide a library of basic elements from which larger and more complex realities can be constructed.
But myth and observable reality relate like fractal images, which are clearly not identical and only as similar as the good humor of the observer allows: there is never a paint-by-number correlation between the elements of myth and the reality it may help to describe, even though the two can never be de-coupled. Said otherwise: even in high-fantasy, a boulder will always roll down the mountain, never up, because in order for the fantasy world to function consistently, its engine must be carefully governed by the same dynamics that govern observable reality. Even in fantasy, certain mechanisms, principles and sequences of cause and effect may be counted on.
And that also means that mythology should never be "believed" at face value, and even if it resembles anything observable, it must be allowed to skew and stretch any arena, and disregard the familiar temporal axis of progression, or combine multiple chains of events into one, or split one into several. One single myth may describe the balance of power within a small village and so simultaneously within the entire world: a balance that formed from natural forces within two petri-dishes of different sizes but identical contents. One single myth may describe the shared reality of worlds that existed centuries apart. One single myth may describe the heroism of multiple heroes, who related to their multiple oppressors in closely comparable ways. These myths describe truths (i.e. useful correctness) that transcend mere history; so are they true? Perhaps not to those who cannot imagine anything sweeter than honey (Judges 14:14, Psalm 119:103, Ezekiel 3:3).
If methodology is the fabric of orthodoxy, then the fabric of mythology is freedom. Dry land saves the drowning but to those who walk on water, certainty was always a futile virtue.
🔼A Brief Introduction to Middle Earth
- As said, there is no paint-by-number correlation between locations of Middle-earth and locations in the real world (Tolkien abhorred allegory), but the realities of the first are certainly inspired by the intellectual realities of the second. Said otherwise: the distribution of power and concerns in Middle-earth loosely derive from the intellectual (not political or military) tensions between Oxford, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Rome and the USSR of the first half of the 20th century.
- Like that of the Bible, the landscape of Middle-earth consists of literary legacies: concentrated schools of thought that are both connected and kept apart by steady flows of ideas. Its records emphasize battles of reason and weigh the importance of any historical event merely by its effect on wisdom. As in the Bible, the north tends to represent cold individualism and the south warm collectivism, whereas the east stands for anything fixed (the past but also natural law, earthly mountains, tradition and the stubborn minds of primitives), and the west for anything fluvial (youth, the future, artistic inspiration, mercy, freedom, heaven).
- Serbian epic poetry was always recognized as highly unique and deeply insightful, and many writers (Goethe, Jacob Grimm, Victor Hugo and Tolkien too) were Serbophile for that reason. Like Middle-earth, and long before she became a modern country, Serbia was a narrative that grew scenes that folded into a wreath of recurring themes. She was a choir of poets and stood sentinel in answer to an ancient calling, and guarded mankind's greatest treasure that rested in her stanzas like the honey colored haze that collects in valleys on summer evenings.
- In 1961, Ivo Andrić received the Nobel prize for his 1945 Bridge on the Drina, "for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country." Tolkien had also been nominated that year. His The Lord of the Rings had been published in 1954. In that same year, 1954, was published Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, who had studied Natural Sciences and English at Oxford (Oxford helped to imagine the Shire) in the 1930s, where Tolkien had studied from 1911 to 1915 and taught from 1925 to 1959 (at various constituting colleges). Golding received the Nobel Prize in 1983. Fifty years after its release, LOTF was itself "adapted" into LOST, the TV series.
- Also in 1961, Marshal Tito in Belgrade spearheaded the Non-Aligned Movement, which formalized the post-war role of Yugoslavia — Yugoslavia helped to imagine Gondor, Rohan, Mirkwood and Erebor — as physical buffer between Europe (the Westlands) and the USSR (Mordor). Throughout the cold war, Yugoslavia remained the very epicenter of the political world. From the 14th to the late 19th century, that same area had shielded Europe from the Ottoman Empire by absorbing much of its thrust west.
- In 1913, Hitler, Tito, Stalin, Trotsky and Ivo Andrić all lived in central Vienna, drawing from the same wildly foaming intellectual river (Vienna helped to imagine Rivendell). But in the 1920s the rampant coffeehouse wisdoms became largely opposed by the budding "Vienna Circle" of academics, which began to form in 1907 and pursued the unity of all sciences (the Scottish ideal) versus specialization (the German ideal). In his 2001 book How the Scots Invented the Modern World — The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It, Arthur Herman reviewed the curious dominance of Scotts in the formation of modern science, education, statecraft and even literature. That is until the Scottish school was sidetracked by the rise of the "German university ideal, which stressed rigorous research and professional specialization." The Scottish school of thought, which was dominant in the Western world until the late 19th century, rather stressed "the notion of a fundamental unity of knowledge" (Herman.Scotts.14). (Also see: When Scotland was Jewish — DNA evidence, Archeology, Analysis of Migrations, and Public and Family Records Show Twelfth Century Semitic Roots, 2007, Caldwell Hirshman and Yates.) Everybody agrees that God cannot be observed, and only "that what was made" (Romans 1:20), which means that the word theos, or "that which sets" (whatever "that" is) reflects a world-view rather than a religious view. That means that the Scottish ideal is essentially monotheism (the view that all the universe is a unified closed system, and freedom is everything), whereas the German ideal is a polytheism (differing pockets of reality vie for dominance and formal allegiance is everything). The loss of the Scottish ideal and the usurpation of the academia by the German ideal helps to explain the sudden transition from the unified peace of the Belle Époque to the shattered darkness of WWI. In Tolkien this disastrous decline corresponds to the "abomination that causes desolation": the desolation of Smaug (Matthew 24:15). The Hobbit was published in 1937 and draws from the realities of WWI (which is why it was hailed as a literary masterpiece; it wouldn't have been if it had been a mere fantastic tale of some dwarfs and a dragon). LOTR was published in 1954 and draws from the realities of WWII.
- Dark Lord Sauron, Smaug the Dragon and Sméagol the Creature — a גלם (golem) is a formless creature wrought in the depths of the earth (Psalm 139:15-16) — add up to a dark triad of conflicting objectives. The names Smaug and Sméagol derive from the same Germanic term smeag, meaning crafty or creeping in (Genesis 4:7), and also relate to the demise of the native diversity of the European languages due to Indo-European, the brutal and patrilocal invader from the east (Tolkien's Witch-king of Angmar is roughly the same antagonist as the Kurgan in Highlander, 1986).
- The three farmer-eating loggerheads "Tom, Bert and William" extend the widely attested motif of the three kings, whose naive exuberance directly caused the slaughter of the innocents (Matthew 2:1-18). Likewise, "Tom, Dick and Francis" (from Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV.2.4), refer to the kings of Germany, Britain and France, whose Kings' Crusade (1189-1191) directly preceded the Children's Crusade (1212). The term was adapted into "Tom, Dick and Harry" in 1657 by Oxford theologian John Owen, who used it to describe unskilled, populist commentators (certainly also looking back on the War of the Three Kingdoms, i.e. England, Scotland and Ireland, who all had Charles I as their king). At the beginning of the 20th century, the proverbial three kings were the cousins Kaiser Willhelm II, Tsar Nicolas II and King George V. The Boer Wars (boer is Dutch for farmer) in South Africa (from 1880 to 1881 and 1899 to 1902), polarized the powers in Europe and helped set the stage for WWI. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892.
- After the failed crusades, the fall of the Templars (1312) and the fall of Constantinople (1453), the task of Europe's defense against the eastern enemies befell the budding Balkans states. In the 15th century, the signature hero was the Hungarian John Hunyadi, whose valiant defense of Belgrade (1456) was supported by the ringing of church bells every noon in the whole of Catholic Europe (and decades before the Reformation, this meant the whole of Europe). Particularly at Oxford the ultimate victory was celebrated with great enthusiasm. John Hunyadi had sent a special courier there with the news. Hunyadi's son was Matthias Corvinus, whose name means raven; hence the raven father and son Carc and Roäc in The Hobbit.
- In 1907, Russia, France and the UK entered into an agreement called the Triple Entente (entente is French for accord or friendship), as part of the alliance system that contributed to the global polarization prior to WWI. The three powers Russia, France and the UK had in common that their nations' souls were personified by women: Mother Russia, Marianne and Britannia. All this may have helped the imagining of the Ents and their missing Entwives.
- All throughout the Third Age, ranging Dúnedain protected the West with an "invisible shield". And all that time, the Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim communities of the Balkans had unanimously celebrated Đurđevdan: the Day of Saint George. In November 1917 the British Empire won Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire. This was the very same month in which the Russian Empire fell to the Bolsheviks. After the victory of the First Crusade, the Holy Land had been lost to Europe because only very few defenders chose to stay there. That lessons learned, in 1948 the State of Israel was established.
- Nature delights the eyes and desires to make wise (Genesis 3:6), but Nationalism is a vicious outgrowth of Romanticism, which intoxicates the mind by emphasizing private experience over collective consciousness, or lawless feelings over the lawful ratio. The idea of "homely house" or heimat was one of a very few central tenets of Nazi patriotism that survived the war, and immediately after gave rise to the hugely popular heimatfilm.
- Most European royal houses stem from the House of Habsburg, which was seated in Vienna from 1278 to 1918. Their most prominent internal order is the Order of Saint George, which aims to continue the chivalric ideals for which the Templars and Hospitallers are most famous, and which was instrumental in the formation of the United Europe in the 20th century. The Order's motto is viribus unites (with united forces), which is not without similarity to e pluribus unum (from many one), united we stand, or samo sloga Srbina spasava (only unity saves the Serbs). The name Habsburg may mean Falcon Castle (from habicht, hawk or falcon), or Castle At The Ford (from hab, ford).
- The name Bruinen is Westron and translates as Loudwater (brui + nen), possibly because its main tributary came from very near Goblin-town in the Misty Mountains. The element Misty reminds of μισθος (misthos), compensation: the perfect symmetry of supply and demand, which is the economic engine of a loveless reality, whose deadly nemesis is the concept of the "free gift" or δωρεα (dorea; see our NT Concordance). In Dutch, bruinen means "brown ones" and was used to refer to the Nazis (variously because of the Brownshirts, Braunau, Eva Braun, or perhaps the notion that as long as economic orthodoxy governs reality, our economy is up SC). Noun βοη (boe) describes a loud collective cry, whereas βους (bous) means ox. Ergo: the Ford of Bruinen = Oxford. The destruction of the Nazgûl horses corresponds to the Beer Hall Putsch but obviously also reflects the destruction of Pharaoh's army (Exodus 14:26-31). When Galadriel sees the Ring, she utters the bone-chilling and utterly relevant "despair!" of Shelly's Ozymandias, a.k.a. Ramesses II, the Pharoah of the Exodus.
- While remaining true to his abhorrence of allegory, Tolkien incorporated several obvious homages to key events of WWII in LOTR: Frodo wounded at Weathertop loosely corresponds to the Battle of the Bulge, the delay at the Last Bridge to Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of Isengard to the Battle of Monte Cassino — the emblem of the crucial Polish 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, a.k.a. Christmas Tree Division, featured a cedar of Lebanon (which obviously helped to further imagine the Ents). Poland lost its independence and 160,000 Polish soldiers moved to Britain (the Dutch noun ent means graft). Right after WWI, the RAF flew with airplanes made by the Fairey Aviation Company (after founder Charles Fairey), which may have helped imagine the Elven armies. In WWII, the RAF made grateful use of US planes, mainly the P51 Mustang; hence the Horse-lords of the Rohirrim. The Mustang's most formidable version came equipped with a RR Merlin engine; hence Gandalf on Shadowfax. The Tiger Moth was the training aircraft in which most WWII RAF pilots received their basic training. The Oliphaunts of Harad correspond to the formidable German tank destroyer called Elefant (formally Panzerjäger Tiger(P)).
- Saruman himself embodies the Templar legacy: the (Italian Proto)-Renaissance and the subsequent European Reformation and Enlightenment; the initial Islamic milk of science gone sour in Capitalism, Industrialism, Darwinism, Marxism and finally National Socialism and thus institutions like the BIS (a.k.a. the "Tower of Basel", Adam LeBor; also see The Finance Curse, Nicholas Shaxson, which explains LOTR.6.8; but also note Tolkien's provocative use of the term "the troubles" in the 2nd paragraph of LOTR.6.9, which has referred to British civil war since the late 1600s).
- Tolkien's "Eagles" work on many levels. Relative to the Knights Templar they are the Hospitallers (after St. John's signature Eagle). Relative to WWII, they most plainly correspond to the US dollar, but specifically to the Eagle Squadrons: three RAF squadrons peopled and paid for by American volunteers (the Eagles' real power came from their being δωρεα, dorea, "free gift").
- Whacky Tom Bombadil and his Goldberry (first appearance in 1934) have never been properly explained, but, with the Brandywine functioning somewhat as the English Channel, they obviously relate to man's Icarian desire to fly (king Minos of Crete was the first in history to build a navy in order to stalk and apprehend pirates, Thucydides.HPW.1.4), as well as Billy Mitchel, the unruly "father" of the US Air Force and tireless advocate for ever more air-power. The signature bubble canopy of military airplanes was invented as early as the First World War. WWII military planes commonly had "nose art", mostly of scantily clad girls, such as the famous Petty Girl of the Memphis Belle (the theatrical poster of the 1944 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress shows a gunner in a Plexiglas dome). Catch-22 author Joseph Heller studied English at Oxford in 1949, and the B25 Mitchel bombardier sits in a Plexiglas nose. Perhaps not dissimilarly, Rudolph Hess' radar-nosed Messerschmitt helped the creation of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
- In 1915, a group of British volunteer medics staved a typhoid (τυφος, tuphos) epidemic in Serbia; doctor William Hunter invented the so-called "Serbian barrel". One of Bilbo Baggins' self-bestowed titles is Barrel-rider, after the way he let the Company escape Mirkwood. His other nickname, Thief In the Night, derives from the theoretical symmetry between a free gift and a theft: both describe an exchange of goods or services, without a counter-exchange of money (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
- The boding glare of king Decebalus marks the Danube's Iron Gates. He was the last king of independent Dacia from 87 to 106 AD, who died fighting the Romans. Carving began in 1994 and was completed in 2004. The Peter Jackson films are from the early 2000s.
- Minas Ithil is Sindarin for Tower of the Moon, and reminds of Jericho, which means City of the Moon. Minas Anor means Tower of the Sun, and reminds of Beth-shemesh (House of the Sun) and Heliopolis (City of the Sun). The Greek word ηλιος (helios) means sun (hence the theonym Helios), which is not dissimilar to the Greek rendering of the name Elijah, namely Ηλιον. Better yet: the genitive of the name Helios is identical to the genitive of the name Elijah, namely Ηλιου. Said otherwise: in Greek the terms "Of The Sun" and "Of Elijah" are identical. Minas Ithil fell to Sauron and was renamed Minas Morgul, Tower of Sorcery. Minas Anor (Tower of Samson, Tower of Elijah) became Minas Tirith, Tower of the Guard (i.e. Samaria; the Hospitallers obviously relate to the Good Samaritan). Hebrew for tower is מגדל (migdal), hence the name Magdalene.
- Osgiliath (Sindarin for Citadel of the Stars) roughly corresponds to Constantinople (Minas Ithil and Osgiliath form the moon-and-star icon of the Ottoman Empire), the capital of Byzantium and on all accounts the spiritual parent city of Belgrade (Beograd). The names Boromir and Faramir are obviously of Slavic association, and designed to remind of the common names Bogomir and Vladimir. The death of the valiant Boromir by Orcs may relate to the violent eradication of Bogomilism in the Balkans. Bogomilism was essentially a form of dualism (hence perhaps Boromir's split horn) but also a proto-Protestantism that loathed the imperial structures of Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Despite its untimely demise, Bogomilism rendered much of its rebellious momentum to its younger "brother" Catharism, which was instrumental in creating the turmoil that allowed the rise of the Protestant Reformation.
- The element "Minas" is Sindarin for "tower" and corresponds to the "-grad" (city) prefix of names like Beograd, Stalingrad and Leningrad (there is even a Golem Grad, a Macedonian island). Minas Tirith is Gondor's signature "White City of Seven Levels". Belgrade, likewise, means White City and was the capital of Yugoslavia, which was a federation of seven social entities (albeit six formal republics: Bosnia, Croatia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). After the kings had failed, Marshal became the highest rank in Yugoslavia. The word Marshal comes from marhaz-skalkaz, meaning "horse-steward".
- Late in the 12th century, a hundred rogue Knights Templar attacked three Serbian "Guardians of Saint George's Spear", attempting to retrieve an artifact called "Christ's Shroud" from a place called Black Rock (Crna Stena). Upon the death of the last valiant Serbian knight, the archangel Gabriel (the same who had dictated the Quran to Muhammad in a cave) appeared and hid the "Shroud" within the rock (obviously in resonance with King Arthur's Excalibur, and note that Arthur and Muhammad were contemporaries, and compare Q.112:1-4 to John 19:23). Within a century, the Templars were disbanded and their estates were transferred to the Hospitallers: hence Faramir and Éowyn in the Houses of Healing (LOTR.5.8, 6.5). In 1247, the Hospitallers established a base in Hungary's Banate of Severin (now Romania, just east of the Danube). Traditionally, the area of Belgrade outside the city core was called Vračar (from vrač, meaning healer, from PIE werh-, to speak; Vračar means House of Wholeness or Oneness; House of "the Word", i.e. Scientific Knowledge). In 1930 a stellar observatory was built on East Vračar's central hill, which gave the area its modern name Zvezdara, meaning House of Stars. Zvezdara's emblem comprises the seven stars of Ursa Major.
- Soon after the Templar's foiled heist of the "Shroud", on that same spot, Mileševa Monastery was built. In it, a mural of Gabriel (popularly called White Angel) celebrates the preservation of the "Shroud" and ultimately the salvation of mankind. In modern times, the White Angel became a global symbol of survival and salvation, particularly of an enlightened minority against a dark majority. Its image was part of the first satellite transmission from Europe to America in 1962. In 1389, just before the Battle of Kosovo (Serbia versus the Ottoman Empire), the prophet Elijah appeared to Serbian Prince Lazar in a vision. Elijah the Tishbite also equals John the Baptist (Matthew 11:14), who equals the promised Messenger (Matthew 11:10, Malachi 3:1).
- The noun soviet means council: a local circle (or "ring") of wise equals. The ideal of a republic of such rings was pursued since deep antiquity but corrupted by imperial centralization in every age. Dark Lord Sauron, whom Gandalf identified as the Lord of the Rings (LOTR.2.1), called himself Artano, which means High Smith. Tubal-cain means Global Smith; the word נחש (nahash) both means bronze and snake. Stalin means Steel Man. The War of the Ring tells of the quintessential War between the line of Cain and the line of Seth: Empire versus Republic, Rome versus Free People, creed versus wisdom, Black Rock versus White Council, the machine versus the soul, antichrist versus Christ, Darth Vader versus Luke, "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" versus "ein Volk, ein Reich, kein Führer" (Ephesians 4:4-5, Matthew 23:10).
- After a series of bloody revolts, horrible retributions and a great deal of diplomacy, the Ottomans were finally ousted from Serbia in 1867. In that same year, 1867, the German Karl Marx, living and working in London, published Das Kapital, in which he mistook the living economy (which mimics the great conversation within humanity's mental biosphere) for a machine. In the words of Gandalf: "The Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood — and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was" (LOTR.2.2). Ergo: the Ring to Rule Them All is market control, the ultimate gospel of Das Kapital: nothing new, really, but still the same old serpent's promise: that divinity might come from eating the fruit of the most beautiful tree at the center of the garden.
🔼The Great War
The desire for control through omniscience has blinded mankind since mankind's beginning, but since Kurt Gödel (1931) we know that all formal systems must remain incomplete, and since the advent of Chaos Theory (1960) we know that there is no such thing as perfect precision and that the tiniest imprecisions of initial conditions will ultimately come to dominate the outcome of any complex process.
Everybody agrees that God cannot be observed and therefore not studied, and this is why no sane person thinks that theology is the study of God. Instead, theology is the study of "what has been made" (Romans 1:20). Or in other words: theology is the study of everything (instead of a part of it; all other sciences study parts of everything but theology is the only science that studies the whole of it). And whether one is a monotheist or a polytheist has, likewise, nothing to do with the number of unobservable gods one holds to and everything with how one regards the consistency of observable reality.
Polytheism — from πολυς (polus), meaning many, and θεος (theos), "that what puts things where they are, regardless of what that might be", from the verb τιθημι (tithemi), to place or set — sees the world as the combined effect of many independent forces that may somewhat align but mostly exist in perpetual conflict with the others (the sun fights the wind, the wind fights the sea, the sea fights the shore, and so on). In polytheism, a human is an animal and always a slave to the many forces that toss him about in an unpredictable (and thus, crucially, an ungoverned, rule-less or lawless) way. And where a human ends up depends entirely on which force drives him (the wind, a cart-pulling ox, the god of money, or the god of pride, or the god of food, or the god of sex, and so on).
Monotheism — from μονος (monos), one, and θεος (theos), "that what puts things where they are — comes from the understanding that reality is based on one single and perfectly consistent natural law (called the Logos: Colossians 1:15-17, John 1:1, Isaiah 9:6), which makes all things work together (Romans 8:28) in a consistent and thus perfectly predictable (and thus, crucially: a governed, rule-based and thus lawful) way that can be studied, understood and mastered so that all events can be predicted, and humanity is no longer a slave of nature but its master. Monotheism understands that the Logos perfectly reflects the Creator (Hebrews 1:3) and that a human may love the Logos (John 14:15) and become fully acquainted with the Logos and wholly absorb the Logos (as if he "ate" him), so that the Logos becomes the man's nature (2 Peter 1:4) and man may govern the whole of creation together with the Logos (Matthew 19:28, 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 2:26). The fabric of monotheism is freedom, and a man whose nature consists of lawless emotions is a slave to his emotions, but a man whose nature is the lawful Logos is free with the Logos (John 8:32, Galatians 5:1).
Polytheism is always emotional, whereas monotheism is always rational. Polytheism is always individual (ego-centric), whereas monotheism is always collective. Law is always collective, which is why monotheism results in cities and lawfulness in freedom. Freedom, like love, is always relational: there is no freedom in individuality; there is only freedom in law (James 1:25).
Freedom is not the absence of law but the perfection of it. Love, likewise (and quite contrary to popular lore), is rational and not a feeling. Love may cause feelings (nobody denies that), but love itself it not emotional. Love is unlike empathy, which works via emotional induction (i.e. emotions generated in one circuit by exposure to physical expressions — smells, sobs, postures — of emotions in another circuit). Love is the ability to transcend the realm of one's own feelings and hence enter the experiential realm of someone else. Love is calculative and quite literally an out of body experience. Love is entirely rational and thus relational and thus wholly devoid of emotion, which is always private and non-relational. Love binds people together in exactly the same way in which electromagnetism binds atoms together. Love is the perfection of law. Love is the experience of freedom.
A perfectly consistent law reflects perfect symmetry, but the most fundamental engine that drives evolving reality is "broken symmetry". Life fulfills but never breaks the rules of the material universe (Matthew 5:18), just like love fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10), but no law can comprehend love (Galatians 5:22-23). Entirely likewise, economic orthodoxy is unable to comprehend the principle of "free-gift", because "free-gift" breaks the monetary symmetry. Yet "free-gift" drives all economic progress and injects human soul into the merciless machine. And that breaks the Ring that makes the Chain that binds them all in Darkness.
The paradoxical catch of monotheism is that it is mono-polar and pursues only the Oneness Of All Things: the Oneness that preceded all creation (the Big Bang singularity), which is the same as the Oneness that governs creation today (hence the hypothesized Theory Of Everything, the phenomenon of particle symmetry, and the "laws" of preservation of energy, momentum, baryon number, electrical charge, and so on), which is the same Oneness that calls the evolution of all creation toward the common attractor that is Harmonic Oneness (hence the emergence of love, language, law, cities, and so on).
Just like freedom is more than law, and life is more than matter, so Oneness is more than mind: more than alive, more than conscious and more than intelligent. The Bible calls this Oneness: "the Alpha and the Omega; who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8, also see Hebrews 13:8, Psalm 90:2). Through the prophet Isaiah this same One emphatically declares: "There is only One! There is no "other"" (Isaiah 45:5-7). And in the words of Galadriel: "Not in doing or contriving, nor in choosing between this course and another, can I avail; but only in knowing what was and is, and in part also what shall be" (LOTR.2.7).
Despite the demands of modern folklore, the Great War was never between various orthodoxies, various nations or various economies. The Great War was never about Islam versus Christianity, or the USSR versus the US, or the East versus the West. The Great War was always between the light of monotheism and the darkness of polytheism, and darkness was never the opposite of light but the absence of it. Monotheism emerges within the larger realm of consciousness as a very late development, like the youngest runt of a much larger family. Monotheism invariably recognizes the singular identity of the whole of everything, whereas polytheism invariably thinks in terms of we good guys versus them bad guys, and condemns and persecutes what cannot be bundled and gathered under the party banner.
That means that the difference between monotheism and polytheism is not marked by the attitude to what is preferred (because that is surprisingly similar), but rather by the attitude to what is not preferred. We can tell monotheists from polytheists not by what they believe but by how they treat people they disagree with.
Polytheism rejects and destroys what it does not prefer, whereas monotheism accepts and incorporates what it does not prefer. That is why monotheism requires supreme mental discipline, whereas polytheism depends on the absence of it. Polytheism thinks that differences are told by dogma and that dogmatic supremacy is established by debate (or even that debate is more important than care), which is why polytheists invariably end up fighting other polytheists.
Monotheism, on the other hand, is signified by love, and love seeks not to battle but to gather various polytheisms beneath a greater monotheistic umbrella, like a kind of spiritual farm, or a park in which domesticated animals live and let live. Even in such parks, all polytheisms make noise, but only the words of monotheism result in useful technology — and usefulness is a matter of confirmation rather than information (not merely the confirmation by someone else but also by our own experience: monotheism, like consciousness and language, is a thing learned). We can print 5000 pages of digits of the number pi, and although all these digits are correct, only the first ten or so are useful, which means that they are used in technology (1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23). Freedom, love, language and Truth (John 14:6) are all expressions of usefulness (Matthew 18:20), not of correctness (more specifically: truth is a subset of correctness). This is why monotheism is like a language, which is taught by induction (from "goochy goochy goo" up: Ephesians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 11:1), not by instruction (from a set of axioms up). And it's why monotheistic speech is not the occasional repetition of some creed but the whole of all one's words always; all one's verbal expressions that continuously testify of one's monotheism (Romans 10:9, Matthew 12:36).
Belief in monotheism does not consider monotheism the thing that is believed, but rather the environment in which the believing is done. This is why "love believes all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7; also see Ephesians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 2:10, John 14:26, Hebrews 2:8). Monotheism is the environment in which all things are believed. And all things is a very big term because any logical system must remain incomplete, and cannot believe all things. That means that logic can never be monotheistic, and that monotheism will always transcend logic (Ephesians 3:19), even though it contains all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
Monotheism has nothing to do with religion, nothing with axioms and certainly nothing with exhaustive philosophies that confidently "follow the logic wherever it leads" (which, namely, is the darkness of page 5000 and the intellectual heath-death that lies beyond, where the devoted logician embraces a correctness that only he realizes and spends the rest of eternity in the perfect isolation of an eternally incomplete world in which only he is god). Monotheism has to do with usefulness, with serving others, with food on the table, with physical, mental, social and international health (Matthew 11:5). Monotheism does not result in an ever growing but always incomplete pile of correct but useless theory, but in an ever refined array of useful technology. Useful technology — anything from clay pots and cave paintings to data centers and space telescopes, lawn mowers and medical equipment, instruments and tools, even language and text and narrative techniques; that which separates the human world from the animal world — is the fruit by which monotheism is recognized. All progress always, from before the singularity onward, whether natural of technological, comes from the refinement of useful things. The Greek word for this fundamental principle is αναστασις (anastasis), or "the Rise" (see our NT Concordance of this majestic word).
God told Moses that he would meet mankind in the Holy of Holies, in the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 25:22), which was a building: a technological complex for whose construction technicians were especially endowed with the Holy Spirit (Exodus 31:1-11). And as Milton Friedman demonstrated in his famous Lesson Of The Pencil: you can't have a single pencil without an entire, unified open and free global market. Likewise, there cannot be a tabernacle without a whole world full of technological sophistication. And the apex of such a world is the so-called City of God: the New Jerusalem, which is a city, which is an artificial and synthetic complex.
This in turn means that monotheism loves polytheism in all its quirky forms and limitations (Proverbs 12:10), whereas polytheism has no real idea that monotheism (or love) could have existed. This is why monotheism builds cities where polytheism can't enter, and parks where peace-loving polytheisms may coexist in safety. And for the species of polytheism that can't or won't embrace peace, monotheism establishes vast nature reserves that are governed by monotheistic Rangers whom polytheism can never truly recognize (not even when they are the Ranger's pet or the animal he gratefully rides).
Monotheism results from positive selection. It never goes to war on evil but overcomes it the way the free market abandons a product that was once popular but now wholly forgotten by anyone who pursues only what the beholder finds true, whatever she finds honorable, whatever right, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good repute, excellence and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Monotheism is a market condition that emerges from the freedom of consumers to ignore (to be unaffected by) what they don't select, and this freedom can only exist when all consumers relinquish all forms of control and manipulation, and surrender themselves entirely to be consumed by others (Romans 12:21).
In monotheistic reality, whatever is desired is upheld like the Tree Of Life at the center of everybody's attention (Haggai 2:7), whereas the not-preferred perishes in neglect far away on the outer periphery (which is guarded by the crucified Christ, whose crucifixion embodies the falsification clause of the scientific method, which is why Christ-crucified absorbs all the sin of all mankind for all to see). By its very nature, monotheism thrusts toward its own perfection (Malachi 3:3, Romans 8:19), while the not-preferred starves in its wake and dissipates like smoke into nothingness. In monotheistic reality, evil is nameless. Or in the words of John Yossarian: "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." When people pursue Oneness as the "highest" ideal, the completing key-stone will always be the smallest and lowest (Isaiah 53:2-3, Psalm 118:22, Matthew 25:40).
Monotheism deteriorates into dualism (knowledge of good plus "knowledge" of evil, which is a false-knowledge, an anti-knowledge; a belief in a lie) when evil is allowed to polarize into some discrete entity, which somehow embodies the un-selected and un-preferred and is found to somehow compete with the selected and preferred. And this happens, paradoxically, whenever we pursue the highest, greatest, mightiest or most supreme within the closed system of reality, to the detriment of the lower, smaller, weaker and least of that same system that thus gets stepped on. The Bible urges to protect the weak and love the enemy because when people reject the Unter in pursuit of the Über, they will inevitably come to serve the head of the snake that cannot other than devour its own tail.
The ability to review a closed system regardless of one's own preferences leads to monotheism, because monotheism rises above the system and escapes the system. The consideration of evil, however, always results in the bondage of dualism, and bondage always results in pain and darkness. Competition marks the beast, and the beast must die, one way or the other.
🔼A garden within a circular wall
The man Adam (means Red) lived in Paradise (means circular building), indeed when all the world was wonderful. Michelangelo painted the Creator within a brain within a human skull. The first Argonaut, Noah resided within all living things within the Great Ship. Entirely likewise, Thrain of Old carved his halls (היכלות, hekhalot; Hosea 8:14) on the many levels of his kingdom under the mountain, dazzling Moria (or μορια, moria), far above the lower well, which reached even to the lair of some ancient Balrog: בעל רוח (ba'al ruah), or Lord of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2), whose Well of Desire (רגג, ragag, to desire or covet) was the deceptively called "wishing well"; the same source of deadly terror as the well in Lost (2004) and The Ring (2002).
The name Golgotha means skull and derives from the verb גלל (galal), to roll or be circular. The related verb גלה (gala) means to expose or remove (hence the name Goliath). The familiar Slavic term vilino kolo, or "elven circle", combines this verb (albeit via κυκλος, kuklos, circle) with the noun vila (from בעלה, ba'ala, mistress or lady-lord, and בלה, bilah, ragged whiff or terror).
As the poet said: sometimes words have two meanings (and all of our thoughts are misgiven). And about Orthanc, the citadel of Saruman, Tolkien observed: "the name of which had (by design or chance) a twofold meaning; for in the Elvish speech orthanc signifies Mount Fang, but in the languages of the Mark of old the Cunning Mind" (LOTR.3.8). In more common Mannish, this name obviously reminds of the elements ορθος (orthos), straight or right, and αγγελλω (angello), to message. It's a synonym of orthodoxy: the backbone of all religion, the tree at the heart of the garden, designed to make wise but whose fruits are deadly when consumed.
Toponyms (names of places) are curious creatures, because they are given by communities, sometimes neighboring communities that speak different languages. Names are words for things, and their making and preservation reflect market forces. Toponyms often mark the intersection of multiple etymological strands, like rivers of consciousness that met in confluences to join multiple profundities in a single source of life. The name Galadriel, for instance, of the "greatest of elven women", is widely recognized to be the Sindarin Galad-ri-iel or "Light-Crowned Father's-Daughter", but the element galad, light, obviously also converges upon גלד (galad), skin (Job 16:15), which describes the organic equivalent of a circular wall (and which probably helped to form the noun "guild" from its Indo-European counterpart geldana, to pay; hence the Dutch geld, the English "gold" and the idea of "buying a stairway to heaven"). The name Gil-galad makes use of the same element galad and means Star Light in Sindarin but clearly also converges upon גל גלד (gal galad), Circle Of Circles.
The many -el, -ath and -oth names in Tolkien use terminations that are signature Semitic, which suggests that Elven languages loosely correspond to Sumerian and cuneiform and other such very early writing systems, whereas Dwarven languages loosely correspond to Semitic languages and the formidable alphabet, Hobbitisch to Celtic, and Mannish to Hellenic. Elvish, however, has the distinction of being the "first" language, and therefore humanity's most intimate and most rudimentary verbal expression, whose remnants still linger at the base of all modern tongues, forever "graven in memory" (LOTR.2.8).
But all this means that Galadriel is also גלד ראי אל (galad r'oi 'el), or the Enclosure That Sees God (which obviously describes an eye). Alternatively, she is גלה דוריאל (gala dori'el), or the Circular Wall Around Divine Abundance (and we'll get to the dor-part further below). But still, and here is the magic: these Hebrew versions and the Sindarin one essentially convey the same meaning and merely paraphrase each other in a playful poetic way. Galadriel is neither fictional nor invented by Tolkien, but very real indeed and a favorite of poets ever since Solomon wrote: "She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor" (Proverbs 4:9).
Serbian for head is the similar glava (גלב, galab means to shave; Serbian golub means dove; ינה, yona means dove, from יון, yawan, mud, from which bricks are made). Serbian for skull is lobanja. The Hebrew adjective לבן (laban) means white, from the verb לבן (laban), to bake bricks (Genesis 11:3). In German leben means to live. Noun לב (leb) means heart, לבי (lebi) means lion, לבן (le ben) means "for the son", and the verb בנה (bana) means to build (a house).
The name Beograd means White City. It translates its older name Alba Graeca, or Greek Whiteness, named after the Albani, which were an Illyrian tribe, who were named from the same Celtic word for white that gave us names like Albania (south of Serbia) and Albion, the ancient name of Great Britain. It's been long noted that the Celtic and Semitic languages overlap considerably, which suggests that Celtic alben and Hebrew לבן (laban) may have helped each other's formation.
All over Northwestern Europe, a governmental assembly (such as the one formed by king Arthur's knights) was called a thing (allegedly from Proto-Indo-European ten, to stretch, but much more convincingly from the Hebrew תנה, tana, to hire), which may have helped to form Belgrade's earliest name, namely Singidunum, or Fortified Circle. Around the same time at which Stonehenge was beginning to be built in western Albion — whose greatest miracle was not technical but organizational — in the area east of the sea, where Singidunum would come to be, the highly advanced Vinča culture was pioneering symbolic notation, the precursor of proper script.
Remnants of this very navel of human consciousness were first discovered in 1908 and made headlines around the world. Further and much more elaborate excavations were funded by British businessman Sir Charles Hyde. Inspired by the still novel Theory of Evolution, linguists began to examine Serbian folklore and discovered the echoes of a bottomless past, rolling gently onto the shores of modernity in the archetypal waves of the human spirit. More recently, archeologist Genevieve von Petzinger observed that "there were only thirty-two signs in use across the entire 30,000-year time span of the Ice Age and across the whole continent of Europe" (The First Signs, 2016). This means these symbols were not mere arbitrary scratches but were drawn from a common reservoir deep below the wells of every human heart, as if the whole earth used the same language and the same words.
About twenty years after the discovery of the Vinča culture, Tolkien wrote the immortal: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." He could never quite explain where that statement had come from and how it had entered his learned mind.
🔼Elves, Dwarves and mailmen
Long after the Entwives were lost, even long after the events described by Tolkien, came a people some called the Skandaloi (from the verb σκανδαλιζω, skandalizo, to night-fish), who glorified only themselves and turned Elves into silly sprites, Dwarves into gnomes and Wizards into party magicians. On this earth of ours, greater treasures were rarely lost.
Today, all life descends from life, but very long ago, life ever so briefly arose spontaneously from lifeless dust. Likewise the high-Elves, as nobody now refutes, were the world's first linguists, who had learned speech from no one, who had awoken without having been awakened, and in whom a dazzling and creative intellect first drew breath (Genesis 2:7). They were the ones who formed the first thoughts, and they were the ones who taught this stellar craft to whatever living thing came to be named (Genesis 2:19-20). These majestic ones were known by the first of verbs: אלף ('aleph), to learn: the Elves.
Writing first births the abominations of the deep (αβυσσος, abussos, abyss), because writing opens the door to the invisible abstract — and isn't God the greatest abstraction of them all, and all writing, exactly like Adam, God-breathed? (compare Genesis 2:7 to 2 Timothy 3:16, and both to Acts 2:4 and John 20:22). But the letter kills, said Paul (means Little Guy), and Homer, likewise spoke of "fatal tokens; murderous signs incised in a folded tablet" (compare 2 Corinthians 3:6 to Il.6.169).
Standards eventually kill chaos, but first they stifle variation. They ultimately expose folly, but first they confirm them, hence the armies of Goblins in Middle-earth, called κοβαλοι (kobaloi) by Men and גבלים (gebalim) by Elves. Elven blades cut the lateral ties of self-referential relativity with which the shadows cling to life. Where Orcrist, Glamdring and Sting are wielded, only souls who draw breath from the singular heart of reality remain. But this is all widely known.
Even less a secret is the fact that the names Dwarf and Durin — and גלה דוריאל (gala dori'el), Galadriel and every "-dor" name — ultimately derive from the same third-age Elven root דרר (darar), to flow freely, abundantly and wealthily. Its noun דרור (deror) means freedom. Verb דור (dur) means to go along a circular trajectory. Gondor, or גנ־דור (gan-dor), for obvious reasons, is the Shield Range and combines דור (dur) with גנן (ganan), to protect or enclose: the wall around a well (from the same verb comes goon squads, Goon Docks, and thus the immortal Goonies: treasure hunting subterranean mini-people; the Dutch equivalent of goon-dock is bierkaai, like the Vir in Lepinski Vir, from באר, be'er, well or pit). Noun דור (dur) means circle, pile or hoard. The name Durin, or דורון (duron), is the same as δωρον (doron), meaning gift in the sense of contribution or investment, mostly to the broader templar enterprise. It's a close kin of the noun δωρεα (dorea), meaning "free gift", we mentioned earlier.
The Hebrew verb to invest, or rather: to sew local patches of production together in a blanket of international trade, is גמל (gamal), from which comes the noun גמל (gamal), the unit of international trade and international unification (i.e. the camel), and of course the name Gimli (meaning camel-esque or pertaining to the unification of the global market) and the garment of camel's hair worn by John the Baptist, who baptized with water and was the quintessential Messenger (מלאכי, Malachi; see Isaiah 42:19, Malachi 3:1, Matthew 11:10).
The later Silvan elves spoke of דואר (dw'ar), a mail-carrier or postman: first a homing pigeon (or dove, if you will) but later an official of immense esteem whose service literally tied entire empires together. The Andreans referred to these men as αγγελος (aggelos), messengers, but the later Skandaloi, who had begun to lose the ability to appreciate any sort of mail, were losing respect for the messengers, and began to belittle them and called them angels, and made them into chubby winged infants that nobody really believed in.
🔼The Skandaloian phage
The Hebrew word for glory or impressiveness, namely כבוד (kabud), became kabud-ard (a word like wise-ard or wizard), merged with the Indo-European "kobold" (from the Greek for goblin) and became the Dutch word kabouter (for gnome). Entirely likewise in English, the Latin word genomos, or earth-dweller, merged with the Greek noun γνωμη (gnome), a "means of knowing" or a "means of making known" (from the verb γινωσκω, ginosko, to know), and formed the derogatory noun "gnome".
To the Silvans, the term בי דואר (bay dw'ar; hence boudoir, in French from bouder, to frown upon), meant Post Office and described a node in a vast network of exchange (Genesis 28:12), a temple of communication and information technology. The word Dwarf (English) comes from dwerg (Dutch) and Zwerg (German), in turn from דורך (dwark), walking or road-walker, and דרך (derek), road. To the Skandaloi, these mighty terms began to generally describe the people whom Yuri Slezkine famously referred to as the Mercurials, the last trickles of dynamic travelers who flowed through the stationary worlds of the Apollonians, who were tethered to their lands, their orthodoxies and their arbitrary fashions.
The Mercurials had always brought life, entertainment and inspiration to the organic constellations of towns and villages. They lived on the road and brought with them word from afar. Scholars, adventurers, journalists, medical physicians, lawyers, traveling merchants and transporters, musicians, actors — all of these related to the Apollonians the way electrons relate to massive nuclei: they brought light and life to the world and bound isolated production centers into interlaced societal webs of exchange.
Unfortunately but perhaps inevitably, as the first symptoms of a terrible sickness, the Mercurial paths also attracted the likes of idle vagrants, drifters and vengeful refugees (Matthew 13:25), which helped establish the familiar motif of the Wandering Jew, who became Britain's peddler (via French from ποδες, podes, foot, which also helps to explain the Hobbit's signature feature) and later the Nosy Parker (nosy is having a big nose, sure, but also wanting to be learned: from νους, nous, mind).
Everyone's favorite Slavic word, durak, was imported from Northwestern Europe and obviously also stems from דורך (dwark), road-walker, and describes any itinerant miscreant. The Slavic word for road is put (Putin means Road Man), and stems from the PIE pent-, to pass (hence our English verb to find and noun path). Our English word "foot" comes from PIE ped-, to step. How these terms came to the PIE stock isn't clear, but the Hebrew verb פתת (patat) means to break up or crumble, and describes the opposite of the Skandaloian phage.
The Skandaloian phage turned tribes into peoples and peoples into nations. They petrified and begot borders and capitals, slanted in perpetual angles of repose that crippled the fathers of old and forced once mighty rivers through canals and pipes, and turned splendid lakes into putrid puddles. The only function these borders and capitals ever had, or will ever have, is to divide loot among wolves (Psalm 22:18, Revelation 22:2). The wolves in turn created a new mythology, with which they made the sheep they thus exploited believe that they had some divine right to do so. Only the most foolish ever believed this.
Roads are like words. They emerge from a perfect republic of myriads of pedestrians who wholly independently came to go the same way, generally pursuing the same desires and so making smooth (τριβος, tribos) a cultivated highway in a natural wilderness: a river of feet that meanders through a desert, avoiding the mountains and always searching for the sea. Sometimes such roads split, and common pursuits diverge. And sometimes they merge, as if they have always had two origins.
Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) chose the narrow path (στενος, stenos) in rejection of Mordor's obvious and broad gate (πλατυς, platus, hence also Plato). The broad gate invariably leads to destruction, and if the road is broad enough, some bully will suddenly step up and declare the common path the King's Highway (and the king, that'll be him). He will place armed men on it and extract tax from whoever seeks transit. A fair king protects and preserves his people's cursus publicus, and allows it to wax wherever it wants. Much more common are kings who put a road where they themselves think it should be, and punish unsanctioned digressions.
🔼A bow in the cloud
A king is someone who issues law, which are standards, and a stand-ard is something to stand on: a foot. The law is a tree with many roots, and a good king knows that just laws are empirical laws, as much as truth is consensual: that which is without opposition, the only thing that absolutely everybody will eventually, whole-heartedly, eagerly and voluntarily agree on. Or in the words of Isaiah: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things" (Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15).
Latin for king is rex, regis, from the same Indo-European root from which we get our word rule, which in German is Regel, whereas the Hebrew word for foot is likewise רגל (regel). From the Latin rex comes the German Reich, which literally is "a place kept together by rules/roads", as well as the suffix -rich (hence names like Heinrich and Richard, and thus Hank and Rick), and of course Derek (Dirk, Dick), which corresponds to דרך (derek), road. A similar proximity occurs in Hebrew, where the word for king is מלך (melek), whereas the word for messenger or courier is מלאך (mal'ak), from the verb לאך (la'ak), to transpose one's will via an agent.
A rainbow comes about when rays of sunlight pierce raindrops falling (Genesis 9:8-17). The Hebrew word for rainbow is קשת (qeshet) and is identical to the word simply meaning bow: the weapon with which a bowman (קשת, qashat) shoots arrows. Desperate Hagar was halted at Beer-lahai-roi (the Well of the Living One Who Sees) like Pegasus at Pirene (Pierced, Tried). Hagar's son Ishmael became a bowman (Genesis 21:20).
The Hebrew word for fountain or well, namely עין ('ayin), also means eye, the organ of vision. And that too is not a mere coincidence. The familiar noun Torah means instructions (albeit derived from empirically determined natural law; the law the universe runs on). It comes from the verb ירה (yara), to throw, cast or shoot, or slightly more elaborate: to bring about a unified effect by means of many little impulses (arrows, stones, words, instructions, rain drops, and so on). Noun יורה (yoreh) means rain, and so does מורה (moreh). But this latter noun מורה (moreh) also means teacher, or someone who dispenses תורה (tora), instructions.
Our verb ירה (yara) is also sometimes spelled ירא (yara'). And identical to the latter is the verb ירא (yara') meaning to dread or stand in awe of. Nouns יראה (yir'a), מורא (mora') and מורה (mora) cover the broad spectrum between reverence and fear, between anything awe-inspiring and anything terrifying.
The Greek verb βρεχω (brecho) means to rain; the Hebrew verb ברך (barak) means to bless. The Greek verb υω (huo) means to make wet; the Hebrew verb חיה (haya) means to live. The Greek verb αλειφω (aleipho) means to pour; the Hebrew verb אלף ('alep) means to learn.
The Hebrew verb for to flow, namely נהר (nahar) both speaks of water flowing from a spring and light shining from a lamp (or sun or star). Noun נהר (nahar) means river or stream, and noun נר (ner) means lamp, hence the name Ner (of the grandfather of king Saul, meaning Wished, hence Sheol, or Underworld) and the familiar word Menorah, for the seven-armed lampstand; hence mythology's many-headed aquatic snakes, such as the Hydra and Mucalinda. The latter is a so-called naga, which is a serpentine underworld figure, common in Hinduism and Buddhism, which is remarkable because the Hebrew verb נגה (nagah) means to lighten, or reflect light.
The Hebrew word for lightning (a fiery serpent zig-zagging out of the clouds) is ברק (baraq), hence the name Barak, and comes from the verb ברק (baraq), which, like ירה (yara), means to cast or throw. The Greek verb for this is βαλλω (ballo), hence also the verb διαβαλλω (diaballo), to cast through (through, say, a hole) and thus the familiar Spanish word diablo. The Greek word for lightning is αστραπη (astrape), which combines the noun αστηρ (aster), star, with οπη (ope), hole.
Closely related to οπη (ope), hole, is the Greek word for eye, namely ωψ (ops), which relates to the verb οπτομαι (optomai), to gaze at, and the noun οφις (ophis), serpent. Likewise, our English word dragon comes from δρακων (drakon), snake, from the verb δερκομαι (derkomai), meaning to see, hence Derek, or He Who Sees (Genesis 16:13-14); the Road Man who has no feet, the Dark Lord who is the Light-Bringer.
Serbian for "my precious" is moj drago, from drag, precious. It's not clear where this word comes from but it may be related to "dear", which in turn is thought to derive from deg-, to burn. It's probably also not a coincidence that the Ring-bearer is a son of Drogo (who died in a boating accident, and this while Hobbits rarely take to ships).
🔼Hands and feet
We've known for a while now that our microbiomes — the worlds in our guts that are peopled by bacteria who don't share our native DNA, but are as crucial to our digestion as aliens are to our native economies — affect our moods. But all the above suggests that these uncharted microbiomes are not mere endorheic lakes, but like our charted minds, rather part of some hydrological continuum (see νεφελη, nephele, cloud, and thus the mighty Nephilim, cloud-guys, whose miraculous appearance directly preceded the great flood).
And since all of us communicate with our own microbiome, and these microbiomes, apparently, with the global network they themselves are native to, we should be able to align the moods of our private minds with a global one. It wouldn't allow people to "read" each other's minds but it would allow them to gauge the global mood, using their private bowels as a kind of coiled up, serpentine antenna to pick up global signals. And that would allow them to accurately predict market moves. That suggests that people who have taken the trouble of learning the language of their gut, and so can actually trust their gut feelings, also end up with most of the economic clout and thus the actual government (Isaiah 9:6, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 20:6).
Humanity is self-similar to a single human, and gut and brain relate like Troy and Tyre, which became Rome and Carthage, whose perpetual war is the War of the Ring, but whose ultimate accomplishment is declared in the Gospel (Isaiah 40:2, Ephesians 2:14).
In the New Testament we read that the Holy Spirit first alights directly from heaven onto a select circle of First Ones (Acts 2:4). But after that, this Spirit is passed on by the laying on of hands (Acts 19:6). The Hebrew word for hand is יד (yad), which yields the verb ידה (yada), to praise, which in turn yields the name Judah: יהודה (yahuda), which makes the Jews literally praisers or hand-guys (rather than foot-guys). The adjacent verb ידד (yadad), means to love (i.e. to caress with gentle hands); hence the name David. An identical verb means to cast a lot (i.e. cast from one's hands). The word for lot is פור (pur); hence Purim, the feast.
The Greek word for hand is χειρ (cheir), whereas the verb χεω (cheo) means to flow and χαιρω (chairo) means to rejoice (hence our English word choir). The Serbian word for hand is ruka, river is reka, and roar (what a lion does) is rika. The Serbian word for lion is lav, whereas the Kabbalah symbol לאו (la'v) is said to ward off evil (hence Madonna's Die Another Day video). This word לאו (la'v) relates to the particle of negation לא (lo'), but also the verb לאה (la'a), to be weary from toil. The Greek verb for to toil or labor is πενομαι (penomai), and since all forced labor is slavery, and all slavery bondage and all bondage evil, this verb yields the adjective πονηρος (poneros), which is the New Testament word for evil.
It's important to realize that in a monotheistic worldview, there are no good-guys and bad-guys, only balance and imbalance: order and chaos, lawfulness and lawlessness, intelligence and ignorance, freedom and bondage. Darkness is not the opposite of light but the absence of light, yet both belong to God (see Isaiah 45:5-7). There must always be Apollonians and Mercurials, two interconnected worlds of local hills and global waters (clouds plus rivers and lakes and seas), nucleons and electrons, flesh and blood, knowledge and exploration. A peaceful balance between these reflects the divine nature, and is the objective of the whole of creation and every individual human mind.
Too many Mercurials would flood the lands and dissolve the walls and collapse the houses (Matthew 7:24-27), but a shortage would wither entire worlds to death. Wise Apollonian kings have always invited the Mercurial caravans but knew how to prevent floods. Foolish kings didn't and their "solutions" frequently caused vast desolation first and then even greater floods when their dams of death finally burst. And they always burst.
The obvious is clear, and so it must remain. As said, we can't divulge what isn't widely known, but conceding that not all the obvious is always entirely clear, let us proceed with reviewing the basics.
🔼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 (save, perhaps, for the original red king). 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 the Word, whose Body is Language (and whose soul is speech). 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 Bible is a similar kind of text as LOTR, except that LOTR was written by a single well informed genius, whereas the Bible was written by tens of thousands of Tolkien-caliber people, who all worked within a great number of independent schools that kept track of the progress of all the others via a kind of early blockchain-by-mail. The result was a unified core-text that crystalized from the stories of millions upon millions of story-tellers, and that reflected the common mythological heart of the whole of mankind's collective consciousness: the DNA of human reality.
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), 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: natural progress is all about women selecting the men that are more equal than others. Many have wondered what woman want, but the result of what woman want is all around us. Women wanting things is the very cloud of chisels that nibbles our world into the shape it has.
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 exfoliates. It 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). That in turn means that the universe and the Creator are both elements of an even greater system (and that the fabric of the ראשית, resheet, mentioned in Genesis 1:1 is pure mind, whose Truth, i.e. mutual confirmation, results in the formation of the physical singularity).
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", "technology" and "textile" all come from the same root to weave; see τικτω, tikto, to assemble; Jesus' earthly profession was that of τεκτων, tekton, assembler; Mark 6:3). 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. Remnants of this magnificent culture were first discovered in 1908. They became Tolkien's High Elves of the First Age.
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 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 גלם (golem), and finally a huge cloud of mere dust. How wholeness 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 Illyrian David fought the Roman Goliath in one of mankind's most decisive wars ever. The fight was not over land and resources but over the very mind and sanity of mankind (1 Samuel 17:40, 17:51).
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 Life (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, tellingly, speaks of the "circle of Illyricum") 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 in the eternal fires of natural paganism: a cold ring of relentless power designed to rule all others. The Way had been a conversation, an economy of living water that gurgled and bubbled and centered itself upon a whole new and slowly waxing City of Men. But Constantine dammed the river and piped the water and Christianity became a religion: a creed to comply with rather than a conversation to partake in. "Say what you will" became "do as you're told".
This fell 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, literally White City) 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). The Dutch kabouter, likewise, is closely associated with mushrooms.
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 greater 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. 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 this noun comes מאור (ma'or), which describes an 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 Tolkien's wizards named their order (Istari), 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).
The name Jason (Ιασων) is the masculine form of the feminine Iaso (Ιασω), borne by 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. The story of Jason was commented on in the Hebrew story of Tobit, which is significant because Tobit and Elijah are the only two Tishbites mentioned in Biblical Scriptures.
Jason the Healer 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 — as said earlier: 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" (Revelation 22:2), 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 "eastern" caves that he once shared with the beasts, to the heavenly city in the "west" 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: Tyre and Carthage) and emotions (i.e. gravity, dominated by the moon: Laban, Jericho, Romeo, Gatsby: Troy and Rome).
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. 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.
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 (1204), 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, and Octavian was supposedly born ad Capita Bubula, at Oxen Heads, on Palatine Hill).
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 (namely Bilhah, hence the Serbian word vila). 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) 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 (εννεα, ennea) 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 tribes 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 biological descent and a Jew only by law (Luke 3:23; also see Romans 1:3: "human flesh" is lawfulness; animal flesh is lawlessness).
🔼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. The signature three dots over the Tengwar equivalent of the letter "a" in Tolkien, is essentially a reversed Masoretic Segol, which marks Hermetic wisdom or intelligence: Oneness exists in a dimension other than that of the many.
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.
Many mourn the loss of the Precious but forget that Thorin and Azog (or Bolg in the book) died simultaneously on Ravenhill. Or as the Song of the Bow laments: "How have the mighty fallen, where the Shield of the Mighty was defiled" (compare 2 Samuel 1:17-27 to Genesis 15:1).
🔼Federation vs Empire
When Raoul Duke contemplated the ebbs and flows of human effort, and the right kind of eyes to look upon fading high-water marks, he famously mentioned a universal sense of victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Paul, not dissimilarly, spoke of working out one's salvation (Philippians 2:12), making it additionally clear that salvation is not a matter of dogma but of love (1:9). Damnation is a personal and private thing, whereas salvation is always collective (1:27-28, 2:1-3), albeit one that comes about from personal adherence to a perfect and liberating law (James 1:25), just like personal freedom of speech can come about only from a communal adherence to the rules of language.
Evolution is a curious thing, since present conditions are accomplished both from a mechanical consequence of past conditions (in both Tolkien and the Bible, that would be the seminal east: קדם, qedem, both means east and past or antiquity), as well as a living hope for whatever our choices today might bring about in the future (that's the heavenly west). From the east comes a driving force but from the west comes a luring force. More specifically: Tolkien's Blessed Lands (i.e. Aman, or אמן, 'aman) and John's New Jerusalem are what Chaos Theory calls "attractors": that set of conditions in which a dynamic system will eventually settle. The Greeks called it ελευθερια (eleutheria), or freedom-by-law and individuality-by-love, and revered it as the democratic ideal.
Whether we like it or not, humanity is as one as the biosphere is, and the world one single stage upon which all must play their part. We breathe the same air, buy the same products, and drive on the same roads. And the same neighbor we so piously condemn today, may tomorrow be the one who repairs our car or heals our children or defends our borders. Humanity is a unified beast, which seeks its collective future by sending out sub-collectives like an amoeba does its pseudopods or a slime mold its branches. When some human pseudopod has managed to wander into a dead end, and set itself on a course to perdition, and the Western forces of New and "Good" are actually as Evil as anything from the Eastern Past that humanity is collectively trying to get away from, humanity as a whole will try to call that pod back, first by sending messengers into it (Matthew 2:1), then by sending a whole eastern army to extract from the pod what can be saved and destroy the rebellious rest.
Every pseudopod is essentially rebellious, even the one that eventually becomes the trailblazer that the whole body is eager to follow. That means that every pseudopod that will become a leader, must first be qualified and persecuted as a rebel. Paul wrote that satan (means rebel) disguises himself as a messenger of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), but the opposite is just as true: the Christ initially resembles the devil.
Humanity's inevitable future is signified by freedom (Galatians 5:1), and mankind's modern past is marked by centralized government, which makes the eastern army invariably one of tyranny. A world that is signified by freedom is the social equivalent of a multicellular organism, and certainly consists of councils of native elders who govern their own families and lands (the cells, which all contain the same genetic constitution; see Revelation 22:2), and converse with neighboring councils by means of several global networks of exchange (blood, nerves, lymph). A multicellular organism is alive because there is no master-cell that rules the others, which means that the term "Lord of the Rings" is a null-term, quite alike the term "Lord of the Flies" (i.e. Beelzebub), which is a mock-title since flies typically acknowledge no lord.
As noted earlier, in 1913, Ivo Andrić moved to Vienna to study philosophy (and note the obvious nod to mlada in Imladris). In 1914 his friend shot Franz Ferdinand and Andrić was imprisoned until 1917. He received his PhD in 1924, became an ambassador of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (in 1929: the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in 1943: the Republic of Yugoslavia) and was posted all over Europe. In Conversations with Goya (1935), he wrote "There are a few fundamental legends of humanity which indicate or at least cast some light on the path we have travelled, if not the aim we are pursuing." From 1939 to 1941 he was Yugoslavia's ambassador to Germany (perhaps hinted at in Gandalf's brief stay in Dol Guldur), but when the Axis invaded Yugoslavia, he was again arrested and placed under German house arrest in Belgrade. There he wrote The Bridge on the Drina, which was published in 1945.
In 1961, Andrić beat Tolkien to the Nobel Prize for literature. Tolkien's description of the triple-arched Last Bridge over the Hoarwell is not unlike Andrić bridge of eleven arches over the Drina. This latter bridge — the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge — quite literally attempted to "bridge" the eastern and western worlds. In both world wars this bridge was seriously damaged and rendered useless. In Tolkien's abandoned 1960 rewrite of the Hobbit, the Company found the Last Bridge (now a single arch) broken. The entire War of the Ring became projected upon the very narrow Great Gate of Minas Tirith, which was breached on March 15, the ides of March, the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated, which ended the World's Republic and opened the door for the Empire.
Paul reported that in "the end", Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father "after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power" (1 Corinthians 15:24). In LOTR, this obviously corresponds to Frodo tossing the paradoxical and darkly imperial One-Ring-To-Rule-Them-All into the fires of Mount Doom.
The term Nazarene is a Niphal participle of either the verb זרה (zara), to scatter or winnow, or זרע (zara'), to scatter or sow. It celebrates the fact that the Christ originates not in some lofty citadel but in the Diaspora, not from the consorted efforts of some elite but the global webs of free exchange. The name Frodo, likewise, relates to the verb פרד (parad), to divide, branch out or spread out: humanity's innate tendency to send out pseudopods to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.
🔼The Battle of Kosovo
The root of the First World War — or rather, its seed or genetic heart that governed it from deep within — was the Battle of Kosovo (June 1389), when Nemanja's Serbia lost its autonomy to the Ottomans. Kosovo (kos + polje) means Raven Field, whereas Azog directed his armies from Raven Hill (to compare: Armageddon, meaning Mountain of Invasion, is actually a field called Plain of Megiddo; 2 Chronicles 35:22). The Hebrew word for raven is ערב ('oreb), from which comes the name Arabia.
In Serbian epic poetry, the Battle of Kosovo is not so much considered a historical battle but rather an archetype from which all history is explained. It's signified by the suicidal bravery of a small minority that rises against an evil but far more numerous aggressor (replayed in the Captains vs the Black Gate; LOTR.5.10). As on Raven Hill, at Kosovo both chiefs died (the intellectual Serbian Prince Lazar and the illiterate Ottoman Sultan Murad), and both sides suffered crippling losses. But just prior to the Battle, Elijah had appeared to Prince Lazar in a vision (in the form of a falcon from Jerusalem, in obvious reference to the Eagle of St. John and thus the Hospitallers, whose later installed tribute to Charles V consisted of one falcon per year), and told him that his imminent death at Kosovo would mean the beginning of a heavenly empire, to be peopled by whoever in the world would rise against the overwhelming forces of tyranny and meet them head on in a battle to the death — a death on earth but eternal life in heaven. In June 1914, these forces happened to be seated in the Habsburg Empire.
The Serbian name Lazar comes from Lazarus, the friend of Jesus whom he raised from the dead, and whose story also serves as a commentary on the Osiris myth (in Hebrew, the name Osiris relates to the verb אסר, 'asar, to bind or imprison; hence also the wordplay in Isaiah 61:1 and thus Luke 4:18). The familiar divine regent couple Osiris and sister Isis (whose falcon-headed son Horus probably inspired the later falcon motif of the servant king, which in turn helps to explains the story of the Maltese Falcon) are obvious reacted upon in the account of Abraham and his half-sister Sarah (and their son Isaac, who displaced Abraham's original heir Eliezer of Damascus). In Tolkien, the Abrahamic arch-nomad but promised father-of-many-nations archetype is revived in Aragorn the Ranger, who was raised by Elrond, and Arwen, Elrond's daughter. To certain ears, the name Aragorn may even remind of Avalon (as much as the character may remind of Harold, son of Harold Godwinson), but when the king returned to the White City, he was named after Elven-stone Elessar, which unapologetically resembles Lazar.
The Battle of Five Armies (14th century, SR) wasn't called such because there were five armies (there were Dwarves, Elves, Men, Orcs, Wargs, Eagles, Bears and at least one Hobbit), but because "five" quintessentially marks rebellion against a global overlord, who is marked by "four", corresponding to the four corners of the earth and the four winds of heaven. The archetype of this war of four against five (i.e. the world against the rebels) is given in Genesis 14, which wisely doesn't take sides or pronounce judgment, because all rebels are the bad guys until they've become the good guys and the world the bad one. But five is the mark of rebellion, or change, or an attempt to get to some next level (hence names like Pentateuch and Pentecost and even Pompey and Pontius).
- Red hair is a trait most common to the Celts, which is why in modern times, gingers most often are from British or Scottish extraction. But red hair is equally common among Ashkenazi Jews, which is why in the Middle Ages, gingers were automatically declared Jew. The genes that cause red hair are also tied into pain perception and response, which means that gingers react significantly different to stress and trauma than people with other hair colors. In other words: in times of trouble and social upheaval, gingers automatically form a distinctive collective. This in turn suggests that the familiar story of the formation of Israel in Egypt, has its historical counterpart in the formation of a red-haired tribe out of an oppressed general human population. In other words, gingers are diamonds.
- The noun שער (sa'r) means horror and שער (se'ar) means hair. The name Seir (means both horrible and hairy), belongs to the Mountain of Edom (means Red), the people of red-haired Esau, who was the twin brother of smooth Jacob. The word for blood, namely דם (dam), closely relates to אדם ('adam) meaning red. Blood, in turn, was considered the seat of the soul (Genesis 9:4).
- Closely related to the words for horror and hair, the noun שעיר (sa'ir) means goat. Similarly, from the Greek word for goat, namely τραγος (tragos), comes our word "tragedy". The goat's beard and two ears and two horns add up to a pentagram. Since Egyptian times, stars have been depicted as five-pointed, which is why Esther's symbol was a pentagram. The Indo-European element "pent-" relates to "point" and doesn't essentially mean "five", but rather "hand" (five fingers), and thus to hold in the hand, to handle, to catch, to contain; hence the Sherrif's badge. This is also where the familiar hamsa or Jewish "hand" symbol comes from (from חמש, hamesh, five, which is not related to חמס, hamas, violence), and explains why symbolically used pentagrams often come with a goat in it: to signify terror and tragedy contained. Rabbi Sacks went so far as to declare Judaism the "principled rejection of tragedy", but since tragedy has a way of simply showing up, more accurate (but obviously far less snazzy) would be: Judaism = the principled rejection of letting tragedy get out of hand and run loose on a destructive rampage and terrorize everyone.
- The Hebrew word for hand, namely יד (yad), relates to ידד (yadad), to love (hence the name David), and ידה (yada), to praise, hence the name Judah. Likewise the Greek word for hand, namely χειρ (cheir), relates to χαιρω (chairo), to rejoice. The Indo-European word for sharp or pointed (hence the arrow or spear as attribute) is tigra (hence the name Tigris), which explains the panther (and lion and tiger) motif. To Greek ears, the word "panther" is παν (pan), all + θηρ (ther), beast. The name Samael means He Hears God, which explains the pointy ears of Elves and Vulcans. In modern stories (from the MGM logo to Mandy to Borat 2), the big cat is invariably captured or caged (i.e. held in hand), because when the cat comes out of the Pandoran bag (from pan, all, + doron, gift; the name Baggins paraphrases Hunter/Hunting), global suffering ensues (כתת, katat means to hammer or pulverize). A diamond represents contained pressure, which is why the Pink Panther sits within the diamond, and represents dignified restraint rather than boisterous action. "Diamonds are forever" and "diamonds are a girl's best friend" means "you will survive, even live long and prosper, when you control your anger and don't take up arms against a sea of trouble." Unfortunately, not everybody likes those songs. The name Tiffany comes from epiphany, meaning "to shine upon".
- Swedish Strump (German: Strumpf) shares its root with strompelen, to stumble, and strumpet (a prostitute): Pippi Langstrump, Holly Golightly and Ariel the Mermaid are all "fallen" girls. The signature "-i" of many Hebrew names is a י (yod), meaning hand. The term יד ושם (yad vashem) comes from Isaiah 56:5 and literally means "a hand and a name".
- The usually misspelled (and wildly misinterpreted) name Baphomet is ב (b) + פמוט (pamot), which is a stick or staff with a single light on top, in contrast to the seven-armed Menorah, which expresses a small council. This word relates to פום (pom), from פה (peh), mouth (see φιμοω, phimoo, to muzzle), and the term imitates בראשית (bresheet), "in the beginning", from ראש (rosh), top or head. In Latin pome became any round fruit (like apples and pomegranates and such), hence the French surname Pomet, borne by Pierre Pomet (the chemist; hence also Suskind's Perfume). The phomet is the staff of an independent and autonomous wizard who possesses some manifestation of the unification of all knowledge, whereas a Menorah represents a council of codependent proto-wizards who need each other to be complete.
- Cold fusion comes to pass from harmonic resonance, whereas hot fusion comes to pass at the heart of a hugely oppressive accumulation of mass (or money or knowledge; Isaiah 6:9). Fascism (from fascis, bundle, hence torch or lamp: Proverbs 13:9, 20:27) is ultimately based on another wonder of modern economy, namely the idea of massively pooling resources, which is never a bad idea (hence the left talon of the US Great Seal; see Aquila). But mere accumulation never collects enough mass to sustain nuclear fusion, and a community solely based on fascism will never be more than a Brown Dwarf (term coined in 1975 by Jill Tarter, the Elly Arroway of Carl Sagan's Contact), with a "dickie" staff that only sporadically works. Despite Luke's brief commentary on the Roman fasces (Acts 28:3-4), in the 1920s and early 1930s, the dangers of Fascism and Communism weren't obvious at all, and many decent folks honestly believed that it was the way to go. The Hebrew word for horn, namely קרן (qeren), also means ray of light. In LOTR, the Company tries to cross the Misty Mountains via the Redhorn Pass, but finds it obstructed by snow and ice and is forced to cross via the mines of Moria, even though this once great Dwarven kingdom is now a place of darkness and delirium.
🔼Frodo, Strider, Gandalf
In Outliers (2008), Malcolm Gladwell postulated that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get great at anything. But Mozart wrote his first symphony at age eight. And someone less gifted may invest a lifetime and never truly get it. One might say that Mozart was a grown man at age eight. And the less famous person will never grow beyond the appearance of a clumsy teen. One's calendar age is not the same thing as one's practical or "true" age, and the same 30-year old body may contain both a social child and a musical wizard.
Of course, Mozart had more qualities than just musical prowess, and the other person may have been famous for heart surgery. So in effect, we are all star-shaped beings, with multiple axes (intellectual, social, sexual, artistic, musical) along which we have a kind of cluster of relative ages. At some qualities we are perpetually child (and we see no genders or ranks or flags), while at other qualities we have quickly become more skillful than anybody comparable (and we see the inner mechanisms and have transcended any private allegiance).
Still, LOTR is set on a mental plane, and not a physical one, and its characters are minds rather than bodies, whose appearances are mere imagined as physical metaphors. Frodo is a childlike mind: he was the only one who could have destroyed the Ring (Matthew 19:14). Strider is a neurotypical mind. And Gandalf is a genius mind. Whatever actual physical bodies these minds may occupy, the story neither tells nor is concerned with. There are no bodies in LOTR.
In the late 1930s, in Vienna, Hans Asperger began to quantify children according to their social skills (or perhaps more correct: their community aversion). Society is a frighteningly complex beast and social skills are magic to some of us, and hard to master for most of us. But social wizards are like Mozart: most of their skills come from so deep within that no amount of analysis can explain it. These kids quickly learn how to play society like a violin, for better or worse. Neurotypicals stride along with no particular wisdom in either direction. And social hobbits, Hans Asperger believed, should be herded into shires, lest they get into society's way toward its destined greatness.
Fascism is rooted in the principle of pooled resources, which is of course a great idea. Far less good an idea is to destroy what can't be easily bundled: the outliers. The bulge of the bell curve is upheld by its thin extremes. Or said otherwise: when we shoot quantum particles at a recording screen, the few hits that we record in the outlier-region confirms the freedom of all quantum particles, including the freedom of those particles who freely chose to end up in the bell-curve bulge. There will never be no hits in the outlier-region, unless the most fundamental principle of the whole of quantum reality is somehow rescinded and all particles are forced to remain within certain set boundaries. For this to happen, reality itself would have to come to an end. The catch here is that such boundaries certainly exist, but human intuition consistently expects progress at the wrong side of them.
Children who are naturally disadvantaged in synchronizing their behavior with the harmonics of society, are forcibly advantaged in analyzing how society actually works (Mozart is considered a genius for the sole reason that his music pleased so many people at once). That means that wizardry and hobbitry go hand in hand, and tend to occur within the same mind, each carrying the other's burdens. And while neurotypicals inevitably come to rule society, the very great and the very small create all innovation and thus generate all progress (for the simple reason that swimming gets invented by animals that don't naturally float). Without the very small and the very great, society cannot grow beyond its own boundaries. Outliers are capstones. Without them, there can be no wholeness (Psalm 118:22).
Very quickly after Hans Asperger came up with his later so famous classification, even before the outbreak of the war, the Holocaust began with the systematic destruction of Vienna's autists: first the children whom Asperger had identified, but quickly adults too. The mirror showed it. It always does.
In 1994, Asperger Syndrome was incorporated in the DSM-4 as an acknowledged malfunction, but critics began to call for a more sensitive nomenclature and noted that although special gifts tend to come with special needs, calling this gift Asperger Syndrome would be painfully comparable to referring to the gift of Jewishness as Eichman Syndrome. In 2013, Asperger Syndrome was removed from the DSM-5, but its "symptoms" are still considered as indicative of a "disorder".
When WWII broke out, Hans Asperger became a medic in service of the Axis forces. He was stationed in Yugoslavia.
(The Holocaust was signed into legality by Aktion T4, dated 1 September 1939. The T4 stands for Tiergartenstraße 4, the Berlin address of the office of Hitler's Euthanasia program. Tiergarten means "beast-garden" and is the German word for Zoo. This may help to explain the appearance of zoos (i.e. walled-in paradises with peaceful animals) in certain stories — C.S. Lewis famously told of his conversion to Christ in 1931 as having happened on the road to the local Zoo, following a conversation with Tolkien. Lewis' story obviously deployed the return-to-Paradise motif, and was additionally designed to remind of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus, whose name stems from the verb δαμαζω (damazo), to tame or domesticate. Polaris is the star that doesn't move, which makes it the perfect symbol of lower-case orthodoxy in the fascistic sense. The Orthodox Church never assumed Polaris as a symbol, but rather the star of Bethlehem, which typically travels. This in turn explains the nature of upper-case Orthodoxy, which is rather like that of science: a decentralized government by unshakable fundaments but wholly accommodative of anybody's personal journey; one's invisible northern Rangering, one's Werk ohne Autor. The swastika was always a benevolent peace symbol that symbolized the whole human κοσμος (kosmos). It may be formed from spinning Ursa Minor and Usra Major in four phases around Polaris, which in turn explains a slew of literary motifs from Masha and the Bear to Don Quixote's valiant charge of the windmills to the two rampaging polar bears in LOST. The story of the murderous two bears versus the children who had no respect for their elders has been told since deep antiquity; see for instance 2 Kings 2:23-24. In this story, the two bears kill 42 children of Bethel (= House of God, which is heaven, hence the Icarian plunge or busted airplane motif; the word Pharaoh means Great House), and 42 has been associated with the human-imposed world-order since the unification of Egypt (in which 42 urban centers resulted in as many administrative districts; hence also Osiris' 42 body parts). Ultimately this very significant number is entirely arbitrary, but because of its accidental importance, in some circles it remains celebrated as the "answer to life, the universe and everything". This is of course the folly of lower-case orthodoxy, which casts some perceived truth in stone and then demands the whole world, even the sun, moon and all the stars, to bend around it; Genesis 37:9-10. Note that 42 months equals 1260 days (Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6, 13:5), which is 3.5 years, which is halfway a Sabbath-year (Exodus 23:10-11, Leviticus 25:1-7) and thus precisely at the peak of human regulation and governance; Genesis 1:14-19, and see Daniel 9:27. God meets man where the cherub wings touch (Exodus 25:20-22, Psalm 99:1, Isaiah 37:16). Note that the name Arwen means Noble Maiden in Sindarin but is also closely similar to ארון ('aron), the word that describes the Ark of the Covenant. Upon the death of Aragorn, Arwen left Minas Tirith and wandered the abandoned land of Lórien. Today, Arwen rests upon Cerin Amroth in a "green grave, until the world is changed".)
🔼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).
Intuition may equate 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 lamented 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 WWII, 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 Aeneid 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. Like later the Church, humanity at large resulted 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, well provided for, and in the company of a preferred male) 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). The word kum is thought to derive from the Latin com (more complete: compater), but the weight of the kum's office rather suggests relations with the Hebrew חכם (hakam), to be wise.
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 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.
As Bojan Medic explained in his fair and thoughtful book The Guardians of the Fallen Kingdom, epic songs animate a people's collective soul. And the souls of nations lumber along the plains of history like herds of grazing beasts, more or less predictably migrating along ancient routes. As Nataša D. Šofranac excellently discussed in Shakespeare's Three Shades of Serbian, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar could be about Elizabethan Englishmen, because in every age, any tyrant derives from the same common archetype, and rises and is destroyed according to familiar plots and scripts (Tolstoy had contemplated the same in the second epilogue of War and Peace, albeit of course with Napoleon as his dark lord Sauron).
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.
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.