Friday, September 7, 2007

Jottings

One of the things that comes to mind when contemplating great exhibitions like the Terracotta Army at the British Museum, is that you are looking at something out of its context, the craftsmanship is superb but the driving force of the belief that undertook this great work has vanished.
It is so with much of the western view, we look, detached from what we are seeing, not understanding Indian elephant gods, Mayan temples, or stone circles. We bring our ideas to bear on the matter and yet it is as if the lense of our eye has become detached from the inner seeing vision of our soul.
Western science has skewed our vision to only see a factual account, we can dissect, describe, attribute but we can never push beyond the physical boundary. Yet religion and belief is always beyond that boundary; now it could be argued by the cynical, hey we can make up any number of fairytales for the naive to believe, and many religions if not founded on this, have of course used it to brutally control the masses.
So are we looking at a primitive need by mankind in justifying his world he has to make up another world. Here we come to the 'why' of course, The Emperor Qin who had the terracotta figures made believed in an afterlife, he was frightened of death and its void. The paradisical nature of Utopia, The Otherworld, is created so that we can step into another world that is so different from the pain and suffering of this world. Of course the christian faith had to construct another pain-wracked hell for non-believers, but this cheap refinement was after all made by the priests. Take for instance this edict;-
The Council of Arles in 452, and Tours in 567, The Archbishop of Bourges in 584, Childebert in 554, Carloman in 742, and Charlemagne all condemned the superstitious regarding of stones, fountains, trees, etc, and enjoined the destruction of the venerated objects. Patrick, Bishop of the Hebrides, desired Orgylus to found a church wherever he should find standing stones. In 959 the Saxon King Eadgar issued an edict against 'enchantments, necromancies and divination' and ordered priests 'totally extinguish heathenism and forbid well-worshipping'
(ref; Aubrey Burl - Great Stone Circles).

In hindsight there is something ludicrous when one religion sets out to dominate another but it illustrates the complexity of the different faiths, the 'believing' in a set of objects and goals. In the above quotation we have dominance of course, the ruling head of the land would ally his reign with his god, both are in the end supreme beings beyond the realms of the ordinary mass, so it is somewhat strange that the Emperor chose to take his people with him, albeit in a servile manner, arrayed for war they would fight the demons and enemies on the other side.



Autumn - Ephemeral Seasons.

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