Remember the line ‘Sing, ye gods, of the wrath of Achilles’? First line of the Old Testament. I guess it depends on which Bible you are reading. In this case, I am referring to the Old Testament of the Pagan world, known as The Iliad. The Homeric tale of man and the gods. Followed by The Odyssey, the Pagan New Testament, also as told by Homer.
The reason I mention Paganism is because of a recent post on Briggs that included mention of a piece entitled ‘Old and New Paganism‘ by the Bronze Age Pagan (BAP). It occurred to me that people can’t really understand the New Paganism unless they understand the original version. And that means you have to understand The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Only then will you understand the point that BAP is trying to make. BAP is right, at least in the narrow sense, that there are three versions of Paganism alive today. But two of them don’t matter, because like most things in this fluffy PC world today, they are wimpy ersatz knock-offs of the real thing. Forget howling at the moon out in the sylvan wood. Forget meditating on Olympian glory like Julian the Apostate. Let’s look at the real thing, and see what it was really like. And how it has changed. But most importantly, why it still matters.
Much like the ancient Pagan scriptures noted above, the Jewish/Christian tomes were divided into an old and renewed testimony. Each half of this Bible was driven by an underlying theme. In the first half, the Mosaic thread related a message of God’s justice. A justice which mankind could not (read: ‘would not’) uphold. By their own human choice, of course. Free choice, driven by free will.
Then came The Christ (the Anointed One) who offered those who recognized their own personal failure a new choice. It was the choice of substituting His will for theirs. Freely, of course. None of this Mohammedan ‘free will at the point of a sword’ stuff.
The key to understanding the Son’s offer was that His will was in total conformance with His Father’s. Thy will be done. For those who would gratefully accept The Son’s perfect will (by denying their own fallen will), The Father’s mercy would be shown. That gift, mercy, is the driving theme of the second half of Jewish/Christian scripture. All of this is known and obvious to those who have half a brain (or even less) and who admit the existence of man’s free yet fallen will. That is to say, the vast minority of mankind.
What was the theme of The Iliad? The opening line says it all. Wrath. Open hostility, resulting in open warfare amongst all men. All of which mirrored the actions of the residents of the Olympian Heavens. In the Christian heavens, Lucifer left, and peace reigned. On Mt. Olympus, God left and wrath remained.
At a certain point, if you want to max out, you gotta shift gears. Only overdrive gives you escape velocity. After a decade of open warfare, Troy still stood. The idiot western Greeks had failed in their wrath. (You understand that the Trojans were also Greeks. They had to be, in order to understand each other’s insults. That’s what the entire dialog is about. Insults.)
Now we come to the second volume of the Pagan Bible, The Odyssey. The second half of the Pagan testimony has as it’s underlying theme Deception. You knew The Father of Lies would re-appear. Worked once, why not try it again? After all, ten years of open warfare amongst the Greeks, both West and East, had failed to destroy Troy. Time for a new play, Odysseus. Time for The Horse play.
Nearly everything since then in the anthropocentric world has been driven by this new theme of Deception. I’ve explained it all in my book, The Barbarian Bible. I’ll give you a condensed version here.
It is not for nothing that Odysseus was the grandson of Autolycus, the world’s greatest thief. And his grandson, Odysseus, would become the world’s greatest liar. As anyone in advertising will tell you, if they’re truthful, promise anything, just make the sale! The Odyssey was simply the tale of all the lies he spun on his way home after his greatest exploit. After he sold the greatest lie of the ancient world (after the first one, of course). Care for a free apple, friend? No? Well, how about a Horse? No, seriously, it’s free. Honest, go ahead, take it. It’s yours. All yours. Just open those gates, and roll it in! Go ahead, sucker.
(Yes, I know, the actual fall of Troy was not recounted in either of Homer’s epics, but rather, in Quintus of Smyrna’s book The War at Troy. But the underlying assumption of this Greek lie—that is, the supposed retreat of the western Greeks and how Troy actually fell—is the unspoken foundation of both The Iliad and The Odyssey).
Now the greatest lie you can sell someone outside of the Garden is one that totally disarms him. Leaves him naked. One that says that his mortal enemy has been defeated. They’re gone. And the natural conclusion to this crazy line of thought, of course, is that you are therefore victorious. Carry that a little farther, and you must be one of the gods! Welcome to The New American Century, citizen. Welcome to Mt. Olympus. Here, let me check your coat, sir. This way to the bar.
What’s that mean in our day and age, Priam? It’s Party time! Time to kick back and relax! Enjoy the victory. Even if there’s no dead enemy at your feet. He’s gone, so he must be defeated, right? Because if you can’t see him, he must not exist. Sound familiar, all you materialists?
That lie, that the enemy is forever gone, is what led the Trojans to drop their guard. That was the whole point of the exercise, Komrade. It worked once, beautifully. Why not run that play again? We’re going to see that play again. Soon.
Now that ‘our team’ has retired to the locker room for a premature celebration, the other team has returned. And they are stone-cold sober. But just like at Troy, our team is no longer sober enough to fight. They still think past glory equals future fate. We have bought the lie. We never imagined that our opponent’s old playbook of wrath, of open aggression, would be replaced by the new playbook theme of deception. Our boys have forgotten that coaches always make those crafty half-time adjustments. That’s the whole point of half-time. And coaches.
Here is where our frenemy, the Bronze Age Pagan has also fallen for the lie. BAP is still stuck in the Old Testament of ancient Paganism. He is still enthralled by the wrath that drove the ancient gods and their earthly acolytes. He has failed to see that the gods have shifted gears and that the new theme of deception is the true face of Paganism today. He rightly criticizes the ‘New Age’ Pagans for their wimpy (that is, academic) embrace of the old concept of Paganism. Why? Because BAP rightly understands the old theme of the ferocity that drove the ancient Pagan world. But he still thinks that ferocity is the way to truly connect with the spirits of the past. Yet time never stands still. And neither do the gods. As always, they are well ahead of us.
Know then, my brother, that thing we vaguely remember. Know that, before the coming of The Christ, there was no mercy in the Olympian skies, or upon the fallen earth. Watch the ancient Pagan vaunt his strength over the wounded opponent. Watch as he drives the spear-point home and then strips his victim’s body of its own ungodly armor. Watch and see that no mercy was ever shown to the vanquished. For mercy was an alien concept to them.
Mercy was an alien concept to another group of people as well. It was this same change of testamentary themes in the Judaic world that puzzled the Pharisees. And the Pharisees, who were equally enthralled by the righteous wrath of the elect, were blinded by this offer of mercy to those they despised. Blinded by the offer that came from the One they despised the most.
This embryonic Talmudic world, which had rejected Moses, was the same one that would kill The Christ. They would do so in the most merciless fashion possible. How was this different from the Pagan world of that same day? It wasn’t. Not different at all. It was simply another cruel display of strength. But is was kosher, right? Not a bone was broken. And the sacrificial offering was bled totally dry. That’s all that counted to them.
Yes, cruel strength, and the unmerciful display of that same strength, was the heart of the ancient world, whether Homeric or Pharisaic. It’s not for nothing that this preternatural strength is one of the three marks of demonic possession. A possession seen in the hubristic delight of the ancients, as they dispatched their mortally wounded opponents. No torment was too cruel for their taste. Dragging the dead body of Hector around Troy was the least they could do to show their version of honor. Honor, unto themselves.
BAP and the Pharisees of today are both puzzled and confused by this change in testamentary themes. Pagans of any stripe or spelling, whether enthralled by wrath, rubric or rumination, cannot understand the subtle logic of deceit. As a result, they have been left behind by their god-coaches who have recruited fresher and more nimble players who understand the new playbook. Think of the ‘Enlightenment’. Think of Voltaire. And Hegel. And Nietzsche. And all who have embraced them. Robespierre, Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Lincoln and Roosevelt. All of them.
Together, these new gods of deception have sold us a ‘new and improved’ Paganism. A Paganism that dares not speak its old name. A Paganism re-named, wrapped in the ‘truth of science’. A Paganism with a bland, calm face that bids us to ‘engage in dialogue’ that leads us calmly yet inexorably towards the same position their ancestors proclaimed with ferocity. A new and improved process that leads to more slaughter than the ancients could ever imagine, let alone deliver, to honor their gods, and themselves.
In the ancient world of Paganism, you had to pit your ferocity against perhaps an equally ferocious opponent. After all, there were plenty of team sponsors (the gods) in these original Olympics. An opponent equally armed, perhaps even better. Only by giving yourself completely over to the will of your particular god-coach (that is, by allowing yourself to be possessed, literally) could you hope to overpower your enemy and to dispatch him in the cruelest of ways. All of this was pleasing to the gods. On the seventh day they did not rest.
Today the gods have gone modern. Sure, they still delight in empowering individual acolytes to commit some horrific act that claims some individual’s mortal (and, they hope, immortal) life. Violent street crime is always smiled upon in Mt. Olympus. But why deal in ones and twos when you can industrialize the whole thing? Why engage in activity that requires micro-management when they can empower us with ‘modern science’ to scale up our evil? Why struggle to kill mankind one at a time, when these same gods can convince all of us to commit suicide? There is the key, my brothers. We are being exhorted to commit suicide. Forget about killing your opponent in pursuit of ancient Pagan glory, BAP. Get with the Times, my friend! The London Times, the NY Times, the End Times! The best way to honor the gods is to honor the earth. Honor Gaia by killing yourself for her.
Out with the old, in with the new. The new Pagan world where the god named Science has concluded, infallibly, that abortion is good. That willing chemical sterility is good. That the endless ‘war against terror’ is good too. That in this same brave new world, material satiety pursued to gluttony is also a good to be pursued. C’mon, citizen, let’s visit the concession stand and get some beers. Maybe an Oxycontin too. Why not? A drugged existence is also highly desirable in this new day. Ask the school nurse as she passes out the Ritalin to all those nasty young boys who refuse to behave like girls. In a pinch, if all else fails to eradicate us, for the enjoyment of those in the scientific clouds of Mt. Olympus, there is always the option of a nuclear war.
We are living in a virtual reality that has replaced true life. It is a reality where all of these conclusions and results are mass produced and automated. Now the entire world may enjoy what used to be the province of individual insanity. In our incredible pride, we have bought the lie. We now believe that we can re-make ourselves, in a better way than we began. And that better way is that we should never have been. This is our own new version of man. This is the true new Paganism. The deception of the gods here is this: the new and true modern Pagan doesn’t believe in the gods. The gods of Scientism have taught him that he cannot believe what he cannot see. In imitation of the One God, the gods have hidden themselves from man. Now man believes in neither.
To be a modern Pagan, all you have to do is to imagine that we are all there is. And that we can re-create a better Man. We have. We have molded the clay of the earth and brought him forth. We are breathing our own life into our own creations. They are the fruit of our hand. By their fruits we shall know them. Our Frankensteins are efficiently doing our will. The proof of it is right here before us. They are killing us all, in droves. If only we would see this reality. Yet we have looked upon it, and said it is good.
The deception is complete. So totally complete, because it is now self-deception. We have completely internalized the message of the gods. We think we are creating ‘the new man’. Scoot over, Lenin. It’s our turn now. With our implants and AI and 3-D printers, it’s just a matter of time. A very short time. I promise! If that is true, then we have become the new Creators, no? In which case, we must be gods ourselves. What a satisfying thought. Self-satisfying. Of course.
However, the bad news, which again we vaguely sense, is this; if we have become the new Olympians, then why does this place look just like Hell? There is still one bit of Good News left to us today. At least to us humans. That offer of mercy still stands. And as the TV pitchman always says, this offer is still good. But for a limited time only.