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Understanding Pre-Bibilical Mythical Structure [Part Three]

By Edited Jun 26, 2015 0 0

UNDERSTANDING PRE-BIBLICAL MYTHICAL STRUCTURE

[PART THREE]

Our hearts are restless until we set foot on the first rungu of the ladder of Jacob and start climbing in search of knowledge and truth. In knowing the truth, man liberates himself from being confined in a cocoon of ignorance. Ignorance is the lacking of information on a particular subject. More often than not this relevant information is intently denied by authorities not without a purpose though.

An African proverb, specifically in the Imenti culture, stating, “Too much knowledge erodes,” justifies the denial of certain information by authorities. Though they are knowledgeable, the authorities capitalize on the ignorance of others for their own advantage and in perpetuating the status quo of ignorance.

In the Imenti [African community] ethos, status quos were preserved and maintained by either threats or denial of certain information. Let it suffice to illustrate the point with two examples.

The source of streams and fountains are located in high grounds, the forests that are evenly distributed to cover the nakedness of the landscape. The woods have always been believed to be the habitation of the wicked spirits of the dead. The fear and reverence of these shrines had the advantage of preserving the virgin forests and conserving the environment. When a baby arrived in the family, the mother told the older children that she had bought the baby form an Indian merchant who had settled in the community. The obvious white lie kept the older children lacking the knowledge of reproductive system. The sexual taboo had the advantage of preserving and maintaining a high moral standard in the community.

Students pursuing studies in sacred scriptures and theology are strictly subjected to religious hyponotism. The unwranted religious hyponotism, is influencing others strongly so they can hardly think nothing else other than the stipulated beliefs or the biblical evidence. Stating a proposition that is otherwise contrary to the beliefs invites authorities to rise up against one and pronounces one “persona non grata’ or “anathema sit”. The authorities, professional religious hyponotists have no respect for the freedom of others.

 

Information considered detrimental to faith is concealed, hidden and veiled from students. For many thousands of years since the time of Plato in 427 -347 B.C to the dawn of Soren kierkeguard and John Locker, scholars believed in the fantasy of Plato. The Greek philosopher is famous for the insight that the reexists a world of “forms” and “ideas” that exist absolutely and independently of the human mind and experience. Plato considered ideas of objects that entered the human mind through perception, sensation, impressions, are only resemblances and shadows of “forms” and “ideas” existing in the transcendental world. Existentialist and images empirical philosophers have categorically rejected the doctrine if Plato. All have asserted that the phenomenology of knowledge starts “here and now” with human experience.

In climbing Jacob’s ladder in search of knowledge and truth, I have assiduously read ahead of my professors. In lecturers, I brainstormed them with questions to proof a point that I had in mind. Relentlessly I followed them in their study rooms with questions. In order to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, they gave me books to read for the answers to my questions.

One field of study that was never taught as an introduction to the Sacred Scriptures and one that remained veiled was the “understanding of the pre-biblical mythical structure”. The dawn of computer technologies, its accessibility has taken me a milestone.

It has enabled and driven me to read yearningly the myths of the Ancient Near East. The motive is precisely to liberate myself from the cocoon of ignorance. My efforts have been rewardingly fruitful. In my quest for knowledge, my mind hangs on the history of the primitive societies, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt. The Ttrio have historically emerged as “sui generis” - the peculiar origin of the phenomenon of religion that has hypnotized, opiated and enslaved mankind eternally.

The primitive man found himself an actively involved sourjourner in a universe of wonder and mystery. The evaluation of the ancient man is that he was not passive but an active contemplator of his existence in the universe. In his curiosity of knowing, he raised two crucial questions that are comprehensively centered on the following issues concerning life: [a] whence his coming to be in the world and his destiny? [b] What “explanations” did he give to account for the power that controlled the phenomena of nature?

Though much lacking in scientific knowledge, the primitive man had to employ judicious imaginative power – myth in an effort to get an inkling clue to the “mystery” that which lies unknown in the human mind. In pursuant for meaningful answers, we need to capture what is the first rungu on which the primitive man set his foot. This article is tracking primitive sacrifices nurturing a great inquisitive curiosity into the “mysterium fascinars et tremendum,” the fascinating and tremendous mystery.

Obviously, the ancient primitive societies are the inhabitants of the land of Mesopotamia, a Greek world meaning, “the land between rivers.” These rivers are non other than Tigris and Euphrates which originate from the Armenian mountains and highlands. Tigris- Euphrates valley forms the Fertile Crescent that lies directly within the Arabian Desert. The crescent is economically important to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia for a number of reasons and these are:

 

[a] Come sun or rain, the valley has perennial watering from Tigris and Euphrates. The two rivers are a natural bounty to the inhabitants.

[b] From their high source attitude, the two rivers erode, carry and deposit a lot of alluvial

[Silt] soil on the valley. The alluvial deposits make a valley arable fields and farms. Ideally the Fertile Crescent supported productive cultivation. Canals were dug both for navigation and irrigation. The Fertile Crescent was a boon of life for the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

[c] Another historical feature of Tigris- Euphrates valley is the phenomena of floods. The legendary Great flood, commonly known as the “deluge” featured prominently in Mesopotamia and was parallel to the Hebrew mythical structures. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Great flood hero and heroine, the only survivals of the fateful catastrophe are Utnapishtim [the far away] and his wife. In addition, these two are the only humans to have been granted physical immortality by the gods. In a similar deluge on biblical literature, the only human survival is Noah and his family.

[d] Tigris-Euphrates valley has been to the people of Mesopotamia what the Nile was to the people of Egypt. In the absence of the Trio Rivers, the lands of Egypt and Mesopotamia would have been waste arid deserts. The inhabitants too would have been destitute of civilization and wealth of myths that enriched Judeo-Christian religion.

[e] It must be born in mind that the Fertile Crescent is historically famous as the cradle of civilization on the earth planet.

History and cultures of the primitive societies and civilizations are the origin of myths. Oxford Advanced Learners asserts that, “A myth is a story of the early history of a people or explaining natural events. A thing or person that is imaginary or no true.”

 

In the physical world of reality, water was given precedence and dominance in creation of ancient myths. Water is an element that is perceived by naked eyes. Its warmth, coldness and freezing can be perceived by the sense of touch. The sense of taste in the palate perceives’ salt and fresh water. A blind person can also hear thunderbolts that precede a torrential downpour.

 

Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A molecule of water contains one Oxygen and two Hydrogen atoms. H2O substance exists in three states, namely: [a] liquid [b] solid – ice [c] or water vapour -gaseous form - in the air. After evaporation, water vapour condenses to form clouds, the accumulation of water droplets.

 

The accumulated droplets in the clouds fall as rain. On reaching the earth from the heavens, water mass in found in Oceans and seas, water bodies - rivers, swamps, salt - links - underground water and water vapour in the atmosphere.

 

Water exists as a primordial element in nature. In the minds of the primitive people, water is a substance perceived to be life. Water is life. The Copula verb “is” affirms and predicates the existence of water and life. Water is life. Life is water. Water and life is one and the same reality.

 

Of all the nine worlds known to man, the earth planet is the only world known to have water and life. Scientists however are making a relentless endeavor to find if ever there is water and life in Mars. Here on earth planet, water makes the earth to be personalized as the Mother Earth or the Mother Nature.

 

In either of the personifications, there is power that is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in controlling events of physical world. The primitive man knew nothing about magnetic power [the law of attraction] that controls the universe. In his historical circumstances, however experience informed him instinctly that water was the only elemental power that gives life meaning.

 

In his potential power of imagination, the primitive man had the insight and the inspiration, a very unique intuition. That water exists as an entity that is uncreated and self-originating. In Mesopotamia, water is fancied as pre- existing “chaos” or “formlessness that is personifies as monster-cum-dragon and mamed Tiamat. The creation begins with “chaos” that is recognized as the sea-mass of water. This primordial “chaos” is divine in nature or character. It is the ultimate origin, beginning and cause of the existence of gods, the universe and man.

 

“Chaos” the primordial matter recognized as the formless mass of water in ocean and sea exists before the gods come to be in existence. In Man’s primitive power of imagination and fantasy, the first primeval gods that “be”, come into being or existence are: Apsu [abzu], a male and goddess-cum-demoness Tiamat. Note carefully that personal names of gods and goddesses are written in capital letters. Apsu and Tiamat filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters and co-existed as husband and wife. Apsu the primeval god is personifies as the freshwater sea and chaos Tiamat as the saltwater sea.

 

The two deities, Apsu and Tiamat beget four gods, namely: Enki. [Ea], the god of the abyss [ a hole so deep that it seems to have no bottom] and the sea beneath the earth. Enlil, the god of the

air, wind and raging storms. Anu, the God of the heavens (the sky) and Nin- khursag, the earth goddess. Apsu and Tiamat continue to beget many more offspring’s who are the junior gods.

 

In their divine nature, the gods have the potentiality of doing the moral and the amoral evil. Consciousness in them is omniscient in endeavoring to preserve, maintain and defend the right of living in peace when other gods interfere with their nocturnal Quietitude. A bitter rivalry erupts when a junior deity Marduk, the son of Enki (Ea) interrupts the peace and sleep of the junior gods, offsprings of the goddess Tiamat. The celestial beings are not well disposed to respect the freedom of others. Equally, they are neither disposed to respect the sanctity of life, nor but ill-disposed to spill blood in retaliation and revenge.

 

Enki, one of the senior gods triggers a warfare. He plots a malicious scheme against Apsu the husband of Tiamat. He kills Apsu with poison. The motive of the murder is intended to pave the way for the elevation of Marduk. The enraged and unforgiving Tiamat vows to take revenge against the son of Enki. She commissions her son-cum-husband, Kingu to lead other gods against Marduk. In the battle, the warlord Marduk slays Tiamat and Kingu, thus triumphing in victory, as the king of the gods.

 

The second greatest achievement of Marduk is becoming the creating deity, the creator of heaven, earth and of man. The corpse of Tiamat, described to be incredibly enormous, becomes the material that Marduk uses to fashion the heavens, the heavenly bodies and the earth. The gods then make a consensus and agree to make man in their own image. Marduk takes the blood of the slain Kingu and in mixing it with the clay of the earth, he creates man.

 

In crowning his achievements, the mythical creative deity builds for himself a palace in the heavens. The heavenly bodies are instituted as the seats of the gods. The earth of the mortals becomes the footstool of his heavenly throne; in the city of Babylon he builds himself a temple. The temple is the symbol of his earthly presence and dwelling. Though remotely transcendent, the god lives and is easily accessible to the living mortals.

 

The existence of the temple presupposes worship and worship presupposes a convenient place of worship, a building, a temple. In building the temple, the creative deity invites worship, and in reciprocation, the people have a binding [religious] duty to worship their creator who has given them existence. Worship is man’s reverence, respect and honour for a god [s] or God that is shown by performing rituals, sacrifices and prayers. In creating man to their own image, the gods ordained and pre-destined man to continue the cult of the gods.

The existence of a god or a God, a super craftman and creator is a personification of a myth. This personification has become a living “persona” reality in the consciousness of the earthly mortals, the object of faith and a mystery of which the cause or origin is not known or impossible to explain. Man believes in gods [polytheism] with a small letter or God [monotheism] with a capital letter. Whichever the case, faith, the attitude of the mind constitutes the culture of religion.

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines religion to be, “belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially the belief that they created the universe and gave human beings a spiritual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body, “religion is a cultural way of life, a man’s relationship with an imaginary being that he believes to be his creator. This interpersonal relationship is centered mainly on worship.

Human life begins with conception which then is followed by birth into the world. Man’s blossoming life ends in unwillful termination –death. The birth of a child in the family brings joy and happiness. On the doom and groom of life, death knocks as the greatest evil that befalls a man robbing him of his precious life. When the gods created man, they allotted him death. In his funeral mood, man laments in saying, “Oh death, where is thy victory! Death where is thy sting!” Death mystifies man and the after death beggles his mind. However the truth that is not perceived by man due to religious hyponotism remains to be, “death is mans lot”.

After death, the spirits of the departed are believed to continue existing in the underworld- a place under the earth. It has to be apprehended that the heavenly sphere [celestial] of the divine and the underground sphere [terrestrial] of the departed are distantly apart in space and time and unbridgeable gulf.

The gods allotted man death and ironically endowed him with a spiritual [semi-divine] nature. The ideas of physical and spiritual immortality were much contemplated by the primitive man. These two ideas came into being in 22B.C, and it came from none other than Gilgamesh who passionately sought for physical immortality form Utnapishtim. After the death of his friend Enkindu, Gilgamesh travelled a long journey experiencing many difficulties and hardship to meet Utnapishtim, meaning “Far away”.

Utnapishtim and his wife are the only human beings the gods granted two favours. On the one hand they were saved from the legendary Great Flood or deluge, and other they were granted physical immortality. Disappointedly, Gilgamesh returns to Uruk weeping at the futility of his efforts, having now lost all chance of immortality. The epic if Gilgamesh [tablet 12] concludes with the affirmation of the spiritual immortality of the departed, then living in the underworld [Netherworld].

Plato in his philosophizing asserted firstly that the soul is immaterial and that assertion affirms the immortality of the soul. However, Aristotle, the student of Plato rejects the immortality of the soul. Both the religious and philosophical ideas of spiritual immortality of the departed –after death is a subject of speculation, fantasy, myth and debate.

Myths are affirmed by some scholars and denied by others. Augustine Comte describes myths to be old wives tales. They are neither scientific nor historical, that means they bear no truth that is neither scientific nor historical, that means, they bear no truth that is scientifically or historically verifiable. Those who reject myths also deny the existence of a God. Others accept myths to affirm the existence of a God the object of faith and the subject mystery. However Faith is opposed to reason. It has no proof. It remains an assumption.

Myths have originated ideas that portray realities in the ethos of people that would otherwise not exist in the history of mankind. These ideas are: gods, God, supramundane world, angels, demons, religion, temples, worship, rituals, prayers, sacrifice, immortality of the soul, mysteries, the resurrection of the dead heaven, hell and that the evil demons are responsible for all the evils experienced by man in his existence. And more ideas exist “ad infinitum…”

Our hearts are restless until we set foot on the first rungu of the ladder of Jacob and start climbing in search of knowledge and truth. In knowing the truth, man liberates himself from being confined in a cocoon of ignorance. Ignorance is the lacking of information on a particular subject. More often than not this relevant information is intently denied by authorities not without a purpose though.An African proverb, specifically in the Imenti culture, stating, “Too much knowledge erodes,” justifies the denial of certain information by authorities. Though they are knowledgeable, the authorities capitalize on the ignorance of others for their own advantage and in perpetuating the status quo of ignorance.In the Imenti [African community] ethos, status quos were preserved and maintained by either threats or denial of certain information. Let it suffice to illustrate the point with two examples.

The source of streams and fountains are located in high grounds, the forests that are evenly distributed to cover the nakedness of the landscape. The woods have always been believed to be the habitation of the wicked spirits of the dead. The fear and reverence of these shrines had the advantage of preserving the virgin forests and conserving the environment. When a baby arrived in the family, the mother told the older children that she had bought the baby form an Indian merchant who had settled in the community. The obvious white lie kept the older children lacking the knowledge of reproductive system. The sexual taboo had the advantage of preserving and maintaining a high moral standard in the community.

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Students pursuing studies in sacred scriptures and theology are strictly subjected to religious hyponotism. The unwranted religious hyponotism, is influencing others strongly so they can hardly think nothing else other than the stipulated beliefs or the biblical evidence. Stating a proposition that is otherwise contrary to the beliefs invites authorities to rise up against one and pronounces one “persona non grata’ or “anathema sit”. The authorities, professional religious hyponotists have no respect for the freedom of others.

Information considered detrimental to faith is concealed, hidden and veiled from students. For many thousands of years since the time of Plato in 427 -347 B.C to the dawn of Soren kierkeguard and John Locker, scholars believed in the fantasy of Plato. The Greek philosopher is famous for the insight that the reexists a world of “forms” and “ideas” that exist absolutely and independently of the human mind and experience. Plato considered ideas of objects that entered the human mind through perception, sensation, impressions, are only resemblances and shadows of “forms” and “ideas” existing in the transcendental world. Existentialist and images empirical philosophers have categorically rejected the doctrine if Plato. All have asserted that the phenomenology of knowledge starts “here and now” with human experience.

In climbing Jacob’s ladder in search of knowledge and truth, I have assiduously read ahead of my professors. In lecturers, I brainstormed them with questions to proof a point that I had in mind. Relentlessly I followed them in their study rooms with questions. In order to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, they gave me books to read for the answers to my questions.

One field of study that was never taught as an introduction to the Sacred Scriptures and one that remained veiled was the “understanding of the pre-biblical mythical structure”. The dawn of computer technologies, its accessibility has taken me a milestone.

It has enabled and driven me to read yearningly the myths of the Ancient Near East. The motive is precisely to liberate myself from the cocoon of ignorance. My efforts have been rewardingly fruitful. In my quest for knowledge, my mind hangs on the history of the primitive societies, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt. The Ttrio have historically emerged as “sui generis” - the peculiar origin of the phenomenon of religion that has hypnotized, opiated and enslaved mankind eternally.

The primitive man found himself an actively involved sourjourner in a universe of wonder and mystery. The evaluation of the ancient man is that he was not passive but an active contemplator of his existence in the universe. In his curiosity of knowing, he raised two crucial questions that are comprehensively centered on the following issues concerning life: [a] whence his coming to be in the world and his destiny? [b] What “explanations” did he give to account for the power that controlled the phenomena of nature?

Though much lacking in scientific knowledge, the primitive man had to employ judicious imaginative power – myth in an effort to get an inkling clue to the “mystery” that which lies unknown in the human mind. In pursuant for meaningful answers, we need to capture what is the first rungu on which the primitive man set his foot. This article is tracking primitive sacrifices nurturing a great inquisitive curiosity into the “mysterium fascinars et tremendum,” the fascinating and tremendous mystery.

Obviously, the ancient primitive societies are the inhabitants of the land of Mesopotamia, a Greek world meaning, “the land between rivers.” These rivers are non other than Tigris and Euphrates which originate from the Armenian mountains and highlands. Tigris- Euphrates valley forms the Fertile Crescent that lies directly within the Arabian Desert. The crescent is economically important to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia for a number of reasons and these are:

 

[a] Come sun or rain, the valley has perennial watering from Tigris and Euphrates. The two rivers are a natural bounty to the inhabitants.

[b] From their high source attitude, the two rivers erode, carry and deposit a lot of alluvial

[Silt] soil on the valley. The alluvial deposits make a valley arable fields and farms. Ideally the Fertile Crescent supported productive cultivation. Canals were dug both for navigation and irrigation. The Fertile Crescent was a boon of life for the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

 

[c] Another historical feature of Tigris- Euphrates valley is the phenomena of floods. The legendary Great flood, commonly known as the “deluge” featured prominently in Mesopotamia and was parallel to the Hebrew mythical structures. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Great flood hero and heroine, the only survivals of the fateful catastrophe are Utnapishtim [the far away] and his wife. In addition, these two are the only humans to have been granted physical immortality by the gods. In a similar deluge on biblical literature, the only human survival is Noah and his family.

 

[d] Tigris-Euphrates valley has been to the people of Mesopotamia what the Nile was to the people of Egypt. In the absence of the Trio Rivers, the lands of Egypt and Mesopotamia would have been waste arid deserts. The inhabitants too would have been destitute of civilization and wealth of myths that enriched Judeo-Christian religion.

 

[e] It must be born in mind that the Fertile Crescent is historically famous as the cradle of civilization on the earth planet.

History and cultures of the primitive societies and civilizations are the origin of myths. Oxford Advanced Learners asserts that, “A myth is a story of the early history of a people or explaining natural events. A thing or person that is imaginary or no true.”

 

In the physical world of reality, water was given precedence and dominance in creation of ancient myths. Water is an element that is perceived by naked eyes. Its warmth, coldness and freezing can be perceived by the sense of touch. The sense of taste in the palate perceives’ salt and fresh water. A blind person can also hear thunderbolts that precede a torrential downpour.

 

Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A molecule of water contains one Oxygen and two Hydrogen atoms. H2O substance exists in three states, namely: [a] liquid [b] solid – ice [c] or water vapour -gaseous form - in the air. After evaporation, water vapour condenses to form clouds, the accumulation of water droplets.

 

The accumulated droplets in the clouds fall as rain. On reaching the earth from the heavens, water mass in found in Oceans and seas, water bodies - rivers, swamps, salt - links - underground water and water vapour in the atmosphere.

 

Water exists as a primordial element in nature. In the minds of the primitive people, water is a substance perceived to be life. Water is life. The Copula verb “is” affirms and predicates the existence of water and life. Water is life. Life is water. Water and life is one and the same reality.

 

Of all the nine worlds known to man, the earth planet is the only world known to have water and life. Scientists however are making a relentless endeavor to find if ever there is water and life in Mars. Here on earth planet, water makes the earth to be personalized as the Mother Earth or the Mother Nature.

 

In either of the personifications, there is power that is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in controlling events of physical world. The primitive man knew nothing about magnetic power [the law of attraction] that controls the universe. In his historical circumstances, however experience informed him instinctly that water was the only elemental power that gives life meaning.

 

In his potential power of imagination, the primitive man had the insight and the inspiration, a very unique intuition. That water exists as an entity that is uncreated and self-originating. In Mesopotamia, water is fancied as pre- existing “chaos” or “formlessness that is personifies as monster-cum-dragon and mamed Tiamat. The creation begins with “chaos” that is recognized as the sea-mass of water. This primordial “chaos” is divine in nature or character. It is the ultimate origin, beginning and cause of the existence of gods, the universe and man.

 

“Chaos” the primordial matter recognized as the formless mass of water in ocean and sea exists before the gods come to be in existence. In Man’s primitive power of imagination and fantasy, the first primeval gods that “be”, come into being or existence are: Apsu [abzu], a male and goddess-cum-demoness Tiamat. Note carefully that personal names of gods and goddesses are written in capital letters. Apsu and Tiamat filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters and co-existed as husband and wife. Apsu the primeval god is personifies as the freshwater sea and chaos Tiamat as the saltwater sea.

 

The two deities, Apsu and Tiamat beget four gods, namely: Enki. [Ea], the god of the abyss [ a hole so deep that it seems to have no bottom] and the sea beneath the earth. Enlil, the god of the

air, wind and raging storms. Anu, the God of the heavens (the sky) and Nin- khursag, the earth goddess. Apsu and Tiamat continue to beget many more offspring’s who are the junior gods.

 

In their divine nature, the gods have the potentiality of doing the moral and the amoral evil. Consciousness in them is omniscient in endeavoring to preserve, maintain and defend the right of living in peace when other gods interfere with their nocturnal Quietitude. A bitter rivalry erupts when a junior deity Marduk, the son of Enki (Ea) interrupts the peace and sleep of the junior gods, offsprings of the goddess Tiamat. The celestial beings are not well disposed to respect the freedom of others. Equally, they are neither disposed to respect the sanctity of life, nor but ill-disposed to spill blood in retaliation and revenge.

 

Enki, one of the senior gods triggers a warfare. He plots a malicious scheme against Apsu the husband of Tiamat. He kills Apsu with poison. The motive of the murder is intended to pave the way for the elevation of Marduk. The enraged and unforgiving Tiamat vows to take revenge against the son of Enki. She commissions her son-cum-husband, Kingu to lead other gods against Marduk. In the battle, the warlord Marduk slays Tiamat and Kingu, thus triumphing in victory, as the king of the gods.

 

The second greatest achievement of Marduk is becoming the creating deity, the creator of heaven, earth and of man. The corpse of Tiamat, described to be incredibly enormous, becomes the material that Marduk uses to fashion the heavens, the heavenly bodies and the earth. The gods then make a consensus and agree to make man in their own image. Marduk takes the blood of the slain Kingu and in mixing it with the clay of the earth, he creates man.

 

In crowning his achievements, the mythical creative deity builds for himself a palace in the heavens. The heavenly bodies are instituted as the seats of the gods. The earth of the mortals becomes the footstool of his heavenly throne; in the city of Babylon he builds himself a temple. The temple is the symbol of his earthly presence and dwelling. Though remotely transcendent, the god lives and is easily accessible to the living mortals.

 

The existence of the temple presupposes worship and worship presupposes a convenient place of worship, a building, a temple. In building the temple, the creative deity invites worship, and in reciprocation, the people have a binding [religious] duty to worship their creator who has given them existence. Worship is man’s reverence, respect and honour for a god [s] or God that is shown by performing rituals, sacrifices and prayers. In creating man to their own image, the gods ordained and pre-destined man to continue the cult of the gods.

 

The existence of a god or a God, a super craftman and creator is a personification of a myth. This personification has become a living “persona” reality in the consciousness of the earthly mortals, the object of faith and a mystery of which the cause or origin is not known or impossible to explain. Man believes in gods [polytheism] with a small letter or God [monotheism] with a capital letter. Whichever the case, faith, the attitude of the mind constitutes the culture of religion.

 

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines religion to be, “belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially the belief that they created the universe and gave human beings a spiritual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body, “religion is a cultural way of life, a man’s relationship with an imaginary being that he believes to be his creator. This interpersonal relationship is centered mainly on worship.

Human life begins with conception which then is followed by birth into the world. Man’s blossoming life ends in unwillful termination –death. The birth of a child in the family brings joy and happiness. On the doom and groom of life, death knocks as the greatest evil that befalls a man robbing him of his precious life. When the gods created man, they allotted him death. In his funeral mood, man laments in saying, “Oh death, where is thy victory! Death where is thy sting!” Death mystifies man and the after death beggles his mind. However the truth that is not perceived by man due to religious hyponotism remains to be, “death is mans lot”.

After death, the spirits of the departed are believed to continue existing in the underworld- a place under the earth. It has to be apprehended that the heavenly sphere [celestial] of the divine and the underground sphere [terrestrial] of the departed are distantly apart in space and time and unbridgeable gulf.

The gods allotted man death and ironically endowed him with a spiritual [semi-divine] nature. The ideas of physical and spiritual immortality were much contemplated by the primitive man. These two ideas came into being in 22B.C, and it came from none other than Gilgamesh who passionately sought for physical immortality form Utnapishtim. After the death of his friend Enkindu, Gilgamesh travelled a long journey experiencing many difficulties and hardship to meet Utnapishtim, meaning “Far away”.

Utnapishtim and his wife are the only human beings the gods granted two favours. On the one hand they were saved from the legendary Great Flood or deluge, and other they were granted physical immortality. Disappointedly, Gilgamesh returns to Uruk weeping at the futility of his efforts, having now lost all chance of immortality. The epic if Gilgamesh [tablet 12] concludes with the affirmation of the spiritual immortality of the departed, then living in the underworld [Netherworld].

 

Plato in his philosophizing asserted firstly that the soul is immaterial and that assertion affirms the immortality of the soul. However, Aristotle, the student of Plato rejects the immortality of the soul. Both the religious and philosophical ideas of spiritual immortality of the departed –after death is a subject of speculation, fantasy, myth and debate.

 

Myths are affirmed by some scholars and denied by others. Augustine Comte describes myths to be old wives tales. They are neither scientific nor historical, that means they bear no truth that is neither scientific nor historical, that means, they bear no truth that is scientifically or historically verifiable. Those who reject myths also deny the existence of a God. Others accept myths to affirm the existence of a God the object of faith and the subject mystery. However Faith is opposed to reason. It has no proof. It remains an assumption.

 

Myths have originated ideas that portray realities in the ethos of people that would otherwise not exist in the history of mankind. These ideas are: gods, God, supramundane world, angels, demons, religion, temples, worship, rituals, prayers, sacrifice, immortality of the soul, mysteries, the resurrection of the dead heaven, hell and that the evil demons are responsible for all the evils experienced by man in his existence. And more ideas exist “ad infinitum…”

 

 

 

 

Our hearts are restless until we set foot on the first rungu of the ladder of Jacob and start climbing in search of knowledge and truth. In knowing the truth, man liberates himself from being confined in a cocoon of ignorance. Ignorance is the lacking of information on a particular subject. More often than not this relevant information is intently denied by authorities not without a purpose though.

 

An African proverb, specifically in the Imenti culture, stating, “Too much knowledge erodes,” justifies the denial of certain information by authorities. Though they are knowledgeable, the authorities capitalize on the ignorance of others for their own advantage and in perpetuating the status quo of ignorance.

 

In the Imenti [African community] ethos, status quos were preserved and maintained by either threats or denial of certain information. Let it suffice to illustrate the point with two examples.

 

The source of streams and fountains are located in high grounds, the forests that are evenly distributed to cover the nakedness of the landscape. The woods have always been believed to be the habitation of the wicked spirits of the dead. The fear and reverence of these shrines had the advantage of preserving the virgin forests and conserving the environment. When a baby arrived in the family, the mother told the older children that she had bought the baby form an Indian merchant who had settled in the community. The obvious white lie kept the older children lacking the knowledge of reproductive system. The sexual taboo had the advantage of preserving and maintaining a high moral standard in the community.

 

Students pursuing studies in sacred scriptures and theology are strictly subjected to religious hyponotism. The unwranted religious hyponotism, is influencing others strongly so they can hardly think nothing else other than the stipulated beliefs or the biblical evidence. Stating a proposition that is otherwise contrary to the beliefs invites authorities to rise up against one and pronounces one “persona non grata’ or “anathema sit”. The authorities, professional religious hyponotists have no respect for the freedom of others.

 

Information considered detrimental to faith is concealed, hidden and veiled from students. For many thousands of years since the time of Plato in 427 -347 B.C to the dawn of Soren kierkeguard and John Locker, scholars believed in the fantasy of Plato. The Greek philosopher is famous for the insight that the reexists a world of “forms” and “ideas” that exist absolutely and independently of the human mind and experience. Plato considered ideas of objects that entered the human mind through perception, sensation, impressions, are only resemblances and shadows of “forms” and “ideas” existing in the transcendental world. Existentialist and images empirical philosophers have categorically rejected the doctrine if Plato. All have asserted that the phenomenology of knowledge starts “here and now” with human experience.

 

In climbing Jacob’s ladder in search of knowledge and truth, I have assiduously read ahead of my professors. In lecturers, I brainstormed them with questions to proof a point that I had in mind. Relentlessly I followed them in their study rooms with questions. In order to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, they gave me books to read for the answers to my questions.

 

One field of study that was never taught as an introduction to the Sacred Scriptures and one that remained veiled was the “understanding of the pre-biblical mythical structure”. The dawn of computer technologies, its accessibility has taken me a milestone.

It has enabled and driven me to read yearningly the myths of the Ancient Near East. The motive is precisely to liberate myself from the cocoon of ignorance. My efforts have been rewardingly fruitful. In my quest for knowledge, my mind hangs on the history of the primitive societies, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt. The Ttrio have historically emerged as “sui generis” - the peculiar origin of the phenomenon of religion that has hypnotized, opiated and enslaved mankind eternally.

The primitive man found himself an actively involved sourjourner in a universe of wonder and mystery. The evaluation of the ancient man is that he was not passive but an active contemplator of his existence in the universe. In his curiosity of knowing, he raised two crucial questions that are comprehensively centered on the following issues concerning life: [a] whence his coming to be in the world and his destiny? [b] What “explanations” did he give to account for the power that controlled the phenomena of nature?

Though much lacking in scientific knowledge, the primitive man had to employ judicious imaginative power – myth in an effort to get an inkling clue to the “mystery” that which lies unknown in the human mind. In pursuant for meaningful answers, we need to capture what is the first rungu on which the primitive man set his foot. This article is tracking primitive sacrifices nurturing a great inquisitive curiosity into the “mysterium fascinars et tremendum,” the fascinating and tremendous mystery.

 

Obviously, the ancient primitive societies are the inhabitants of the land of Mesopotamia, a Greek world meaning, “the land between rivers.” These rivers are non other than Tigris and Euphrates which originate from the Armenian mountains and highlands. Tigris- Euphrates valley forms the Fertile Crescent that lies directly within the Arabian Desert. The crescent is economically important to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia for a number of reasons and these are:

 

[a] Come sun or rain, the valley has perennial watering from Tigris and Euphrates. The two rivers are a natural bounty to the inhabitants.

 

[b] From their high source attitude, the two rivers erode, carry and deposit a lot of alluvial

[Silt] soil on the valley. The alluvial deposits make a valley arable fields and farms. Ideally the Fertile Crescent supported productive cultivation. Canals were dug both for navigation and irrigation. The Fertile Crescent was a boon of life for the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

 

[c] Another historical feature of Tigris- Euphrates valley is the phenomena of floods. The legendary Great flood, commonly known as the “deluge” featured prominently in Mesopotamia and was parallel to the Hebrew mythical structures. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Great flood hero and heroine, the only survivals of the fateful catastrophe are Utnapishtim [the far away] and his wife. In addition, these two are the only humans to have been granted physical immortality by the gods. In a similar deluge on biblical literature, the only human survival is Noah and his family.

 

[d] Tigris-Euphrates valley has been to the people of Mesopotamia what the Nile was to the people of Egypt. In the absence of the Trio Rivers, the lands of Egypt and Mesopotamia would have been waste arid deserts. The inhabitants too would have been destitute of civilization and wealth of myths that enriched Judeo-Christian religion.

 

[e] It must be born in mind that the Fertile Crescent is historically famous as the cradle of civilization on the earth planet.

History and cultures of the primitive societies and civilizations are the origin of myths. Oxford Advanced Learners asserts that, “A myth is a story of the early history of a people or explaining natural events. A thing or person that is imaginary or no true.”

 

In the physical world of reality, water was given precedence and dominance in creation of ancient myths. Water is an element that is perceived by naked eyes. Its warmth, coldness and freezing can be perceived by the sense of touch. The sense of taste in the palate perceives’ salt and fresh water. A blind person can also hear thunderbolts that precede a torrential downpour.

 

Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A molecule of water contains one Oxygen and two Hydrogen atoms. H2O substance exists in three states, namely: [a] liquid [b] solid – ice [c] or water vapour -gaseous form - in the air. After evaporation, water vapour condenses to form clouds, the accumulation of water droplets.

 

The accumulated droplets in the clouds fall as rain. On reaching the earth from the heavens, water mass in found in Oceans and seas, water bodies - rivers, swamps, salt - links - underground water and water vapour in the atmosphere.

 

Water exists as a primordial element in nature. In the minds of the primitive people, water is a substance perceived to be life. Water is life. The Copula verb “is” affirms and predicates the existence of water and life. Water is life. Life is water. Water and life is one and the same reality.

 

Of all the nine worlds known to man, the earth planet is the only world known to have water and life. Scientists however are making a relentless endeavor to find if ever there is water and life in Mars. Here on earth planet, water makes the earth to be personalized as the Mother Earth or the Mother Nature.

 

In either of the personifications, there is power that is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in controlling events of physical world. The primitive man knew nothing about magnetic power [the law of attraction] that controls the universe. In his historical circumstances, however experience informed him instinctly that water was the only elemental power that gives life meaning.

 

In his potential power of imagination, the primitive man had the insight and the inspiration, a very unique intuition. That water exists as an entity that is uncreated and self-originating. In Mesopotamia, water is fancied as pre- existing “chaos” or “formlessness that is personifies as monster-cum-dragon and mamed Tiamat. The creation begins with “chaos” that is recognized as the sea-mass of water. This primordial “chaos” is divine in nature or character. It is the ultimate origin, beginning and cause of the existence of gods, the universe and man.

 

“Chaos” the primordial matter recognized as the formless mass of water in ocean and sea exists before the gods come to be in existence. In Man’s primitive power of imagination and fantasy, the first primeval gods that “be”, come into being or existence are: Apsu [abzu], a male and goddess-cum-demoness Tiamat. Note carefully that personal names of gods and goddesses are written in capital letters. Apsu and Tiamat filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters and co-existed as husband and wife. Apsu the primeval god is personifies as the freshwater sea and chaos Tiamat as the saltwater sea.

 

The two deities, Apsu and Tiamat beget four gods, namely: Enki. [Ea], the god of the abyss [ a hole so deep that it seems to have no bottom] and the sea beneath the earth. Enlil, the god of the

air, wind and raging storms. Anu, the God of the heavens (the sky) and Nin- khursag, the earth goddess. Apsu and Tiamat continue to beget many more offspring’s who are the junior gods.

 

In their divine nature, the gods have the potentiality of doing the moral and the amoral evil. Consciousness in them is omniscient in endeavoring to preserve, maintain and defend the right of living in peace when other gods interfere with their nocturnal Quietitude. A bitter rivalry erupts when a junior deity Marduk, the son of Enki (Ea) interrupts the peace and sleep of the junior gods, offsprings of the goddess Tiamat. The celestial beings are not well disposed to respect the freedom of others. Equally, they are neither disposed to respect the sanctity of life, nor but ill-disposed to spill blood in retaliation and revenge.

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