Sunday, December 12, 2010

Full or partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline + Forum Home + Open Forum – The 4th Awakening. If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author,, or

I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.
The 4th Awakening

20 Clever John as Fearless Man (3)

Latvian folklore if not a myth is nevertheless misplaced in its role in Latvian history, because at some point in its history [the one associated with the “New Latvians” and “New Current” movements (1850-1905)] folklore became a fetish. The reason for projecting folklore as fetishism arose from the need to anchor rising nationalist sentiments to an entity that supported nationalist claims that proto-Latvians (in the future proper and orthodox Latvians) belonged to a unique folklore oriented culture.

Unfortunately, the need for cultural uniqueness clashed with neo-Christianity’s pursuit (prosecutorial style) of hegemony over Eastern Europe. Though it would have been accurate and appropriate to ground the uniqueness of proto-Latvians in their language (sans fetishistic folklore) and arch-Christian Children of Johns communities, the nationalists ran into neo-Christian objections. The objections were centered on Lutheran dogma, which objected to the Herrnhuter movement’s unexpected compatibility with a long repressed religious orientation of proto-Latvians in Livonia.

As pointed out in earlier blogs (start with blog 1), the Latvian language is pietistic in nature, pietism becoming manifest in the ability of the language to endow with subjective charisma every noun and sometimes verb.  While this facility of the Latvian language is repressed by today’s public media, it remains alive and well under private circumstances. For example, it is not unusual to hear a Latvian describe a pot (katls) as katlinjsh. Katlinjsh, when properly translated, comes with the prefix “dear”, thus, dear pot (not potty as an all too literate version might have it); or the word son translates better as “dear son”, not sonny. Moreover, pietism is not as the link would have it, a Lutheran movement of the 17th and 18th centuries, which identification restricts its meaning (and has a number of forerunners), but a meme or populist attitude mirrored in many languages, the Latvian language in particular.

Interestingly, pietism was a distinct feature of the Herrnhuter movement. The Herrnhuters originated among the so-called heretics, who were repressed by secularist dictated neo-Christendom. Since heretics were all arch-Christians, that is to say ancient Christians, their pietism was not linked to Phillip Jacob Spender (the German pietist), but to the very languages that the arch-Christian movements sprang from. This is the reason why proto-Latvians found the Herrnhuters so amenable to their mentality. While the Herrnhuters were repressed by the Lutherans, Herrnhuter anti-clericalism is a descendant of languages and a populist meme of the distant past. As the author of “MedievalHeresy”, Malcolm Lambert states so insightfully: “Perhaps the durability of… heresy was due in the last resort to its appeal to this submerged reasoning piety, the beliefs of laymen who had their own devotional life…. among the multifarious causes of heresy, this body of largely hidden sentiment has been one of the underestimated forces in Medieval Church history.” (See 3rd ed., p. 305)

As I have pointed out throughout, the Children of Johns communities go back to the times of the Cathars of Languedoc and similar communities of the time. However, I disagree with Lambert and other researchers of medieval “heresy” that said has its origins in some mysterious source of religious opposition to an established Church (beginning about the 9th or 10th century). Rather, I take the view, that this was a time when secular interests (barons, princes, etc.) found arch-Christianity (called “primitive Christianity” by Lambert) in the way of the self-centered interests of secular powers ready to do violence to achieve their ends. To better control the lay population (aka populists), said princes sought to impose on native beliefs a class of clerics, which would take religion away from the natives and place them with the Pope or similar institution, in our own time the academia.

Living a parallel life to the proto-Latvian heretics, influencing their uniquely proto-Latvian orientation, was also the so-called Sun cult, connecting the Children of Johns to very ancient times indeed. While the Sun cult is reminisced in Latvian folklore only dimly [Folk song: Mother Sun climbed the mountain/ with her apron raised;/ whenever she let her apron drop,/ silver spilled from it. Saules māte kalnā kāpa,/ Priekšautiņu pacēlusi;/ Kur nolaida priekšautiņu,/ Tur pabira sudrabiņš.], a story that illustrates Her former formidable powers is reflected in

The Story of Crazy Jane and Clever John, Part 2 as retold by
© Eso Anton Benjamins (…story begins at blog 15)

Much as they began their journey with a whoosh, Clever John and his mare Rozinante did not arrive at Sun Mountain in one day. If it took Clever John riding a lame mare three days to come to The Old Witch’s Inn and it was the fourth day that they fled it, it was on the eve of that fourth day—for all the speed provided by the mare’s new boots—that Clever John arrived at the river called Ahdere (Styx in Greek).

Soon after Clever John crossed Ahdere, he cane to a tall tree. A raven sat in the tree and cawed: “Hello, Clever John. Where are you going?”

“I am going to Sun Mountain to see the Sun.”

“Caw, caw, Clever John,” crowed the raven, “when you meet the Sun, ask Her for how long I must sit glued to this tree.”

“I will,” said Clever John always helpful.

Clever John bedded down that night in a hay stack. He slept well even though the night was short. Being only the 2nd day after midsummer or Johns Day the night was only a few hours long. Perhaps that is why Clever John heard no wolves howl. He saddled Rozinante and rode on.

Late in the day, Clever John came to a sea where a fish of enormous size was flipping its tail back and forth and making waves. “Why are you making such waves,” asked Clever John, “I see no crickets about.”

“Hello, Clever John. Where are you going?” asked the big big fish.

“I am going to Sun Mountain to see the Sun.”

“When you meet Her, ask for how long am I to be tied to the shore. I will tell you about the crickets when you come back this way again.”

On the sixth day, Clever John came to yet another river. As he approached it, he saw a woman standing in the river dipping a bucket in the river for water. The curious thing was that every time the woman lifted a bucket full of water, she immediately poured it back in the river again again. Wishing to find out what was it was about, Clever John approached the woman. To his surprise discovered that it was Crazy Jane.

“By the boots of the Devil, Crazy Jane,” said Clever John, “I thought that you were dead.”

“The Devil’s children always come back to life, Clever John,” answered Crazy Jane. “If you wish to know why I am doing this, I will tell you.”

“Of course I want to know,” answered Clever John. “It seems to me that what you are doing is a rather dumb thing.”

“I am punished for telling you my mother’s secrets,” said Crazy Jane. “That was truly dumb of me. Still, when you get to meet the Sun, ask her for how long She plans to keep me sleepless and doing this.”

“You’re in one hell of a fix,” answered Clever John, “because I bet you would rather be with me. All the same, I will ask,” he promised.

Clever John then crossed the river, but even as he was crossing it, he noticed that it was the same Ahdere that he had crossed before. Apparently, this was but another bend in the river. Clever John imagined this was because the Other Side (or Vinju Saule as the proto-Latvians called it) had many crossings, and that there were many ways to get to meet the Sun.

The next morning, Clever John saw that Crazy Jane was indeed still standing in the river and dipping for water. Clever John felt badly and before riding off told her: “I will do what I can, Crazy Jane. I am sure that the Sun will listen to me and release you from your labor.”

“I will be waiting for you, Clever John,” answered Crazy Jane, “I always knew that you have a kind heart”.

Asterisks & Links of Interest

Unchanged Feature: The Witches of Ghana in Gambaga
Could we the name of Ghana pronounced as Yana, because then the withches could be called Yanas (Janas, Zhenas) of Yana (Jana, Zhena)?

Unchanged Feature: What is reality, what is myth?

Changing Feature: In the preceding posts, we started a compilation of a series of video clips, which when seen as a linear sequence tell a story in a discernibly telling context. 

Note what is happening around you. Put this clip as a tail to your blog , then do all you are able to stop the imposition of charisma by means of violence. The origin of this post is at  This is the 5th video of a series.
Jaņdžs0 comments

No comments:

Post a Comment