Friday, March 03, 2006


Across the cultures spread, blood is the wine and meat the bread.

We see it in nearly every culture: the blood sacrifice.

Whether we look to Christianity, or the Aztecs, the ancient Israelites to the Canaanites, the Greeks to the Hindis (though not mainstream for the latter: indeed, mainstream Hinduism views it with horror, both in ancient times as now – I refer of course, to the Thuggees of Kali).

The point here is this: it shows up everywhere. Whether human or animal, sacrifice is evidence of evolution.

A simple theory, really. Cause and effect, observance of patterns in history, and the natural inclination of our species to revel in the feral nature of our ancestry.

Firmly rooted in one of the four F’s of life – fighting, feeding, fleeing, and…. making babies. I of course am referring to the first two of the four.

Once the tribe has settled, once it has relinquished the nomadic pursuit of food, living amid its own ‘hunting grounds’ as it were, there is time enough on their hands.

Time enough to speculate. To give undue consideration to the elements, the source(s) of sustenance, the remembrance of that nostalgic time of cold huddling around the fire, and the odd sounds that had no face.

And still the clarion call of bubbling blood, the chase and the hunt, the tearing talons and crimson teeth, that instinct intaglio’d onto the neural pathways by many centuries, inherited.

So, social insects that we were, we began to alter patterns, shifting through the endless sands of existence, and as communication became integral to our survival, portions of the brain grew, or opened, and we became that rarest of creatures: the sentient animal.

And as that progressed, we began to cast our shadows upon the world, and gave those shadows substance and form, projecting our own needs upon these ephemeral constructs.

And of course, if they resemble us, their needs must also be in tandem with ours. The four F’s – yet again.

And so the mythology grew, spreading its insubstantial tentacles into every facet of our species lives, until there was no deed small enough to escape the unseen watcher’s eyes. Because, of course, this too was only an extension of a survival instinct – the ability to discern whether or not one is prey, and act accordingly.

Then came the feeding of the phantoms. They too, like us, required sustenance. And each varied according to the yardstick of moral relativism.

“No god was ever in advance of the nation that created him. The Negroes represented their deities with black skins and curly hair. The Mongolians gave to theirs a yellow complexion and dark almond-shaped eyes.” – Ingersoll.

And so the blood-letting began. Gallons of crimson liquid, from both human and beast, to feed the dark tendrils shaped from our savage past. No small wonder then, that xtianity was the result of the evolution of our feral past: the ultimate in sacrifice – the offering of oneself to the primordial shadows, to redeem the tribe.

Each year, education erodes the ignis fatuus of our elder shadows, as the light of learning dispels the shadows of old, thinning, thinning, until gaunt strands remain. And soon, those too shall vanish.
Then shall we step onto the new plateau of evolution, wherever it may lead us.

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Deedee said...

Completely unrelated. I just have to share the absurdity. Check this out:


Krystalline Apostate said...

Hiya deedee. Thanks for sharing. You're right: that's completely absurd.
Yet strangely, believable.

Mesoforte said...

God is certainly a cultural creation. Perhaps even culture itself.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Perhaps even culture itself.
Afraid you've lost me there. Could you elaborate a tad, please?

Mesoforte said...

It was something that my friend was talking with me last thursday. The gods of each culture reflect the cultural values of said culture. The best example I can think of at the moment is Christ.

What he represents is a cultural change from orthodox Judaism to a completely different system. He is the perfect representative of that culture. He represents everything that the culture aspires to be. Because of this, the people (Christians) essentially worship the culture.

And that's not to say that the god is unchangeable. Look at how Christ has been characterized over the years and you would see what he is change.

Gilgamesh is another good one. He represents the many values of the Sumerian culture because his actions. Worshiping him as a demi-god is a way to lend power to the culture.

Essentially what I'm trying to say is that a culture's god is the same as the culture. I'm still working it out though, so its tought to explain. Once I finish my essay on Christ, I'll be able to explain it better.

Krystalline Apostate said...

I gotcha. Pretty much as said in Ingersoll's quote.

Rosemary said...

Very evocative prose, Reluctant. Had me feeling as if I were huddled at that fire pit with saber toothed eyes gleaming in the shadows. Gee, I wish my imagination would put a rock wall at my back!

Krystalline Apostate said...

Why, thank ye, dear. I try me best.

say no to christ said...

Very good meso!! You are right on the money with that essay!

The sacrifice thing is right on the mark as well. Too bad we couldnt just go back to the days of menstual blood and placinta(sp?)
sacrifices of the paleolithics and early neolithics. A lot less deaths.