Friday, October 23, 2009
For instance, circles, representing eternity, and squares or crosses, representing four as elements describing a certain principle related to the Divine, are found everywhere. Not only in images or buildings, but also in literature, such as this quotation from Al-Tirmidhi: “Those with the Prophet asked, ‘What are the gardens of Paradise?’ He answered, ‘Circles of people invoking,’” or this one from the Buddha: “Long is the circle of rebirths to a fool who does not know the true Law.”
In today’s Hungary a mollusk shell with a cross was carved about 100,000 years ago, before historic times. The figure does not only show a cross, but it also combines it with a circle.
The same combination appears in a bronze piece in Northern Afghanistan, dating from 4000 or 3500 years ago, or in a more Christian sarcophagus from the 5th century, in Ravenna.
The face in the sarcophagus also shows a square entering the combination. Meanwhile, the very Christian idea of the crucifixion is shown in a native image from 6000 years ago, in the Canyon State Park, in Texas, amazingly showing four fingers in each of his outstretched arms.
Since 630 AD, the Kaaba in Mecca shows his cubic shape (six square faces) as a tribute to God. The building however, is a pre-Islamic one, and it was deemed as a fair representation of the Divine by the Proophet himself.
Egypt, beyond its fame because of its pyramids and tombs, also shows a square containing an ankh in a ritual vessel from the 1st Dynasty (about 5000 years ago). Of course, this combination includes a square, a circle and a cross.
Around 1487, Leonardo da Vincì also depicted his famous Vitruvian Man within a circle and a square.
The final image, today, will be a Mayan monument, in Dzibilchatun, near Merida MX. This monument can produce this effect when the morning sun rises in both equinoxes, March 21st and September 21st, when its radiant circle crosses the square gate.
Perhaps, all this magic surrounding the square is depicted in Whitman’s words: “Chanting the square deific, out of the One advancing, out of the sides, Out of the old and now, out of the square entirely divine, Solid, four-sided, (all sides are needed), from this side Jehovah am I, Old Brahm I, and I Saturnius am...”
We will go on with these coincident shapes and quotes.
© 2009 Hugo Ferraguti
Thursday, October 1, 2009
As it was said in the last posting, there are ancient representations of gods and goddesses taming an animal. For instance, the Tarot card XI, Strength, represents a young woman forcing a lion to open his mouth.
Among the Sumerians and Babylonians, Gilgamesh is also shown while dominating a lion, while Marduk controls a boat where he sails with a dragon. These are references to the animal part of man, which are also present in Judeo-Christian tradition, as we can read in the Book of Genesis (3:1): “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
In the story of the devil tempting Adam and Eve, the former is also personified as a beast, a serpent in this case.
According to these ancient traditions, this animal part is always shown as something significant, not to be overlooked.
Inanna-Ishtar, for instance, has even probably inspired the representation of the devil in the Marseillian tarot card, thousands of years later:
In this case, the Sumerian goddess is shown as standing on two lions, while the devil stands upon the world. The two owls flanking Inanna became the two men with donkey ears who are chained to the devil’s possession, the world.
Another image shows us St. George killing a dragon, another Christian variant of the serpent:
There is more to think about in all these images, but now, it would be interesting to pay attention to the famous dancing Shiva who, though in many images appears as controlling a beast, is here shown as standing upon a baby, clearly symbolizing that these animals are really something within man.
To strengthen this idea, the millenary I Ching says, “When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature takes its appropriate place.” Plotinus, in the 2nd century also refers to this animal part: “The true person is something different, pure from contact with the animal part of our nature.”
Among the Mesoamericans, Quetzalcoatl himself was a feathered serpent, and in a myth from the 4th century he says: “The evil spirit persuaded the Toltecs to do evil deeds. To reach this goal he took different personalities. He changed his body into animal shapes and monstrous beings, and appeared as a prostitute.”
As we see, different cultures, apart in time and space, convey surprisingly similar ideas. We will return to this.
© Hugo Ferraguti
Friday, September 4, 2009
We have seen that our ordinary language sometimes might make us misunderstand a wider idea of civilization, by requiring that ancient peoples show certain criteria, such as having a written language or living in cities (see previous posts).
To follow the former of these criteria, a noble people such as the ancient Incas would be considered as a savage one; to follow the latter, the wandering Hebrews, the givers of a religion originating those religions embraced by half of mankind, could not be considered as a civilized people.
What should be, then this wider concept of civilized man, taking him apart from mere migratory mammals?
Any ancient tradition seems to recognize that man is not one, but a multiplicity of thoughts, feelings and sensations. The multiplicity of man, as opposed to the unity of God creating him, seems to be present among peoples much older than our so called “historical times.”
Then, perhaps it will be a good start to consider that a civilized man is the one who tries to look at his own condition, and recognizes that he is far from being perfect. This very idea forces him to accept the necessary existence of higher levels. And this is as old as mankind.
All ancient peoples show they have a religion, where a single God, or his aspects are represented by a pantheon of gods and goddesses, such as this image of Inanna (above), the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and warfare, far fore-mother of the Greek Aphrodite and closely related to the Egyptian Isis or the Babylonian Ishtar.
Of course, the recognition of Divine beings comes hand in hand with considering man as a beast that has to be tamed, which is also shown by the same goddess controlling a lion under her foot.
The ancient I Ching, as old as 1000 BC, also recognizes the same idea when it says, “Only when a man is completely free from his animal self and intent upon what is right and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through people.”
So, this would be a start for a further research.
© 2009 Hugo Ferraguti
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In common language we tend to oppose the word “civilized” to “savage.” This makes us develop a whole set of values where the ones not living in cities are finally compared to wandering animals (even with no spoken language), following only instinctive aims, such as providing food for themselves by tracing their hunt, as lions would.
Another common definition of a civilization is based upon the development of a written language. In this case, a considerable part of the ancient cultures cannot be included among the so called civilized ones, just because they lack a written language. Among them, we find the Peruvian Incas, for instance.
These pages try to show that civilized man (in a wider sense of having spiritual concerns) is much older than this.
The Tata carved shell (see article from August 16) shows that a concept of a cross was already developed by 100,000 BP (when even current Europeans had not arrived in Hungary).
Another surprising image comes from Texas. Before Christianity was born, about 4000 BP, someone inhabiting the current Canyon State Historical Park portrayed a sort of crucified man.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Before this, the general tendency is to speak about “pre-historical times,” which are not recognized as deserving the name of “civilized times.”
The general idea of these prehistoric times is that of a man living in small communities with their houses in a cave, with hardly any spoken language.
With the discovery of the human genome, some theories arise, based upon what are called “the markers,” a set of new elements appearing in our DNA every time there is a mutation. These “markers” are transmitted through the ‘y’ chromosome from father to son and cannot be altered (which ensures that the son’s sperm will contain the same markers as his father’s), The theory states that modern man originates in a single tribe in current
All racial changes so far, it says, are only due to mutations produced as a response to climatic changes as these men were migrating and populating the rest of the world. So, as the theory states that any mutation leaves a trace in the ‘y’ chromosome, tracing these markers back is how they reached this single tribe whose blood has no markers.
Since about 160,000 BP to 135,000 BP this original tribe only moved within Southern Africa, reaching the Atlantic Ocean in
From Ethiopia, a group seemed to be moving Northwards following the Nile and crossing the Red Sea to reach Holy Land in about 115,000 BP. But the weather changed, and a huge extension of Northern Africa and Middle East became the present deserts about 90,000 BP, so this branch of mankind died, forcing us to reach 85,000 BP to find that a new group of Ethiopians has now moved to populate the South West of Arabian Peninsula. According to Stephen Oppenheimer, all current races come from this group.
If, as it is said, by 80,000 BP this branch has covered all the Indian coasts, and by 75,000 BP they have even reached Borneo and
These very same men were the ones populating
It is quite noticeable that, after the
According to Graham Hancock, there are several cities under the sea, in places such as
Some archaeological findings can show that what we call “prehistoric” man was not as migrating animal, wandering while they were following the traces of new resources.
This coincidence does not seem to be at random if we consider that the famous cave in Chauvet shows four horses taming a rhinoceros, dating from about 30,000 BP, and that the image is also repeated in a French cathedral from the 12th century, this time in Chartres.