It is not unfair to assert almost everything good in Christianity and its reign came from paganism. The pageantry picked up by the Church in the Middle Ages and which served as the cultural glue holding together most communities over its glory days were variously pagan or indigenous festivals, devices, and customs which persisted even after conversion, and, as those customs go, they were largely “practical,” i.e. they made sense of, and were derived from, the relevant world that is the local environment, local circumstances, local history. Thus comes the rich tapestry of various local cultures, cults, and customs throughout the Middle Ages — remnants or the legacy of those who lived by the “heath” and, as such, its biodiversity, which demands different cultures to live amongst it and utilise it. The Church merely inserted some of its cosmopolitan detritus into it all, enough to draw authority and tribute unto itself while generally not provoking the locals too much to protest the mythical redactions and the extra or redirected tier of taxation.Read More »
What follows are some of my thoughts concerning an article I read some months ago — with the thoughts likewise having being jotted down then, only in a truncated form. The article’s assertions I found very interesting, on a number of grounds. The paper is somewhat renowned in the field of sociocultural anthropology: “Knowledge of the Body” (1983), by Michael D. Jackson, published in the journal Man, 18(2). In it, Jackson details some of the observations he made whilst studying the Kuranko, a tribal people of Sierra Leone (Africa). He especially was concerned with the supposed “symbolic” nature of the Kuranko’s rites and dances, from which he comes to a number of conclusions that I would recommend be read and digested in the original article, which would do it far greater justice that my shorthandedly summarising all of it. I will at length focus on one assertion in particular: that in “preliterate” societies, there is a greater immediacy of the mind with the body and ultimately the environment, and this immediacy results in moral character — morality itself —being regarded as intimately tied to action and the actual structure of the body instead of words, written or spoken. Read More »
“Here, then, on all sides, this irreducible affinity, this tragic proximity between the warrior and death becomes clear. Victorious, he must immediately leave again for war in order to assure his glory with an even greater feat. But in ceaselessly testing the limits of the risk confronted and forging ahead for prestige he invariably meets this end: solitary death in the face of enemies. …There is no alternative for the warrior: a single outcome for him, death. His is an infinite task, as I was saying: what is proven here, in short, is that the warrior is never a warrior except at the end of his task, when, accomplishing his supreme exploit, he wins death along with absolute glory. Read More »
y the Weak, for the Weak.
Practically all modern or post-modern political philosophies — the “isms,” if you would — can be tagged with such an epithet. For the philosophy that vocally professes to concern itself with an exaltation of power and strength, fascism ironically doesn’t escape the pandering to and critical foundation upon the Weak, either. But first, to clarify: what is weakness? Who is “weak?” You of course will find various subjective definitions wherever you may turn; different cultures, sub-cultures, and philosophies have had their own standards for what qualifies as a vulnerability, a weakness, and who is Weak, by their very nature. We all have weaknesses, some the plain frailties of mortality, others a perceived physical inadequacy, others a moral failing in the eyes of society. And therein might we identify what weakness transcendently is, regardless of its diverse cultural incarnations and the mere condition of being mortal. A failing or an inadequacy, of which the inverse — adequacy — indicates something of necessity. That which is necessary, needful, to society and to the wider political sphere of “nature” — to the entirety of relations and interactions that defines one’s face, one’s honour. That which is born of decadence, moral and material — that which is not needful, and especially instead burdensome, and that which is not mindful of honour — that is transcendent weakness, with a greater decadence being a measure of greater decay and the diminishment of a society.
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