Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Exodus, the Jebusites and Dinas Vawr

How are we to meet God? It is the core teaching of all the major traditions that the fanum of the heart is the place of conversation with the divine. This was the case before those traditions solidified into doctrines and became confessional.  What is here is there, what is not here is nowhere is the Tantric saying. If it is real it is present and attainable. We suspect that its very omnipresence is what allows the Real to be unnoticed and our many schemes to gain the attention of God signify our lack of faith in basic presence.

The illusion of distance is supported and the advaitins would say established and maintained by the subject/object division. To begin with there is nothing we can do about that and per the Tantric insight that too is part of the actuality of the Divine. Meeting with the divine is both personal and impersonal and because the personal is the nearest to us that is the starting point. Take Exodus: 3 which is the universal form of the encounter, the template as it were. Of course the bush should burn away and be consumed unless it were preserved as a symbol of the energy that sustains existing things and never ceases. If it ever ceased the cosmos would wink out of existence, it would have no being not even as a chimera. In a simple and direct way this a manifestation through the material of the power that transfigures it.

But did that really happen says the wise physicist, fire burns, fire reduces. Perhaps but not as much as the physicist however he may prate about the economy of nature and her laws never being flouted. What about the promising of the home of the Jebusites and others to the Israelites, an early marker for the latter day expropriation and extirpation. I prefer to assimilate the conduct of tribes to the conduct of gangs and their turf wars. Different rules of engagement applied then which were generally accepted. cf. The War Song of Dinas Vawr

The War-song of Dinas Vawr

The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deemed it meeter
To carry off the latter.
We made an expedition;
We met a host, and quelled it;
We forced a strong position,
And killed the men who held it.

On Dyfed's richest valley,
Where herds of kine were browsing,
We made a mighty sally,
To furnish our carousing.
Fierce warriors rushed to meet us;
We met them, and o'erthrew them:
They struggled hard to beat us;
But we conquered them, and slew them.

As we drove our prize at leisure,
The king marched forth to catch us:
His rage surpassed all measure,
But his people could not match us.
He fled to his hall-pillars;
And, ere our force we led off,
Some sacked his house and cellars,
While others cut his head off.

We there, in strife bewild'ring,
Spilt blood enough to swim in:
We orphaned many children,
And widowed many women.
The eagles and the ravens
We glutted with our foemen;
The heroes and the cravens,
The spearmen and the bowmen.

We brought away from battle,
And much their land bemoaned them,
Two thousand head of cattle,
And the head of him who owned them:
Ednyfed, king of Dyfed,
His head was borne before us;
His wine and beasts supplied our feasts,
And his overthrow, our chorus.


Things were different then, everyone had a Gott mit uns belt and even if you were defeated it was a sign that details of your sacrifice were awry.

The primal encounter is given in the key of the culture of the time so retroactive assessment must accept this. The personal is the personal of the time.

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