Friday, November 26, 2010

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The 4th Awakening

15 A Glimpse of Arch-Christian Proto-Latvians
While the persecution of the Arch-Christians by the princely (proto-capitalist) oriented Neo-Christians is nothing new, the 13th century crusades by Pope Innocent III against Languedoc and Jersika, stand for what 20th century called a “total war” effort. The attacks were coordinated affair even if this may be the first time some readers hear of it.

The persecutional nature of the war in Languedoc is relatively well documented, though lecturers such as Caterina Bruschi and her book “The Wandering Heretics of Languedoc” are only now leading away from the persecutors’ version of the events. The Hundred Years War Plus (actually continuing through to our own day) brought against the Arch-Christians by the crusading Neo-Christians (the neo-capitalist predations of today being the most recent expression of materialism on the march), drove aggressively into Eastern Europe and the proto-Latvian lands.

The persecutors’ version of history remains to this day little challenged in the territories once inhabited by proto-Latvians. This phenomenon may be explained to be the result of the violently repressive conversions to Neo-Christianity that were instituted by the apologists for violence. It may also be due to the material poverty of the area called Livonia. Scholars and historians are, plainly put, scarce here, and such as are have little time and money to take sabbaticals, travel, and devote themselves to creative research. Even the educated elite of Europe are following their long ago persecutors’ version of European history.

One unchallenged concoction that is passed around as historical fact in Latvia is that the forebears of Latvia were peasants and, therefore, present day Latvians are descendants of peasant stock. The turnip is said to be one of the plants proto-Latvians brought into being. Glory be to the turnip, but the turnip cannot hide the fact that all the rest of the blarney serves well the ruthless utilitarianism of Neo-Christian origin. Presently it has succumbed to the pressure of the Swedish banks going broke because of overextended credit giving, but now impose their sin on spiritually battered proto-Latvians not yet sure they wish to become pseudo-Latvians. But with the self-consciousness battered, many agree to pay their debts with haste, and being weak in the knee are cutting down what remain of the private forests in Latvia.

Many of the resourceful eliminators of so-called peasants are descendants of former Latvian emigrants returning to Latvia in blessed ignorance to blessed ignorance. None remember that not all that many centuries ago a battleship sunk needed to be replaced by 2000 oak trees for the mainframe and many more other kinds of wood for the rest. No urban dweller knows that a blueberry bush destroyed in the rape of the forests needs 25 years to grow back and bear berries, let alone anyone care if the forest is ever replanted. Latvia has become a land presided over by savant idiots knowledgeable in the history of Pop, Jazz, Wall Street, and the Will of Washington, but dead to Nature—both forest and human.

The one festival that has been around for many centuries and should remind Latvians that they are descended from a people of the forest is called the Johns Festival. Once John Lahch-auss [Lāčauss, whence Lataus (see blogs 9-10), whence latvis] was the twin brother of the traveling heretics who made the roads of Languedoc live. Did a branch of them become the famed troubadours of that land?  Krishjahnis (Krišjānis) is the same Krstjan who traveled the roads of old Bosnia. The prefix Krst translates better as Keyjohn rather than John Kristian. Moreover, the first name of the Languedonian Bear Slayer (the most meritorious of all Latvians character goals) is John. Indeed, a Jean Bear Slayer was also a hero in Languedoc (now in France).*

With the name of John Bear Slayer in mind, let us move now to Jersika, which became part of Livonia. John Bear Slayer was a familiar figure in Livonia. However, the proto-Latvian Bear Slayer was nowhere like the Slayer Bear Slayer of Pumpurs and Rainis. His Passion Story was unlike that of poet Pumpurs Bear Slayer. In fact, the proto-Latvian story of Lāčauss is moldering in the library waiting to be brought to light and be one for a laugh and a tear.

But this is most curious: Even if the story is for a laugh, it can be deciphered as once having been for serious contemplation. This writer discovered the story with the help of the Search button. Though my retelling of it has added some features to replace some missing bricks, its core message reveals itself clearly enough. Objections may be made over the minor changes and additions, but I make no apologies for making the story more accessible by contributing minor quantities of cement. The heart of the people of the forest is still there. Perhaps not as visible as one may wish, but the zeitgeist certainly is neither Herrnhutian, New Current, Ulmanist, or post-Soviet Latvian.

I believe that the mastmakers of old Riga would have listened to the story as one of their own, and the age before them, and them as well.

The Story of Crazy Jane and Clever John
 Copyright Eso Benjamins ***

There once lived a boy by the name of Clever John. Clever John was so clever that he told his six older brothers not to get married before he grew up. And just because Clever John was so clever, his six brothers agreed to wait for him.

When he was grown up, Clever John said to his brothers: “The day after tomorrow is Johns Day and midsummer. There will be a big ball at The Old Witch’s Inn. We will pick and take our brides there and then.”

[Witch is called Ragana in Latvian, which means ‘clever woman’ in Swedish; but perhaps has an even older reading, re: Ra-jana, Daughter of the Sun; agreed, the G slips to become J(Y).]

“Great,” answered Clever John’s brothers, “but we have no horses to get there.”

“No problem,” answered Clever John, “just catch me seven crickets, and I will fix it.”

The six brothers of Clever John went and caught seven crickets, put them in a sack, and brought the sack to Clever John. Clever John invited his brothers to go with him to the sea. When at the sea’s edge, Clever John opened the sack, shook the seven crickets into the water and gave them a bath.

Clever John’s seven brothers stood with their mouths wide open. “What a clever guy!” they thought. Their mouths opened even wider when the crickets, just about when they were drowned, turned into a bubble, and from the bubble arose seven horses.

Clever John’s brothers wasted no time. They jumped on their horses, left Rozinante **, the sickly looking seventh, for Clever John. They were off for The Old Witch’s Inn.

As for Clever John, he only smiled to himself and said: “No problem. I will get there sooner than later.” John then mounted Rozinante, and off they rode. One could see that Clever John was a little too heavy for Rozinante, because she trotted with a limp.

[More to follow.]

Asterisks & Links of Interest

* Kabinets, A Journal for Reading, October 2010 issue, p. 15. An interview with historian Kaspars Kļaviņš. Kļaviņš says (my translation from Latvian): “…in southern France, Languedoc and the Pyrenees there is a story cycle about a hero called Jean Son of a Bear….” I will appreciate if any reader has a direct source and/or quote—in English if possible.

** [Rozinante is of course the invention of Cervantes to give Don Quixote a mare to ride on. I pass the name on to Clever John’s mare, because it gives the story greater immediacy. Could Don Quixote be John? —especially if D slips to become J(Y). Yon Quixote? Hmm. In which case the name of Jane may once have rimed with Mare, and which is why Crazy Jane may have ridden a horse called Crazy Mare.]

*** The starting point of the story čan be found at “Ceļojums uz viņu sauli”, 3. A. 327. B. 460. A. K. Bramanis, Rīgas apg. LP, V, 36 (3, 1)

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