Canni bal i zat i on of
J esus and t he
Per secut i on of t he
J ews.
Dr Chr i st i ne Anne J ames
The Canni bal i zat i on of J esus and t he
Per sec ut i on of t he J ew s.
Dr Chr i st i ne Anne J ames
P.O. Box 118
Copyright Dr Christine Anne J ames, 2008
This book is copyright. Reproduction of the whole or any part of this book
without due acknowledgement is a violation of the copyright laws. The
author encourages fair use of this work for educational and/or
communication purposes.
This work is derived from academic research, it is written in good faith and
it is not intended to prejudice or offend anyone. Any similarity between
this work and previous claims are purely coincidence except where
referenced. Any comments or enquiries can be made to the above address
or the website www.transpersonaljourneys.com
National Library of Australia Catalogue-in-Publication
ISBN 978-0-9577038-1-0
Religion and Theology.
Printed and bound in Australia by Griffin Press
Cover design by the author.
For my children, grandchildren and all people of
all convictions.
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud men apart
Fromthe raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.
Dylan Thomas: In My Craft or Sullen Art, in Voices 1968 Harmondsworth
Penguin pp78-79.
The Canni bal i zat i on of J esus and
t he Per sec ut i on of t he J ew s.
 Everything we do in this world is guided by
consciousness. This is a book about consciousness
and shifting consciousness and the way this has
guided religion and mysticism…
Everyone desires a life of happiness. Yet, the
world has hardly seen concord. For centuries
people have attempted to create a peaceful and
harmonious society but it has been torn apart
by wars and conflicts, religions and ideologies
including capitalism. We have destroyed
whole nations and races. We have persecuted
groups and individuals. We have stood by and
watched people suffer from poverty and
starvation and have done little to ease their
pain. We have caused irreparable harm to the
planet and its inhabitants. We have now
reached a point where human survival is
threatened but so far no one has found a
solution to the hatred and greed that many
humans carry within them. First, we must
understand where these violent tendencies
come from. Only then can we act to make the
world a better place. This work throws new
light on the human condition and what has, for
centuries, driven humanity to near destruction.
Chris J ames: Dr of Communications; Master of Psychoanalytic
Studies, Master of I nternational Community Development,
Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Counsellor.
 Anti-Semitism and terrorism find their antecedents in the primal
terror myths.
 The first religions came about as a response to the fears generated
by these myths. Religious beliefs were conceived in the state of
drug induced altered consciousness. People had hallucinations and
thought they were hearing the voices of gods and goddesses.
 To please the gods and goddesses people offered up human
sacrifices in pagan feasts and blood rituals. After the killing they
consumed the bodies to protect them from the world of things. They
believed this gave them the powers to become Gods. This was the
first pagan Host.

 The J ews broke with the thanatologies and instituted strict dietary
laws prohibiting the eating of human flesh. This saw the J ews
terrorized and punished. This was the beginning of anti-Semitism.
 J esus the J ew was a rebellious outsider, a would-be god who was
crucified and consumed by his followers. This constituted the first
Christian Host.

 There has been an ongoing urge in humans to alter consciousness.
Altered consciousness recalls the memories of the original
terror/terrorism [cannibalism.] Today, those who fully succeed in
altering consciousness are generally regarded as the mentally ill.
 Science is discovering that the human propensity for religious and
mystical experience [altered consciousness] lies in the complexities
of the DMT molecule, which shifts consciousness in times of
emotional stress, depression and dying. We all share the desire for
altered consciousness, thus we share the need for the religious,
mystical experience. However, we must rewrite the narratives of
myth and ritual to avoid the harmful affects.
A work of this nature is never created alone and many people have
contributed in different ways. I am wholly indebted to my Doctorial
Supervisor Professor David Birch of Deakin University Melbourne who
was always there for me during my original research with his academic
wisdom, enthusiasm and implicit faith in my ability. Without his support
neither the original thesis nor this work would have come to fruition.
I appreciate the long hours of conversation shared with my special
friend Keith Simons who in many ways facilitated the extension of my
ideas into a larger and more complete work. I am especially grateful to Sue
Harmer for her ideas and for reading the manuscript. I have been
particularly touched by Sue Harmer’s three intellectually handicapped
children, two of whom are autistic; they are all very beautiful and unique.
They have taught me a lot about consciousness diversity and what is
achievable in human potential. They have helped me to see beyond the
labels of ‘handicap’ and ‘disadvantage’ and instead to experience the bright
light of possibility.
I am grateful to my son J udson whose love, support and intellectual
input has always been deeply appreciated. I am eternally grateful for our
long discussions on evolution and the existence of the animal in the human.
He has not wavered from his beliefs and has thus helped to strengthen
I also wish to thank my other family members who have shown
patience and understanding with me during the processes involved in the
task of research and writing over a long period of time. They have allowed
me my idiosyncrasies and isolation. I particularly thank my daughter
Cassie-Rose for her patience and for her hard work in photocopying and
collating all the manuscript chapters.
Dr Christine Anne J ames
I ntroduction……………………………………………….8
Chapter One:
Framing Knowledge and the New Anti-Semitism………..29
Chapter Two:
The Dialectic: Framing and Re-Framing the Holocaust…..45
Chapter Three:
Islam and the J ews: From a Theory of Ritual
to a Theory of Meaning……………………………………56
Chapter Four:
Rationalist and Anti-Rationalist Groups…………………...71
Chapter Five:
Capitalism, Counter-Capitalism and the
Female Principle……………………………………………92
Chapter Six:
The Capitalism, Cannibalism Trope………………………110
Chapter Seven:
Drugs, Sex and Wandering:
The Carnival and the Grotesque…………………………...132
Chapter Eight:
Flagellation: Violence and the Religious Sects…………....148
Chapter Nine:
Blood Rituals, the Crucifixion, the Crusades
and the search for the Sacred……………………………….159
Chapter Ten:
The Failed State and the Mind/Body Split………………….172
Chapter Eleven:
What is Religion? Will Religion Survive the
Secular State? A Corollary…………………………………181
The Canni bal i zat i on of J esus and
t he Per sec ut i on of t he J ew s.
‘The connection between religion and politics
arises as a problem only in countries which are
not religiously homogeneous’
I ntroduction.
On March 30
2008 the International Humanist and Ethical Union
posted an article on the Internet that should have shaken the world into
condemnation and subsequent action but it didn’t. The Islamic states led
by Pakistan had fought for twelve years to achieve an amendment on the
Freedom of Expression and on the 30
March 2008 they succeeded. The
new amendment has profound ramifications. ‘The UN Special Rapporteur
on Freedom of Expression will now be required to report on the ‘abuse’ of
this most cherished freedom by anyone who, for example, dares speak out
against Sharia law that requires women to be stoned to death for adultery
and young men to be hanged for being gay, or against the marriage of girls
as young as nine, as in Iran’
. Not only does this decision mark a shift in
the balance of power in the UN towards Islam it demarcates the rising
power of religious fundamentalists across the world generally, whereby
any number of countries can hide behind their cultures or religious beliefs
in order to violate basic human rights. This decision has important
ramifications for the State of Israel and the J ews around the world. With
anti-Semitism on the rise this new amendment makes it more difficult to
identify and deal with racially motivated abuses.
We do not hear much about anti-Semitism these days. Yet, the hatred
expressed towards the J ewish people has been long and arduous and it has
not diminished over time. Today, anti-Semitism has become a global
problem that has given birth to new forms of counter-capitalist
terror/terrorism largely coming from Islam and the left. In this work I will
argue that the counter-capitalist discourse coming from Islam and the left is
euphemized anti-Semitism. I will develop a perspective of counter-
capitalism that is specifically linked to anti-Semitism and is grounded in
the historical and mythical representations of Christianity and Islam. I will
also argue that eliminating religions such as Christianity and Islam will not
solve the problem. I contend that religious beliefs are an innate component
in the human psyche.

R.R. Alford 1969. Religion and Politics in Sociology of Religion R
Robertson [Ed.] Harmondsworth Penguin, p321.
IHEU www.iheu.com accessed 2
April 2008.
My work presents an alternative explanation for anti-Semitic acts. I
argue that the foundational myths underpinning anti-Semitism occupy a
space between life-world and system – and consist of an unconscious
narrative – that leads to ‘cognitive closure’; but this closure is not absolute,
it can be regarded as shifting consciousness. It can also be located in
specific biological traits. I have decided to tackle the issues surrounding
anti-Semitism because it stands as a perfect example of the way shifting
consciousness and cognitive closure works to cause harm in the world but
the ideas in this work are not exclusive to anti-Semitism. Rather, they
denote an historical and overwhelming human propensity towards
irrational behaviour and violence. I argue that this behaviour is natural and
linked to survival but it needs to be tamed.
As we work towards an inter-subjective dialogue for democracy and
I argue that ‘freedom’ is not a rational ‘deliberative process’ but
one of ‘de-liberation’, cognitive movement and shut-down
. I suggest that
the transcendental imagination serves to destabilize subjectivity and free
thinking. I contend that because there is no correlation between the
transcendental and empiricism systemic anti-Semitism and other forms of
violence have been hard to fathom within the sciences and require a more
[w]holistic approach.
My work therefore moves beyond the concepts of social movement
theory and the interpretative traditions and examines the myths and
evolutionary circumstances that lay behind the religious mystical
tendencies and the historical relationships between Christians, J ews and
Muslims. I suggest that these tendencies have become culturally encoded
with ancient [terror] myths that have their roots in altered consciousness. I
suggest that certain emotions and experiences serve to re-create this mythic
consciousness in real time. In this work I offer a radical re-examination
of the human condition and a biological explanation for the mystical
experience that leads to anti-Semitism, violence and terrorism. I also argue
that a radical reframing of religion might greatly assist in a better
understanding of violence and abuse. In this work I will addresses a
number of key questions:
1. How have the old myths become the new anti-Semitism?
2. Why do some historians want to deny the Holocaust?
3. Why now, has Islamic terrorism become so prominent?
4. Is religion and/or political activism a natural phenomenon,
or are these religious and political groups pathological?
5 How did counter-capitalism become euphemized anti-
6 What are the links between cannibalism and the religions of
Christianity and Islam?

J urgen Habermas 1987 calls inter-subjective dialogue ‘ideal speech’ in his Theory of
Communicative Action Boston Beacon Press. Here talk is offered as the solution to social
and global conflicts.
J ean Luc Nancy 1998 The Experience of FreedomLondon and New York, Merdian
Press, p33 and 1993 The Birth of Presence California. Standford University Press p19.
7 Why did the derogatory myth of the Wandering J ew
8 What are the links between religion, violence and mental
9 What are the mythical/occultist/counter-capitalist
connections with the Holy City of J erusalem?
10 What is the connection between the mind/body split and the
failed state?
11 What is religion? Will religion survive the secular state?
Will the violence persist? And what can be done? A
As we see, the issues are not simple. While the focus of this work is on
anti-Semitism my conclusions have much broader implications for society.
Each of the above questions occupies one chapter of the work. Each of the
questions is designed to show that rational dialogue and action is displaced
by a fantasy that is derived from ancient myths. I show how these myths
were conceived in a state of altered consciousness [the non-rational] and
how the residue [memory] of these myths becomes transformed into
modern narratives; and how this gives impetus to the violent and anti-social
acts such as anti-Semitism.
Of Gods and Heroes.
There have been thirteen centuries of rivalry between Muslims, J ews
and Christians. It would be easy to simply say that the world has groups
of disenchanted extremists and that they are all crazy. Or, perhaps they are
just psychopaths who seek their pleasure in violence and hurting others.
The situation is more complex. J oseph Campbell in The Hero with a
Thousand Faces [1949] highlights the importance of the god/hero as a
global theme in the establishment of social order
. The hero constitutes a
specific identity within society that is embedded in the desire to challenge
other heroes
. This ‘challenge’ is linked to joy/libido and the
anxieties/desires brought about by repression. I have called it a repression
of the sacred. Freud’s notion is that sexuality is much more than human
reproduction. Rather, perversion lies at the heart of all sexual activity and
our actions and linguistic development is grounded in perversion. Whilst
much of the Freudian discourse is perceived problematic there is a much
earlier narrative that speaks to the notion of an unconscious [sexual]
perversion. The first known myths of this nature appeared in Babylon in

A number of theorists have examined heroics and power. Pierre Bourdieu 1987 suggests
it is the power of the institutions and the differentiation of class that harbours heroes and
conflicts. What Makes a Social Class? In the Berkeley J ournal of
Sociology Vol.32.1-17. Sigmund Freud 1929 relegates the subjective impulses to the
workings of the unconscious. Civilization and its Discontents, Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Strassman explores the biological basis for the god/hero. Strassman R 2001DMT The
Spirit Molecule Rochester Park Street Press.
This challenge of heroes is what J acques Lacan has called ‘the will to jouissance’ 1967
p610. Ecrits: A Selection. London, Tavistock.
the form of the goddess Tiamat
. In ancient myth perversion was ritualized
in the sacred as a defence against the violent primal collective memories,
but ancient [sacred] myth is no longer an outlet for the ‘polymorphously
perverse’. Faced with the loss of this sacred pleasure the ‘pervert’ refuses
to relinquish the associated primal violence so creates its symmetry in an
extra-legal violence
. What these acts have in common is the total
submission to a hero/god; alienation from the Self and a mind set on denial
and/or cognitive closure.
So far there has been no real solution to the perverse alienation. We
have not resolved the cosmic wars but have carried them into our current
times. We have not moved beyond ‘them’ and ‘us’; it remains as a symbol
of heaven and earth. This brings about a dream of unification and utopia.
Since the inception of monotheism ‘them’ and ‘us’ has been conceived in a
battle between the religious heroes. Islamic history reveals the Muslim
warriors as passionate and highly skilled in war and terror. Mohammed
was a forefather of terrorism. Mohammed’s grandson embarked upon a
suicide mission for Islam
. The Islamic Watch Organization is an Internet
forum made up of ex-Muslims who take it upon themselves to tell the real
story of Islam. On J uly 24
2006 a forum member posted an opinion of
Islamic history as one of ‘ceaseless raids and plundering expeditions of
highway caravans and waging war against the infidels’ including the ‘mass
slaughter of J ews’. This person tells us that on his death bed Mohammed’s
last wish was: ‘Let there be no other religion except Islam’
. These lessons
of hatred are passed down from one generation to another. Likewise
Christians have used violence to make their religion universal. Throughout
the ages the Christians turned their violence upon anyone who was not
willing to convert to Christianity. The struggle for supremacy still exists
and it is not unique to religious institutions. The struggle for supremacy is
a basic element in the theory of evolution. Richard Dawkins is an
evolutionist and an advocate for atheism. Richard Dawkins contends:
‘when the ricochets of atomic billiards chance to put
together an object that has a certain, seemingly
innocent property, something momentous happens
in the universe. That property has an ability to self-
replicate; that is the object is able to use the

Elizabeth Gould-Davis has written extensively on the goddess Tiamet. SeeThe First Sex,
Harmondsworth, Penguin 1971 p33.
B. Fink 2003 Perversion in Perversion and the Social Relation [Eds.]
M A Rothenberg, D Foster and S Zizek. Durham NC, Duke University Press, pp 41-39.
And 1995 The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and J ouissance. New J ersey,
Princeton University Press.
M Gabriel M 2002Islamand Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches
About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of Islamic J ihad. New York, Charisma House,
M.A. Khan, 2006. The Islamic Watch Organization Islam Watch Org. 2006
www.Islamic-watch.org Accessed 25
October, 2006.
surrounding materials to make exact copies of

The desire to multiply one’s genus is manifest in the same desire to
spread ideology, politics, religion and beliefs across the world by force,
deceit or coercion. Humans constantly cause damage in order to be
supreme in their world. This supremacy is connected to a kind of
mysticism - a non-reality – or put differently; an altered frame of
The Notion of Freedom.
All traditional cultures depend on their saviour/hero/archetypes to hold
their societies together. In some cases the scripts for these heroes are
immortalized in the religious canon while many form the narratives of
everyday life. What lies behind the many discourses of heroism is the
notion of freedom. J ean-Luc Nancy moves beyond the empirical strategies
to what he calls ‘the space left free by Heidegger’ to describe freedom.
Freedom for Nancy stands in opposition to ‘deliberation’ as ‘de-
. We expect people to think and reason their actions towards
being free, this is the rationalist discourse, but for Nancy ‘thinking’ is not
freedom. Nancy explores this in an altercation between Kant and
Heidegger over the ‘fundamental character of the transcendental
imagination’. ‘The transcendental imagination shows itself to be not
precisely the origin of freedom but, rather, the original freedom’
. In other
words we cannot truly imagine freedom because freedom is just
emptiness/nothingness. Freedom lies beyond consciousness. In ancient
mythology the original freedom is the terror/death/creationist story brought
about by drugs and altered consciousness. This means that freedom is
existential. Theology has called it spirit/soul. Philosophy has called it
essence, science views it as delusion/fantasy. Nature treats altered
consciousness as an escape from pain and fear. When life becomes
physically unbearable the body falls into a state of unconsciousness.
For the purpose of this work I shall attempt to deepen the meaning of
the unconscious to include the notion of freedom. That is to say, the terror
that is the creationist story always already equates with the terror of the
unknown, unfathomable, deeper unconscious that pre-dates consciousness
[empty space.] It is sometimes referred to as the abyss. Freedom then is
perceived as a before life situation [as opposed to an afterlife] and/or a
homecoming. We experience this entity in a number of mythological
writings and relate it to the human imagination; but the imagination is also
consciousness, which in turn draws much of its material from the

Richard Dawkins is a well known evolutionist and expressed this view in his 2008 work
The God Delusion, NY Bantam Books.
Fenves P 1998 Forward: FromEmpiricismto the Experience of
Freedomin The Experience of FreedomJ ean-Luc Nancy. California, Stanford University
Press 1993 and Meridian Press pp xxiv. See also J -L Nancy1998The Birth of Presence
California. Standford University Press p33.
ibid 1998: xxiv.
unconscious. What I argue here is that the unconscious and/or pre-
conscious state is not the far off entity we imagine; we use it daily and we
are constantly tempted to explore its dangerous zones that lead to violence
and madness.
Nancy’s work suggests that the subject is conceived in the
transcendental imagination and must therefore inherently strive towards the
beyond or the abyss [the unconscious.] We are always seeking the
homecoming. In other words we are free when we escape consciousness.
This resonates with the eastern religions, which is where most of the
creationist myths come from. Freedom that is presented as the architecture
of pure reason [freedom as in democratic freedoms] is therefore doomed.
We cannot possess freedom; we can only [individually] imagine it and we
can never truly know freedom within normal consciousness. Therefore
reason and/or rationalism will not afford us the democratic freedoms we
strive for.
When Kant wrote his famous treatise on reason he did not intend us to
be overshadowed by one fixed aspect of reason [one point in
consciousness] Kant’s main purpose was to show the complexities of
multiple forms of reasoning [empirical, ethical, reflective, teleological and
meta-logical and/or transcendental.] Even in Kant [who is attributed with
bringing reason to the eighteenth century Enlightenment] we can see
unfolding the primal replicates of a diverse field of consciousness [that
includes the transcendental unconscious.]
Myth and Capitalism.
Following the Sept.11
[2001] Islamic terrorist attacks on the US
World Trade Centre and the Pentagon the Western populations were
asking: ‘Why do Muslims hate us?’ Unable to answer this question the
State of Israel and the J ews were blamed for the attacks – ‘the J ews cause
all the trouble in the world’ - it is an old myth that surfaces constantly
when tensions are strained. Yet, Sept 11
was not only about hatred, it was
about heroism and the notion of freedom. It was about myths of
succession. The hero on earth must inevitably become the god
consciousness in heaven
. Myth restates the existence of the dualities;
good and bad; light and dark, so on and so forth. The ancient mythic
narrative for the mystery of life lies in the cosmic separation of heaven and
earth and the promise of freedom lies in its re-unification that is the joining
of the earthly subject in heaven with an invisible archetype/god/hero.
Myth operates to invoke the cosmic chaos and restore order, the impossible
dream. The hero then must mix mystery and mastery and promise freedom.
The ‘promise’ is a key rhetorical function in the hero’s mechanisms for
keeping his heroic status.

‘Myth’, according to Barthes is ‘depoliticized speech… Myth does not deny things; on the
contrary its function is to talk about them, simply it purifies them, makes them innocent, gives
them a natural and external justification, it gives them a clarity, which is not that of an explanation
but that of a statement of fact’. R Barthes, 1972 in Mythologies[Trans.] A Lavers, London, Cape
and New York, Hill and Wang, p 109. Levi-Strauss 1963 suggests the purpose of myth is to
overcome the contradiction of binary opposites and/or to find reconciliation of the ‘dyads’.
Structural Anthropology Harmondsworth Penguin p299
Myth has created a world that is divided into two. In modern political
terms this can be viewed as Western capitalism and the ‘Other’. Since the
eighteenth century there have been visible struggles between capital and
labour but there have also been struggles between capital and capital that
go back to ancient times. Amongst the most recent examples are the
American Civil War, the French Revolution, two World Wars, the Cold
War, the Middle East, the ‘War on Terror’ and the Drug Wars. The world’s
transmigrations are not just about freedoms they are deeply entrenched in
the struggle for capital. The anti-capitalist movements are unavoidably
entrenched in capitalism. In the context of modernism unions attempted to
soften capital but unions are inherently capitalist. They hold capital assets
and have vast bureaucratic systems. Socialists are developmental advocates
dependent on capital. So too are communists reliant on capital. Take China
as a prime example of developing super-capitalism. Islam has a long
history in capitalist trading although it declares itself to be anti-capitalist
but Islam cannot survive without some form of capital. Islam created the
first taxes, money extracted from its enemies to be used to defeat its
enemies; otherwise called a tax against infidels. Capitalism is global.
Fascism attempted to ideologically shift capitalism. Communism brought
capitalism under state control. Since the eighteenth century demise of
feudalism everything belongs to capital. Hence, ‘Marxism became
separated and more pragmatic than the idealist Marxist discourse’
In the context of early capitalism separation is expressed in Kant’s
rational ideas of virtue and duty versus the more romantic ideas of
exploring pleasure. The latter view is present in ancient myth and still
exists in the fantasy of [w]holeness – otherwise, human as god – heaven
and earth enjoined. This idea is encapsulated in a number of metaphors -
god as holy spirit - god as Christ - god as nature, earth as Mother Earth.
These metaphors govern the mind and its images. They frame our
understanding of the world. Compare these two examples:
When I use the term ‘mining boom’ we might think about prosperity
and wealth; we might think about jobs and better services for families. This
is the kind of rhetoric used by governments to sell their economic ideas.
However, when I talk about digging into the entrails of Mother Earth
another, totally different view is brought to mind, one of pain and
devastation, a view of the raped landscape, loss of natural beauty, habitat
and food. All these images link to a primal past as well as to religion,
mysticism and ‘truth claims
. That humanity has a primitive past is
explicitly detailed in myths and rituals and is further explored in religious
beliefs and cults. As Dawkins states:

E Rivkin 1971 The Shaping of J ewish History: A Radical New
Interpretation. New York, Charles Scribner and Sons p188.

Richard Rorty in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature expresses the need to free
ourselves of the overriding metaphors that govern the mind and its images. Rorty argues
that modern epistemology is an attempt to legitimize claims of truth, which in turn become
embedded in philosophy and its relative institutions. Rorty argues that any vocabulary is
optional and mutable. R Rorty 1979 Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Cambridge,
Cambridge, University Press Ch. 2.

‘All people have epic legends about their tribal ancestors,
and these legends often formalize themselves into
religious cults. People revere and even worship their
ancestors – as well they might – for it is real ancestors,
not supernatural gods, that hold the key to understanding
In recent years the social and linguistic sciences have given a lot of
attention to the study of words and the way ‘truth claims’ are formulated.
The focus on language and how meaning is created [the linguistic turn] has
identified a noticeable trend towards the use of euphemisms and
transcendental discourses that broaden the conceptual views of modernism
and capitalism, whereby they become not rational in the general sense but
metaphysical. In other words people do not just practice capitalism, they
believe in capitalism. Moreover, the spread of the practice is dependent on
the spread of the belief; a unification. There is no separation between the
mindset and action. No room to contemplate. Bad acts become accepted.
Bad actors are governed by a state of exception. There are dangers and
rewards here. ‘When the law of nature is suspended for a fantasized
unifying cause [the exchange of nature for a religious/ideological narrative]
it deepens the crisis brought about by the loss of the sacred’ [repression]
The myth of the eternal struggle between the heavens and earth is made
real. The [natural] war in the heavens becomes replicated in a war on earth.
It might be thought that the secular state has overcome the ‘fantasized
unifying cause’ but there has been a constant rise in religious
fundamentalism as well as in the alternative religions
. However, if we
closed all the churches, synagogues and mosques in the world we would
still never eliminate the unifying fantasy that is deeply buried within the
human psyche.

Anti-Capitalism and I slamic Zealots.
Since the demise of socialism the unity brought about by a political
revolutionary discourse has shifted focus. Today, it is not the struggle of a
Western proletariat that causes concern but the anti-globalists who are anti-
Western, anti-modernist and especially anti-Semitic [anti-J ewish.] The
threat of the Islamic jihad is perceived as a new development but in fact it
was present in the inauguration of Islam
. The word ‘jihad’ means struggle
and it has strong evolutionary connotations. While politicians and
statesmen advocate a rationalist discourse the Islamic zealots embark upon

Richard Dawkins 2008 The God Delusion NY Bantam Books.
B Fink 2003 Perversion in Perversion and the Social Relation [Eds.] M A Rothenberg,
D Foster and S Zizek. Durham NC, Duke University Press, pp 41.
Theorists such as Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion 2006 and Tamas Pataki in
Against Religion 2007 argue the secular state is under threat and unification lies at the
heart of a new wave of religious fundamentalism.
M Gabriel 2002 Islamand Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches
About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of Islamic J ihad. New York, Charisma House,
a political jihad and show us that the imagination is far from rational. The
Islamic principle is ‘anyone who conflicts with; disagrees with or does not
support Mohammed and his teachings should be killed’
. Although
underestimated and/or politically ignored, this principle is regularly put
into effect. In Amsterdam in 2004 there was the murder of the film maker
Theo Van Gogh in response to his movie Submission, which focused on the
violence towards women in Islamic societies
. On the 17
2006 at a demonstration in the centre of London the religious leader Anjem
Choudary told his audience ‘those who insulted Islam would be subject to
capital punishment’ and appealed for the death of Pope Benedict the XVI
for comments he made about Islam
. During the month of Ramadan
[2006] Eid Mubarak from Al Qaeda issued a video titled Rise Up calling
for jihad and the slaughter of all J ews and Crusaders. The footage begins
with the following caption:
‘O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that when
ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling
heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to
the Hereafter? But little is the comfort for this life, as
compared with the Hereafter
Then the leader Al-Zawahri speaks saying, ‘I urge you...the duty of
jihad, which is incumbent on every Muslim, to hurry and pursue
martyrdom in order to kill the Crusaders and the Zionists’. This is followed
by a man being beheaded and the severed head being waved in the air
The act is reminiscent of an ancient J ewish ritual that sacrificed a chicken
on or about the Day of Atonement. The body of the chicken was swung so
the drops of blood would scatter in a circle of redemptive purification
The Religion of Peace Org., records that in the month of Ramadan
[2006] the holiest month of the year, the war against the infidels racked up
over 1600 dead in 291 terror attacks in 17 countries. The number of
terrorist attacks and suicide bombings has gradually been increasing

ibid, 2002:105.
Buruma I 2006 wrote a book about this called Murder in Amsterdam. See interview by
J Brown Interview with Ian Buruma 23
October, 2006
www.pbs.org Accessed 24th October 2006.

Choudary A 2006 http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article2332723 Accessed 2
November, 2006.
Koran 9:38.

Al-Zawahri, http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article2332723 Accessed 2
November, 2006.

Rosenblatt L 2006 Playing Chicken in Melbourne Arena 86 J an 2006 p5.
The Religion of Peace Org. www.thereligionofpeace.com Accessed 25
October, 2006.
By December 2008 it was abundantly clear that the Islamicists
would kill anyone who supported Western style democracy. Islam is totally
opposed to democracy. The struggle for democracy in the Islamic states
has turned them into war zones. Riots and car bombings escalated in
Pakistan, planned elections were stalled amidst the chaos that finally
culminated in the murder of the democratic election candidate and previous
Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. A frenzy of killing followed. It is a
familiar story of intense pain, trauma and wasted lives. Each of these
violent events is a ritual of redemptive purification reminiscent of the first
religious Crusades. This raises a number of questions about how we
resolve the religious and quasi-religious conflicts and bring about peace
and equity in the world. First, we must fully understand the nature of the
fantasy that causes the internal conflict and sees it manifest in the external
world. The violence is not simply political it is emotional and mystical.
Violence does not begin on the battlefield or at the forum it begins in the
oldest mechanisms of the brain.
Radical Action and False Consciousness.
The Marxists attempted to create one truth in the idea of a class
conflict and they have called everything else ‘false consciousness’. Today,
false consciousness is seen in the portrayals of capitalism by the [romantic]
reformist movements. In the West this is typified by a number of slogans
as a ‘rage against the rich’. Typical protest placards read:
Human Need Not Corporate Greed.
Our World is Not for Sale
I Was There Fighting Capitalism
Capitalism Sux
Corporate Tyranny
People Before Profit
Cancel Third World Debt
Eradicate Corporate Parasites
Generally speaking, these left groups are anti-global, anti-American
and opposed to the State of Israel. While they may not actively take part in
terrorist activities many of these groups give their approval to those who
do. As the anti-capitalist/counter-capitalist numbers grow so too are
terrorism and anti-Semitism becoming justifiable acts of social change. The
response from onlookers is often ambiguous. All too often feelings of
sympathy and distain become confused. When the disruption becomes
overwhelming people will close their eyes to the consequences. They will
take refuge in their zones of comfort and conformity.
Counter-capitalism is usually discussed within the sociological/
scientific paradigm of social movement theory and particular groups;
especially fascism, socialism and communism. Since the late 1970s anti-

Burgmann V 2006Archaeologies of Anti-Capitalist Utopianismin
Imagining theFuture A Milner, M Ryan and R Savage, Melbourne Arena J ournal New
Series No. 25/26 p107. 99-122.
capitalism has been viewed almost solely as anti-globalization and
protesters have targeted various aspects of capitalism they disagree with,
such as unsustainable economic growth and the Third World debt or trans-
nationalism. The debate has focused on an opposition to a single universal
moral theory such as that created in the eighteenth century example of
utilitarianism. I have used the term ‘counter-capitalist’ to distinguish my
ideas from this wider [anti-globalization] debate and to give focus to the
counter-capitalist myths that specifically target the J ews and the State of
Israel. Hence, I assert counter-capitalism to be euphemized racism.
The need to narrow the focus in this debate to anti-Semitism is
twofold. In the first instance it comes in the light of a renewed hostility
against J ews coming from the left, which has been largely ignored by the
politicians and the press. I believe the reasons for these omissions are due
to deeply held myths and beliefs that have their roots in separation and
racism. In the second instance, the focus that has been given to anti-
Semitism looks only at cause and effect and there are much broader
implications for such acts of mass violence. Not only does violence arise
from myths and false images, the myths are instrumentally recreated
through language as a culturally acceptable life-world and put down as a
guide for future generations.
There have been significant moves in exploring capitalism and
counter-capitalism linguistically. Bourdieu has shifted from a purely
empirical approach to sociology to a more conceptual view of language and
action through what he calls ‘symbolic power’, ‘fields’ and ‘Habitus’.
Bourdieu details the many different levels/dialects/degrees of language and
the various ways in which language can express power. Also how these can
serve to undermine linguistic competence and limit gains. Bourdieu’s work
is specifically concerned with the relationship between language and
concrete forms of social life [culture]
. Bourdieu has extended the ideas
of Durkheim, Weber and Levi-Strauss into a contemporary, but somewhat
disguised form of Marxism. This helps us to understand the socially
defined limits of speaking and comprehension from the rationalist
perspective but it does not address the mythical influences that continually
interrupt the flow of emotional intelligence. Nor does it attribute any
specific neurological basis to these flows.
Carl Sagan moves beyond the political analysis to themes of
evolution to suggest that our feelings and emotions connect to our arboreal
origins. He links sex, hierarchy, aggression, religion and ritual to the R
Complex [reptilian] section of the brain in the belief that we return to these
primal instincts in given circumstances
. Sagan’s work is based on the
original discoveries of neuroscientist Paul MacLean. When MacLean
highlighted the importance of the minor brain[s] over the neo-cortex it
created a lot of enthusiasm within the esoteric traditions who for a long
time had held the same idea of three planes of consciousness. The mystic

P Bourdieu, 1987 What Makes a Social Class? In Berkeley J ournal of
Sociology Vol.32.1-17 and 1991 Language andSymbolic Power [Ed.] J B Thompson
[Trans.] G Raymond and M Adamson, Cambridge, Polity Press.

C Sagan 1977 The Dragons of Eden New York, Random House.

Gurdjieff talked about the three brains in humans; one brain for the spirit,
one for the soul and another for the body.
This resonates with Freud’s ideas about the divided conscious and
unconscious and the existence of the life and death instincts. Freud [1929]
believes the struggle between these two instincts creates anxieties and
defences and this in turn leads to the creation of fantasies
. Bakhtin
[1968] extends the ideas of Freud and locates fantasy/narrative in the day
to day language performances. Bakhtin deals with poetic language in the
study of synonym. Bakhtin shows us how poetics deforms and diverts
language and communication. He helps us to understand how the group is
conceived in a fantasy with Being in a separation with the Self and with its
completion enmeshed in a relation with the Other
. The Other in this
discourse are the J ews but there are many Others, the poor, the displaced,
the disabled; the different! However, Bakhtin has not worked directly
beyond the descriptive point to Self-negation as a biological process.
Blanchot relinquished his political analysis for literature having lived
through the climate of Bernanos’s attempt to revive the radical-anti-
Semitism in France. Blanchot [1993, 1995] shifted from his anti-Semitic
past to an interest in the anti-Semite and J ewish relations. Blanchot makes
us think about the spaces between language and their significance in
relation to the construction of myth
. More recently Fredric J ameson has
written about myth in the Antinomies of Utopia [2005/2006.] J ameson is
interested in the way utopia is represented and how it can so easily
transform into a negative construction. J ameson reminds us that in the arts
there is the ‘existence of so many absolutes, on the order of the various
religions’. This ‘becomes in the utopian tradition... positions that claim the
status of the absolute but are willing to descend into the field of struggle of
representability and desire in order to win their case and convert their
. J ameson rightly warns us about the insidious nature of the
aesthetic and mythical but he too gives focus to only the historical/
political/philosophical discourse. The Frankfurt School dealt with this in
issues of false consciousness, but as Lukacs [1968] tells us, with
insufficient fervour

Sigmund Freud 1929 Civilization and its Discontents, Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Bakhtin 1968 Rabelais and His World [Trans.] H Iswolsky,
Cambridge, MIT Press pp 7-8.
M Blanchot 1995 Writing the Disaster [Trans.] Ann Smock. Nebraska, University of
Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London and 1993 The Infinite Conversation. [Trans.] S
Hanson, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota ppxii. 77.
F J ameson 2005/2006 Antinomies of Utopia in Imagining the Future: Utopia and
Dystopias. [Ed.] A Milner, M Ryan and R Savage. Melbourne, Arena J ournal New
Series No 25/26 p16.
G Lukacs 1968 The Meaning of Contemporary Realism[Trans.] J and N
Mander, London Merlin.
Philosophy and Neuroscience.
Marcia Cavell [2006] brings philosophy and neuroscience together
using the Davidsonian perspective on mind and meaning. The philosophy
of language was based upon an analytical tradition and the idea that we can
only understand the nature of Being by understanding the nature of
thought. Also, that we can only understand thought by analysing its
. This idea was challenged by the cognitive sciences that put
thought outside of the spoken language. Hence, language becomes a
peripheral activity in social action
. Davidson brings together the
formalist and utilitarian schools, whereby speakers and their interpreters
share correspondences, the same or similar circumstances, sometimes
called simulation. Davidson suggests a kind of logical truth [common
meaning.] Speakers may not always correspond, there are bound to be
differences, which can only be rectified by more verbal communication –
talk. This is the aim of the [democratic] social movement [group
Cavell extends these ideas and offers the most recent research on
neuroscience. She supports Freud’s views that trauma effects unconscious
memory and that memories go back to early childhood, also that these
experiences impact on the Lifeworld. Cavell provides a discussion on the
role of anxiety and repression. She takes Freud’s [1926] Inhibitions,
Symptomsand Anxiety and re-organizes it into a systematic capacity for
symbolic thinking. She then links it to defence responses that constrain our
desires and our view of reality, which in turn determines our character.
Cavell argues that the ability to tolerate and work through anxieties is the
way of overcoming them. Cavell takes the reader through the processes of
remembering and analysing, which is useful for locating the role of myth in
the collective memories. Cavell focuses on four key aspects:
1. The prevalence of unconscious mental functioning
2. The implications of different forms of memory
3. The importance of anxiety and defence
4. And the way the past constantly informs the present

Cavell [in the Davidsonian tradition] rightly argues that cognitive
science does not deal well with the phenomenal. Science is still trying to
get from the phenomenal to the conscious to answer the questions of what
is cognitive closure. There are subtle but vital differences between ‘false
consciousness’ and ‘cognitive closure’. False consciousness implies the
falsification of information, or information that is processed to be

M Dummett 1993 Origins of Analytical Philosophy, London, Duckworth
P Churchland 1989 A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the
Structure of Science, Cambridge MA, MIT Press p16.
Cavell M 2006Becoming a Subject: Reflections in Philosophy and
Psychoanalysis Oxford, Oxford University Press pp2, 3, 38,131.
misleading. Cognition specifically identifies the way information is
‘neurally’ coded by the sensory organs and it is associated with memories
and analogies
. This means cognition has a close relationship to learned
behaviour and myth.
Georges Bataille [1987] takes a philosophical/cognitive view of the
mental processes. He is influenced by Blanchot and Sade and examines the
‘sacramental’ character of eroticism linking sacrifice with religion as a
means of overcoming transgressions. Bataille’s works have been called
‘evil’ and his novels are certainly in the Sade genre. However, Bataille’s
fascination with violence and obscenity, like Sade’s causes us to confront it
and perhaps helps us to understand why it exists. Debate on this topic often
leads to demands for censorship. I see little point in closing one’s eyes to
cruelty and violence; all too many have suffered in silence. Bataille
displays openness in his work and he offers the opportunity to bring
science and philosophy together, something Durkheim, Weber, Habermas,
Giddens and many other renowned theorists have likewise attempted to do
in their social analysis
Myths and Science: An Uneasy Relationship.
Traditionally, myth and science do not sit well together even though
myth is an important component in scientific discovery and text. Generally
speaking, we regard myths as lies and fantasy or stories that are detached
from the day-to-day existence. Hence, myth has remained separate from
scientific legitimacy leaving open only the options of psychoanalysis or
literature. A number of disciplines have attempted to communicate the
heroic themes, philology, art and philosophy but largely the trend has been
to incorporate the theories of myth and heroism into the theory of literature.
It appears within the works of prominent classical mythological scholars
such as William Robertson Smith [1889]; J ames Frazer [1890]; J ane
Harrison [1912]; Gilbert Murray [1912]; Bronislaw Malinowski [1926];
F.M. Cornford [1941]; Mircea Eliade [1963]; Robert Darnton [1984-2005]
and others. However, we do not have to look far to see that myth is often
held to be more significant than claims of truth. Witness the power of the
Immaculate Conception, the popularity of Star Wars and the controversy
over the [2006] screening of the blockbuster movie TheDa Vinci Code,
which challenges the authenticity of the Christian New Testament and
heralds a distinct ideological shift towards metaphysics
Myth is a particular definition of reality. Humans have always
created myths because there are many experiences and ideas that cannot be
explained rationally. Myth has served as the template for appropriate

R Gregory 1987 [Ed.] The Oxford Companion to the Mind, Oxford,
Oxford University Press. p149.
See G Bataille 1987 EroticismNew York, Marion Boyars.
D Brown D 2004The Da Vinci Code New York and London, Corgi Books. When this
book was made into a film the Catholic church went into damage control Churches all
over Australia were protesting outside cinemas.
thought and action when no other sources have been available. Yet, we
hold myth at a distance not as part of our every-day world. Mythic
structure underlines our worldview connecting the symbolic, mythic stories
to life experience. It is this connection that gives impetus to the creation of
new ideas, great works of art, the vast canons of literature as well as new
and more sophisticated mythologies. The modern myth has been
rationalized with new technologies and proliferates through the
entertainment and media industries. Here we take myth to be natural and
inevitable. The boundaries between myth and the real have become
blurred. What the old and the new myths have in common is their ability to
bewitch and beguile individuals. The old myths link into the new modern
fantasies like concrete pillars designed to hold up a multi-story building.
When one pillar shifts the building is likely to subside. Remove all the
pillars and the building collapses and becomes a pile of rubble [chaos.]
The more we use the new myths of modern technology, the more we
become separated from the ancient myths of the natural environment. Over
time we lose touch with the very foundations of our existence. Yet, the
human psyche cannot completely abandon nature so it must straddle the
two worlds and/or create a simulated [mythical] form of the natural
environment. Science invents nature just as the media invents new and
more challenging characterizations for its mythologies, two sides of the
same coin.
Metamorphoses and Freedom.
The yearning for the new depletes our ability to look back and give
focus to the primal/sacred world which is the unconscious. In
physiological terms the conscious mind cannot know the unconscious. The
story is told first in the goddess Inanna and then in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
In Ovid, Orpheus is the magical musician who could make the animals
dance but Orpheus’s wife Eurydice is bitten by a serpent and subsequently
dies. Orpheus goes to the underworld and seduces the goddesses with his
music convincing them to allow Eurydice back into the world again. They
agree but she must walk behind him and he must never look back. Orpheus
in his anxiety breaks his promise and looks back so loses Eurydice again.
The story comes as a warning not to go searching for the ghosts that reside
in the depths of memory. Orpheus unable to find new love took only
young boys; hence he interrupted the flow of procreation.
Ovid uses allegory to describe the mind/body split and its
consequences in madness and perceived deviance. Ovid tells how during
the Bacchic orgies the Maenads grew angry with Orpheus and tore him to
pieces. Orpheus’s head and lyre were still singing as they floated along the
Mediterranean to Lesbos where he was buried by the Muses. In 1959
Marcel Camus used the myth for his Brazilian set film Black Orpheus,
which showcased the samba. The samba had been banned because the
dance was an expression of the black slave culture and its dangerous
voodoo practices. Samba means trance [possession.] Black Orpheus
functions as a story within a story; it represents the conscious and another
level of consciousness. It forms part of the erotic Rio Festival and
indicates how an African-Latin culture is present in a pagan-Christian
nomenclature. In the film death is a stalker who threatens Eurydice
tempting her with the ultimate freedom that is cognitive closure.
Freedom, like language was presented in philosophy as part of the
system of pure reason. For Kant freedom was not a question but a
. The new myths have neutralized the archetypal influences and
convinced us that what we have is real freedom but something else is going
on, there is a slippage, a frustration, a mind determined to wander.
Myth is perceived as the divine but myth is not about a theology, it is
about daily human experience, the waking/sleeping/dreaming/ drug
induced states and bodily impairment. Myth speaks of gods and goddess
[healers] because these have been understood as the expressions of life
itself, they are the sky, sea, trees, wind, lovers and monsters, the movement
of consciousness and the internal voices of nature, once honoured. Before
monotheism these life forms were not separate from humans. Rationalism
has not eliminated myth it has merely transformed it, made it obscure and
incomprehensible. Rationalism places the myths into the category of
abstraction. The romantic abstract then becomes a form of conservative
elitism, and/or a social and political idealism. Myths are not forms of
idealism but rather they are transpersonal psychologies [spiritualities] that
have evolutionary and biological links.
Modern Mythological Thinking.
Northop Frye believes that ‘mythological thinking cannot be
superseded, because it forms the framework and context for all
. Myth can open up culture to new ideas, not a utopian
worldview but a self-defined personal space of expression and creativity.
Myth is the river that takes the unconscious material into the conscious
worldview. One significant avenue of myth exploration has been in film.
Geoffrey Hill [1992] in his work Illuminating Shadows describes how the
cinema has replaced the religious place of worship. He says the ‘religious
fervour’ of cinema ‘is not much different from that of religious zealots’
Myth as a religious cultural expression taps into the most basic of human
emotions. Myth defines who we are, what we do and it regulates our daily
rituals and behaviours. Thus, myth sets the mood for absolute devotion to
systems that are often little understood and sometimes not even cared for.

I Kant,1972 Traditionis traditio Paris, Gillimard p175.

N Frye 1951,1998 The Archetypes of Literature in Kenyon Review 13
pp92-110 and in The Myth and Ritual Theory: An Anthology R A Segal [Ed.] Oxford,
Blackwell p218.

G Hill, 1992: Hill G 1992Illuminating Shadows, Boston, Shambhala
Linda Hutcheon [1984] calls this the ‘metafictional paradox’
. By
exploring the Victorian parody Hutcheon reveals that this kind of
‘existentialism’ when combined with evolutionary themes leads to ‘fiction-
making as a potential mode of control’. These phenomena are not separate
from biology. The brain reads emotions.
We must inevitably connect myth to religion. In religious mythologies
we see the two sides of indoctrinating dogma, the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’.
The religious canons have historical and mythical contexts. Allah told
Mohammed to go and conquer the world, so many of the verses are given
to encourage people to fight the jihad
. Those who do not participate in the
jihad are threatened with ‘hell fire’. This is emotionally very damaging.
Fear is a primary drive that leads to fantasy and violence and/or the
struggle for the lost paradise. Every traditional culture has its lost paradise,
its heroes and its mythical crusades. Humans have built temples, ladders,
towers, poles, pyramids, they have shifted mountains, planted trees and
altered consciousness in order to reach the land of the gods and copy their
ideas and secrets. Science is still trying to achieve this by scanning the
human brain for evolutionary maps.
Background to the J ewish War [2006].
At the time of writing Israel had just launched a full-scale war against
Lebanon and the stronghold of the terrorist organization Hezbollah. The
Islamic Hezbollah fired rockets across the Israeli border killing three
soldiers and kidnapping two others. This was nothing new but Hezbollah
pushed a little too hard, tipped the balance and Israel retaliated with
massive damage to Lebanon. The world sided with a visible underdog and
thoroughly condemned the State of Israel. The Israeli army dropped leaflets
in Lebanon warning people to leave the districts that were to be bombed
while Hezbollah used its own people as human shields, women, children,
the old, the sick and the disabled. The moral justification for this action
comes from myths about sacrifice and martyrdom. During the media
coverage of the war it became obvious that the Western populations knew
little about the practices of Islam or the length of the struggle between
Islam and the J ews. In the West Islam is thought of as a peace-loving
religion like other religions, but a mosque is not like a church or a
synagogue. During the Prophet Mohammed’s time the mosque was not just
a place of worship, it was also a place to store weapons and plan for wars.
Mosques are still used as centres of war. The mosque is the equivalent to
the Pentagon or the White House and Mohammed made this quite clear to
his followers
. Long before the world became aware of Hezbollah Islam

Linda Hutcheon 1984 Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox. New York,
Methuen pp57-70.
Surah 4:95 and in M Gabriel M 2002Islamand Terrorism: What the Quran Really
Teaches About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of Islamic J ihad. New York,
Charisma House, Ch.14. 9-11.

M Gabriel M 2002 Islamand Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches About
Christianity, Violence and the Goals of Islamic J ihad. New York, Charisma House, p98.
had conducted a strategic and tactical campaign against the J ews and their
supporters. In retaliation Israel seized more and more land pushing the
Arabs into walled enclaves in an attempt to protect the borders. J ewish
activism on the left had been the mainstay of the movement that called into
question the revival of imperialist violence, it has a long history. Since the
time of the Middle East crisis the left have clearly demonstrated such a
strong pro-Palestinian [pro-Islamic] stance that it caused many J ews to
rethink their progressive affiliations. Added to this letters to the Israeli
newspaper Ha’aretz expressed the fear that Israel has no future. Old
enemies surround Israel. The Israeli birth rate is low compared to a high
Islamic birth rate. Further, the Israeli government has been facing an
ongoing ethical crisis.
The nation of Israel is a democracy and like any Western democracy it
has more than one political party. The election of Ariel Sharon produced a
right wing Zionist government but this government does not operate
without opposition. Unfortunately, Sharon’s government put aside the Oslo
Peace Process and the left reacted. The rest of the world did not account for
any J ewish dissent it supposed that all J ews were like-minded and so
labelled them ‘fascists’. This is a misunderstanding of enormous
proportions. It is hurtful to J ewish people in general, but especially hurtful
to those who have experienced fascism. It is hurtful to those J ewish people
who have devoted their time and often their lives to human rights. Like
Americans protesting the Vietnam War or the British protesting the
Falklands, leftist J ews protested the Sharon government’s actions and the
protesters in turn were labelled ‘anti-Semitic’. This should have broken the
worldwide and spellbinding myth of J ewish unity but in fact it embellished
it. Once again, the J ews are seen as the source of the world’s evil. The
revenge against J ews is spreading worldwide a situation that is continually
exacerbated with wars in the Middle East and concomitant global violence.
The Rise of the New Anti-Semitism.
In 2005 it became abundantly obvious that across the globe anti-
Semitism has been on the rise. The Montreal National Post [19
2005] reported the large numbers of French J ews leaving the country
because of safety issues. It is the greatest demographic change in decades.
This is only a small part of the anti-Semitic problem. The Lycee Diane
Benvenuti, a private J ewish secondary school in Paris is fitted with
bulletproof windows because of the ongoing threat from Islamic
extremists. There is no sign outside the school to indicate that it is J ewish.
Students are not allowed to wear their Stars of David anywhere but inside
the school. Students are also discouraged from wearing any fashionable
clothing that might indicate that they are J ewish. The school principle is the
father of two young children who knows the danger’s coming from
terrorists because his own children’s school bus was burned. There are
frightening echoes here of pre-War Germany. In the last five years French
J ewish immigration to Israel has more than doubled. The United States has

also received a large number of J ews. Since 2001 French J ewish
immigration to Montreal has increased more than 700%. The rise of Al-
Aqsa Intifada in 2000 sparked thousands of anti-J ewish attacks in France
mostly against individuals, businesses, property, places of study and
recreation as well as places of burial. France has the highest proportion of
J ews and Muslims in Europe. One would think they have a shared interest
in eliminating racism as both have suffered serious abuses in the past. Yet,
the hatred between these two groups has been exacerbated with the
outpouring anti-J ewish propaganda coming from the Arab world. In France
[and elsewhere] a poor disenfranchised Muslim youth have created a sub-
culture. After decades of poverty, marginalization and abuse they are now
seeking their revenge by targeting the J ews. Further, it is written in the
Koran that they should do so. In Paris in 2002 the statue of Alfred
Dreyfuss was painted with the words ‘Dirty J ew’. There are other familiar
slogans ‘J ews Get Out’ and more. In 2002 J ean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme
Front National Party came second in the election. The same year hundreds
of anti-Semitic crimes were recorded The situation exacerbated with the
2006 Middle East war. Even in far flung Australia there have been attacks
against J ews. They coincide with racial attacks against other groups,
largely of Asian or Middle Eastern origin. Anti-Israeli violence proliferates
on campuses in America and there have been calls for the US, Britain and
Australia to boycott Israeli academics
In December 2006 the Iranian Government announced plans for a
Revisionist’s Holocaust Conference. The Iranian President Mahamoud
Ahmadinejad called the massacre of six million J ews in the Nazi Holocaust
a ‘myth’ and demanded that Israel to be wiped off the map
. In 2007
warnings came from many quarters with regard to the rise of Islam. Most
warnings were ignored or deemed racist. This is not a problem of racism
but one of myth, delusion, religious fantasy and potential genocide.
Myths/Memory and Terror/Terrorism.
The war against Lebanon strained the Israeli economy, undermined
the role of the army as a deterrent, exacerbated the hatred towards Israelis
and never achieved its aims. In fact Hezbollah had taunted Israel with its
cross border raids for a long time so why did Israel succumb to these
taunts? Arthur Nelson [2006] points to an allegory, which he calls ‘the
clenched fist of defiance’. The Defence Minister Amir Peretz had
responded to the seizure of Israeli soldiers by addressing a press conference
with the words:
‘I will not permit the blood of our citizens to be shed...Our
hand is open for peace, but closed into a fist in the face of

M Silcoff: 2005. Barricaded in Paris in Montreal National Post
eed3251d0b2e Accessed 2
October 2006. See also Pamela Bone Anti-Semitism: The
Old Hatred Returns. The Age Online J uly 31
2004. Accessed J une 14th 2008.

CNN 2006 www.edition.cnn.com.2006/WORLD/meast/01/15/iran.holocaust
Accessed 16
December, 2006.
Nelson tells us the allegory of the clenched fist goes back to a song
the J ewish Partisans sang as they marched through the forest to Warsaw:
We strike like the wolf strikes
We come like the wind and are gone
And the fascists feel our clenched fist
Our clenched fist, our clenched fist
This gives some indication of the power of myth, emotion and
memory. Without doubt the utopian dream of Israel has become a global
nightmare. Yet, Israel should not carry the blame for anti-Semitism and/or
global terrorism. Even if Israel had not been brought into existence the
world would still be threatened by terrorism. In this work I attempt to
explain this terrorism in the assertion of an archetypal terror and its residue
in the composition of the brain’s neurotransmission system. Mythology
tells the evolutionary story. The primal terror is the void between the Self
and the possible Other. We have denied this ‘Other’ allowing it to taunt
and tease us into the doxa, or the moment of fantasy that is cognitive
closure. It is the story of Echo and Narcissus. Narcissus is so renowned for
his beauty that he shuns the beauty in Echo. Instead, Narcissus wastes
away while admiring his reflection in a pond because he is unable to bond
emotionally. In the real, Self-negation in exchange for a fantasy becomes
mirrored in the annihilation of the Other; not just a crime but a global
Order of the Work.
This is a big topic and it is impossible to do justice to the number of
issues mythology and consciousness raise. Myth is a slippery phenomenon,
sometimes hard to locate and certainly hard to categorize and pin down to
any formal methodology and epistemology. I have therefore taken an
eclectic approach. This work tells two stories that run together
simultaneously. The first is the development of a rational language and
active democracy with the prospect of a better world. In the second story a
better world [utopia] is conceived in a state of altered consciousness where
there is no speech, no theory, only cognitive closure. Because this story is a
fantasy it creates fears and anxieties that cause irreparable harm. One
aspect of the harm caused is anti-Semitism and its development into global
In the modern setting religious beliefs and values depend on some
form of social organization that give cause for their existence. We cannot
condemn the religion without looking closely at the society in which it is
conceived. In the West the religious ministry was considered a profession.
The role of religious ministry was the mark of a good and moral citizen. In
the East the religious ministry is more akin to a cause; a struggle; a war
against oppression. Each is a form of escapism but this does not mean an

A Nelson www.tikkun.Org. Accessed 25
September 2006.
instant cure for religion can be duly manifest. We, in the West, have
misunderstood the nature of the religious struggle and the fact that all
religious and political causes in all quarters of the world depend on
narrative tales of heroes and warriors. Without these myths humanity may
not have survived to tell the tale.
I do not purport to be an expert on the evolutionary processes nor do I
hold all the answers to the world’s religious conflicts. All I offer is another
way of looking at things. I therefore wish to engage my readers in what I
hope will be a thought provoking and challenging work on the unavoidable
existence of religion and the unnecessary spin-offs in terrorism, anti-
Semitism and primal violence.
Chapt er One
Framing Knowledge and the New Anti-
‘Tis not how long we have to live
But how much pleasure is to come.
That real Wisdom would enquire;
Could Oracles proclaim our doom’
I ntroduction:
How have the old myths become the new anti-Semitism?

Democracy, egalitarianism and justice are predicated on rational
communication [language.] The study of language is embedded in the
philosophy of consciousness, but this area of philosophy is in dispute.
There are tensions between the natural and social worlds
. Some theorists
believe that science will never resolve the problems of consciousness.
Those who pursue the metaphysical realms point to consciousness as part
of a natural phenomena asserting that consciousness is still a prima facie
unknown and without knowledge we should not make explicit judgments.
Rather, we should leave these questions open
. Science disagrees. Hence,
the philosophy of consciousness is relegated to the realms of ‘dogma’ with
no consideration that there might be some form of cognitive closure.
Drawing on J ames J oyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, McGinn
quotes, ‘rats minds do not understand trigonometry, likewise; snails do not
understand quantum physics and cats do not understand market economics.
Why should humans be spared this predicament?’
J urgen Habermas [1987] draws attention to the divisions in language
theories and those on social behaviour. As Habermas tells us, both

J . Thelwall 1764-1834 Anacreontic in The New Oxford Book of Romantic
Period Verse. J erome J McGann [Ed.] Oxford, NY Oxford University Press p115.
J B Thompson 1981 Critical Hermeneutics: A Study in the Thoughts of
Paul Ricoeur and J urgen Habermas. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, p1.
B McGinn 1989-2004. Can We Solve the Mind Body Problem? In Mind 98 349-366.
In U Kriegel 2006 www.ephilosopher.com Accessed 2
March 2006.
renounced the phenomenology of consciousness in favour of the scientific
rational model
. This invites the question: ‘Can active, speaking agents be
fully understood within the parameters of natural science?’
The first ideal
speech was devised by Thomas Reid. Descartes, Wittgenstein and many
others connected knowledge to self-knowledge but failed to account for the
emotions. Spinoza in his Ethics attempted to alert us to the importance of
things hidden especially in the nature of the emotions, as did Nietzsche in
The Gay Science; all these writers treated the issues differently. Aristotle
gave the emotions particular features. Aristotle’s work on Ethics raised the
first questions about the role of emotions in intentionality
. As Paul
Griffiths [1997] suggests, we do not know how to sort emotions in relation
to the subjective acts. Nor do we have a complete picture of how the
emotions connect to memories
. What we do see are the recurring patterns
in myths and narratives that have culminated in an extraordinary history of
bizarre acts and long term hatreds, many of which appear to be
This first chapter examines the construction of language theory and
ideal speech in the works of Reid, Nagel and Elias and some of their
contemporaries. It then moves to the way language is used as narrative and
myth and shows how the old myths are being transformed and used in the
new anti-Semitism. Fleischacker [2006] believes it is a kind of story telling
that helps to shape a culture of anti-Semitism
. I argue that anti-Semitism
is involved in more than mere language and story telling, it is governed by
the emotions and a shifting consciousness and/or cognitive closure. I show
that this has a biological basis. The unconscious memories of past [primal]
events trigger the emotions, which in turn cuts off rational thoughts and
results in non-rational acts. This leads to behaviour that is grounded, not in
self-knowledge but cognitive closure. I give examples of the myths that
drive the hostile acts of anti-Semitism. I also show how cognitive closure
pervades the modern cultural forms to make violence and anti-Semitism
acceptable within society.

J Habermas 1987Theory of Communicative Action Vol 2 [Trans.]
McCarthy, Boston MA., Beacon Press, Vol 2 p3.
This question was first reflected in the works of Nagel; Ryle; Russell and Wittgenstein
and later in Wittgenstein; Austin; Peters; Winch and Louch 1963 whereby ideas shifted
from positivism to an ordinary language theory. See Thompson, 1981 Critical
Hermeneutics: A Study in the Thoughts of Paul Ricoeur and J urgen Habermas.
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp1-9, Also Aristotle in Akrasia VII, 1-10.
Paul Griffiths 1997 What Emotions Really Are: The Problemof Psychological
Categories. Chicago, University of Chicago Press p 245.
S Fleischacker 2006 According to Samuel Fleischacker in engageonline
issue 1 www.engageonline.org Accessed 20
December, 2006.
Reid and Ordinary Speech.
Ordinary language philosophy or ‘ideal speech’ goes back to Thomas
Reid, the origins of the ‘speech-act’ and the conflicts surrounding the
Scottish Enlightenment
. Thomas Reid [1710-1796] was the first
philosopher to challenge the Aristotelian view. In Aristotle the action-
language phenomena is understated
‘Every sentence is significant [...] but not every sentence is a
statement making sense, but only those in which there is truth
or falsity. There is no truth or falsity in all sentences: a prayer
is a sentence but it is neither true nor false
Aristotle differentiates between sentences that make valid statements
and the other, non-verifiable statements, which are relegated to rhetoric or
Reid was one of the founders of the Scottish ‘common sense’ school
along with J ames Beatie, George Campbell and Dugald Stewart. The
school was the forerunner to the Scottish Enlightenment. Reid was best
known for his Epistemology of Sensation. Reid believed that sensations
served to make us directly aware of real objects; he also believed free will
was with the agent and common sense was buried in the structure of
ordinary language. In this way Reid offers the first example of a
philosophy of ordinary speech
. Reid considered language in relation to
social acts. Reid noticed that the word ‘promise’ is implicated in certain
kinds of social responses. To promise something to someone generates an

T Reid 1983 Inquiry and Essays, London and New York, Hacket Publishing Company.
Also N Wolterstorff 2004; Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology [Modern
European Philosophy] Cambridge, Cambridge University Press and J J Haldane 2003.
[Ed.] The Philosophy of Thomas Reid, London, Blackwell.
B Smith 1988 Towards A History of Speech Act Theory in Karl Buhler’s Theory of
Language: Proceedings, Viennese Heritage Vol. 2 [Ed.] A Eschbach. New York, J ohn
Benjamin’s Publishing Co,
In E M Edgehill 1926 Aristotle: Categories Oxford, Oxford University Press 17, 1-5
and B Smith 1990 Towards a History of Speech Act Theory in Burkhardt A [Ed.] Speech
Acts: Meanings and Intentions. Critical Approaches to the Philosophy of J ohn Searle.
Berlin/New York deGruyter pp29-61.
A D Woozley 1941/1969 Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. New York
Macmillan and Cambridge MIT Press, also D Brookes, 2002 [Ed.] Essays on the
Intellectual Powers of Man. University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press pp 26-
13 D Brookes, 2002 [Ed.] Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. University Park,
Pennsylvania State University Press pp 26-27. Also B Smith 1988 Towards A History of
Speech Act Theory in Karl Buhler’s Theory of Language: Proceedings, Viennese Heritage
Vol. 2 [Ed.] A Eschbach. New York, J ohn Benjamin’s Publishing Co., and J J Haldane
2003. Haldane 2003 [Ed.] The Philosophy of Thomas Reid, London, Blackwell.
expectation, it is both action and interaction. Reid examined a number of
different social acts that were initiated through single words. These
examples included ‘warning’, ‘giving’, ‘forgiving’ and so on. Reid called
these terms ‘social operations’. Because social acts have a unique
directness toward another person, they can be used to create particular
responses and therefore they can create social change. In this notion Reid
conceives the beginning of a civil society. Reid paved the way for a
modern theory of language but his work was never developed and was lost
to philosophy
Nagel drew his ideas from Freud’s [1929] investigations into ego-
psychology, particularly para-praxis [slips of the tongue.] For Nagel
language was linked to the unconscious and repressed anxieties. Freud
developed his theory and practice of psychoanalysis on object relations
borrowing from Le Bon’s [1903] studies of the mind. In the work of Marx
language is connected to historical materialism and the development of
. This was articulated in Stalin’s linguistics and the
Second International. Stalin is remembered more for his atrocities than his
studies on language but we should not forget that they go hand in hand. In
History and Class-Consciousness Lukacs [1971] opposed the mechanistic
materialism of the Second International through the articulation of
Hegelian Marxism. Lukacs put culture as a primary factor in the concept of
totality believing it had been insufficiently dealt with by the Frankfurt
School and the French Existentialists
. This view was further developed
by Maurice Merleau-Ponty [1973] and by Perry Anderson’s critique of
Western Marxism and his search for a constitutive bourgeois democracy
Norbert Elias [1998] took Freud’s hypothesis and subjected it to
historical research, thus inspiring Anthony Giddens and his
. While Perry Anderson [1974] saw Marxism as a total
failure Merleau-Ponty and others sought to bridge the gap between
historical materialism and subjectivity with explanations of ideology.
Althusser [1969] and Gramsci [1971] dealt with ideology in their extended
theories on Marxism. Althusser cites the political system and social
institutions - the superstructures - or the ‘ideological state apparatus’ as
sources of power and discursive influence. Althusser [1977] maintains that
power is held in the media and the educational institutions. These

K Marx 1887/1974 in Capital: A Critical analysis of Capitalist Production Translated
from the Third German Edition by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling and Edited by
Frederick Engels [2 vols.] Moscow Progress Publishers, Vol [1] pp174-75.
G Snedeker 2004 The Politics of Critical Theory, Maryland, University
Press of America Inc., p16.

Merleau-Ponty 1973Adventures of the Dialectic Evanston Illinois,
Northwestern University Press and Perry Anderson 1974 Lineages of the Absolutist State,
London, New Left Books p502.
Norbert Elias 1998 wrote a work calledOn Civilization, Power and Knowledge [Eds.] S
Mennell and J Gouldsbloom. Chicago, Chicago University Press. He was the teacher of
Anthony Giddens the British sociologist and the advisor of British Prime Minister Tony
Blair. Giddens made the Third Way, a beyond left and right politics popular.
institutions set the norms and put a closure on other forms of information
and understanding. This enables the powerful groups to control through
consent rather than through force or coercion
. Gramsci [1971] points to
the complexity of the power relations noting that we should not restrict the
site of political struggle to class, work and/or economic determinism, there
are many social forces that lead to oppression
. Robert Darnton shifted
from a formal ideology theory to a literary analysis. A leading scholar of
early literature Darnton points to the ‘epistemological strategy’ of keeping
the populations passive. When the encyclopaedists realized that knowledge
was power they mapped the world of knowledge with the aim of
conquering it. Darnton demonstrates how rules and signifiers flow through
culture from one generation to another. Darnton draws on some of the
more obscure literature for his studies that link language and memory with
social acts. These works constitute part of the ‘literary turn’ and the move
away from traditional Marxist ideology to a focus on the dissemination of
power through language, the text and the emotions
In The Great Cat Massacre Darnton shows how myths and fairytales
are really the models for social behaviour. Little Red Riding Hood, for
example comes as a warning to little girls not to associate with wolves.
It gives credence to the sexual mores of the time. Darnton shows us how
we can understand the ‘peasants’ and ‘illiterate masses’ through their
myths and tales because these are the assemblages of language used by
these groups. The oral literature was passed on from bard to bard. Singers
used the news of the day to entertain people but no two songs were the
same. Darnton shows how every performance is unique and how the
stories changed over time, how they were adapted to the individual beliefs
of the performer and also how they had to adapt to the changing
landscapes. Darnton tells us that ‘Prince Charming, who is already
married, ravishes the Princess, and she bears him several children without
waking up….’ It is an erotic dream. ‘Bluebeard’ is really the wife who
opens the door forbidden by her husband. She enters and finds the corpses
of previous wives. The husband finds out and attempts to kill her. She is
saved by her brothers when she puts on her wedding dress. The
transmission of cultures impact on the stories but the overriding power of
the stories to constrain behaviour remains the same. These constraints
become deeply buried in the human psyche to the point where we can say
they form an innate part of the human biology.

L Althusser 1977 Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. London, New Left Books.
A Gramsci 1971 Selections fromthe Prison Notebooks Q Hoare and
G Nowell-Smith [Eds/Trans.] London, Lawrence and Wishart.
Robert Darnton 1984 Philosophers trim the tree of knowledge: epistemological
strategy of the Encyclopdie in R Darnton The Great Cat Massacre New York, Basic
Books, pp 22, 191-213 and 1985 The Great Cat Massacre, New York Vintage.
See also P Macherey 1978 A Theory of Literary Production [Trans.] G Wall. London
Routledge p94 and R Porter and M Mulvey Roberts [1991] Pleasure in the Eighteenth
Century. New York, New York University Press.
Semitic Elitism and Ritual Killing.
The contribution J ewish people have made to society is remarkable, in
music, medicine, science, literature, art, finance and the rest. Yet, there is a
long-standing narrative that says J ews have no right to their homeland and
even no right to existence. The story goes like this: Two groups stem from
Abraham the J ews and the Arabs. While all J ews are Israelites not all
Israelites are J ews. After King Solomon’s time the twelve tribes of Israel
split. The split is blamed on Solomon’s idolatry that was carried on by the
northern tribes. The Assyrians conquered the northern tribes because they
failed to obey God. The southern people of J udah were also conquered by
the Babylonians some 135 years later but they returned after the
Babylonians were defeated by the Persians. It is this group who are today
called the J ews. However, the return of the J ews in the time of Nehemiah,
or at the founding of the modern state of Israel [1948] was not the
fulfillment of the prophecies, which demand the re-establishment of all of
Israel and a much larger region
. J esus calls the returned J ews ‘a
Synagogue of Satan’ and a synagogue that is not J ewish
. It is the
‘Synagogue of Satan’ who rejected J esus as the messiah
. The J ews
therefore [the ‘Synagogue of Satan’] are still awaiting the Kingdom of
Israel to be restored when the messiah appears. The belief is that after this
happens the J ews will lay claim to all the territories that make up the Holy
Land. This story is reiterated on the website of the organization called the
‘Watch unto Prayer’. The Internet website is just one of many renowned
for vitriolic attacks on Israel and the J ewish people.
The ‘Watch unto Prayer’ Internet website claims the J ews have been
‘deceived by the Kabbalists’ and they give the example of the meaning of
the six pointed star; the Star of David, which, they say ‘is really an
occultist symbol for evil’. We are told ‘the six pointed star is a hexagram
– a curse mark – no matter what name it has…When the occultist
practitioner puts a curse on someone he uses a hexagram’.
‘It is our hope that during the seven years of the Great
Tribulations, the Lord will use this report to show the
J ewish people that the six pointed star is the mark of
the beast, and that, with this understanding they will
reject the mark when it comes

This website fails to inform its readers that almost every ancient
symbol has its roots in occultism. The six pointed star has many meanings,
one interpretation suggests the two inter-joining triangles represent male
and female and/or a unity of opposites; this is similar to the Chinese Yin

11 Kings 16:5-6.
Romans 2-29
Rev. 2 9-20.
J Moser posted 8
Feb, 2008. Watch Unto Prayer Heart Cry Missionary Society
Southern Baptist Convention www.watch.pair.com Accessed 16
August, 2006 and http://www.watch.pair.com/death-pheonix.html Accessed 20th April
and Yang. Undoubtedly, the six pointed star [like the five pointed star]
goes back to the pre-monotheist matriarchal lines, which stand in direct
opposition to patriarchal monotheism. The J ews have never denied the
importance of the female line, nor have they treated women as evil as was
the case in 1234 CE when the Inquisition of the Holy Roman Catholic
Church burnt its first witch. The entire ‘Watch unto Prayer’ website is
dedicated to getting people to believe that Satan is the designated doer of
all evil and someone who has hatched a plot to counterfeit the Second
Coming of J esus. The followers of the ‘Watch unto Prayer’ website believe
it is the J ews who are behind this plot. They are not alone in this belief.
The J ehovah’s Witnesses share this view as do a number of other Christian
and Islamic groups. Today, the Star of David is best known for its national
status on the flag of the State of Israel. In this respect both symbol and
nation can be said to be misunderstood and the cause of much [primal]
Monotheists are opposed to any form of pagan spiritualism but they
are also against other forms of monotheism. The J ehovah’s Witnesses for
example tell us that any belief that is not akin to their own is the work of
‘wicked spirits’:
‘J ehovah God made a multitude of spirit creatures long
before he created humans [J ob 38:4,7,]… one of these
angels developed a desire to have humans worship
him instead of worshiping J ehovah…this rebellious
spirit creature became known as Satan’
Satan is also called Lucifer the light giver, after the moon. The moon is
the ancient symbol of the nature goddess. All life depends on the cycle of
the moon. Paganism is, in fact just another word for nature. Originally, all
religious beliefs were based on nature. Monotheism then, was not just the
usurping of a religion but the desired domination of nature, which explains
why science and religion have never truly been at odds with one another.
They have merely engaged in internal power struggles.
As the Christian theory goes, God had a rival in heaven who was called
Satan [or Lucifer] but God did not want to destroy Satan because then
people might worship God in fear; instead he threw Satan and his followers
out of the heaven to do ‘evil’ elsewhere. Over time these outcasts have
been designated as the J ews, the blacks, the gypsies, spiritualists; the
sorcerers, homosexuals, women and others; anyone, in fact, who disagrees
with the monotheist religious beliefs. To this end, some monotheists see
themselves as pure while everyone else is contaminated by Satan and evil.
This evil is said to be the work of evil spirits or spiritism [spiritualism.]
Take this example from the teaching of the J ehovah’s Witnesses book titled
Knowledge Leads to Everlasting Life [1995]:
‘spiritism attracts people around the world. Those
living in jungle villages go to medicine men, and city
office workers consult astrologers. Spiritism

The J ehovah’s Witness 1995 Knowledge Leads to Everlasting Life p108.
flourishes even in so called Christian lands. Research
indicates that even in the United States alone, some
30 magazines, with a combined circulation with over
10,000,000 are devoted to various forms of spiritism.
Brazilians spend over 500 million dollars on spiritistic
items each year. Yet, 80 percent of those frequenting
spiritist centres of worship in that country are baptized
Catholics who also attend Mass
Spiritualism does attract all kinds of people because the human species
[and other animals] enjoy spirit-like/transcendental components, which are
now scientifically shown to be linked to the brain’s chemistry. What many
religions advocate is a system of ephemeral rules that benefit their own
self-interests. Take the case of Zionism: One of the accusations targeted at
J ews is that they are all Zionists. We hear very little about the Christian
Zionists even though they have become very influential in American
politics and the Evangelical religions. It is the Christian Zionists that push
the government of the United States to give its support to the State of
Israel, not because they like J ews but because they believe it to be a way
for them to usurp J ewish rule in Israel. In effect, the Christian Zionists use
the New Testament to interpret the end of history citing Israel as both the
cause and centre of the post-historical events. These events include the
battle of Armageddon and the return of the Christian saviour J esus Christ.
What is not included in this plan is a place for J ews. Any J ews who refuse
to convert to Christianity are likely to be exterminated [ethnically
cleansed.] What the New Testament really preaches is today called
genocide. This type of ‘convert or perish’ discourse is not new to history.
Indeed, it sits at the heart of the J ewish experience and ongoing struggle for
The J ews and the State of Israel have many enemies far more
prominent and more vocal are the growing number of radical Islamic
groups. One such terrorist group is Hezbollah, which operates out of Iran.
Israel occupies only a small sector of the Holy Land but according to
Hezbollah’s leader the Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem even if the
rest of the Arab world agrees Hezbollah does not accept the J ewish
homeland as the State of Israel
. This view is shared by most other Islamic
groups as well as a number of fundamentalist Christians. Further, there are
deliberate propaganda and terrorist campaigns to rid the area of all J ewish
settlers. It is a campaign that is not just confined to the Middle East, J ewish
people across the world are targeted. In this way the language of anti-
Semitism [anti-J ew] has become a global issue; another potential ethnic
cleansing. This situation is understated and all too often ignored. The
problem that arose from a fantasy remains locked in that very same fantasy.
Moreover, this is not only a problem for J ews but for the world.

CBS News 2002. www.cbs.com Accessed 20
August 2006.
Cultural Narratives.
These stories are not just religiously motivated they are culturally
bound. A lot of people may be ignorant of the religious details but have
taken on the belief that Israel and the J ews are evil. The notion of ‘evil’
permeates the language but the reasons and/or mythical origins of this idea
become lost or confused. Bakhtin [1986] refers to myth as the
omnipresence of language and says it happens within all social life and
cultural production. Bakhtin shows how the ‘word’ can supersede the
. Many of the myths and stories relating to anti-Semitism stem
from ancient narratives and have found their way into the human psyche
not only as ‘truth’ claims but as deeply felt emotions. For example, from
the J ewish historian Flavius J osephus, there is the example of Mary who
ate her infant son in the final days of the Siege of J erusalem when famine
. The story was re-enacted in Christian plays and rituals were a
small child was slain, cut up and made into the Host
. This story is
equated with the J ews and allegations of blood libel [or the ritual killing of
children] because the J ews were blamed for the Holy City’s uprising.
Yet, it would appear that the ritual killing, ancient and modern, is not
necessarily carried out by J ews but against them. Today, the ritual killing is
still happening. Take the [2003] Paris example where two J ews were
brutally murdered and disfigured. Sebastian Sellem aged 23 had his throat
slit twice by a Muslim neighbour. His face was mutilated with a fork and
his eyes were gouged out. Yet, the story hardly made news. A minor
tabloid Le Parisien reported the details. According to Revue Politique.Com
the police told the mother of the victim not to call the crime ‘anti-Semitic’
even though, according to the victim’s mother, after the crime the
perpetrator mounted the stairs and announced ‘I have killed my J ew, I will
go to heaven’. And, despite the fact that the victim’s family had previously
had dead roosters left at their doorstep and their Mezuzah had been taken
from the doorway.
Chantal Piekolek aged 53 was working in her store when she was
stabbed twenty-seven times in the neck and chest by her Muslim assailant.
In 2001 a Rabbi was kidnapped and held hostage in a car for two hours. At
a well to-do Paris school Lycee Montaigne two Muslim students beat up an
eleven year old J ewish boy while yelling ‘we’ll finish Hitler’s job’
. These
are not isolated incidents. Further, this deep hatred towards J ews [and
others] appears to be matched by a political correctness that falls short of

M Bakhtin M 1968Rabelais and His World [Trans.] H Iswolsky,
Cambridge, MIT Press p118.
J osephus AD37/2004, B2: Ch19 Section 7; also H Streckenberg 1972: Die Flavius
J osephus: Traditions in Antike und Mittelalter. Leiden Brill p186-203 and J Gray 1997
Ark of the Covenant, Adelaide, Adelaide, J onathan Gray p203.

L. Sinanoglou L 1973The Christ Child As Sacrifice: A Medieval Tradition of the
Corpus Christi Plays in Speculum p491.
Front Page Magazine www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read. Accessed 22

acknowledging that this hatred exists. The J ews [and Israel] are blamed for
the hostilities. The hatred towards J ews is not new and it has grown more
visible as the anti-J ewish states have moved to challenge the Western
definition of modernism and globalization, a definition within which the
J ewish population maintain a visible significance.
The New Anti-Semitism.
Gabriel Schoenfeld [2004] provides a convincing view of the new anti-
Semitism listing dozens of examples of ‘vandalism...attack...and anti-
J ewish acts of revenge’ which he states are ‘– perhaps predictable by now –
of Israel’s action to defend itself’
. There have been continued attacks
against the J ewish settlement since 1948 when the State of Israel was
inaugurated. Samuel Fleischacker [2006] views the problem of anti-
Semitism as not action but as a problem of narrative that incites actions.
Fleischacker believes that anti-Semitism has gained a new momentum
because of a current narrative. Fleischacker tells us that the Islamic
terrorist organization Hamas declares in its charter that J ews run the world
through such organizations as the Rotary Club and the Freemasons. J ews,
according to Hamas, caused both World Wars and continue to underwrite
violence. They claim the J ew’s real plans for J ewish world domination are
described in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Fleischacker tells us that in 2003 during the month of Ramadan
Hezbollah’s satellite television channel Al-Manar showed its thirty part
anti-Semitic series with similar themes to anti-Semitic Nazi film The
Eternal J ew. The anti-Semitic series was titled Al-Shatat [Diaspora] and
was made in Syria. According to a report on the 11th November 2003 in
the Syrian Daily Times the series is ‘a criminal history of Zionism from
1812 to the establishment of Israel’ [1948.] It depicts a global J ewish
government similar to that described in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,
which was not, in fact written by the J ews in the first place. History shows
this document came from Napoleon’s plans for Europe. Episodes Four and
Six of the Al-Shatat series depict J ews carrying out acts of torture. The
series draws on the myths and descriptions of J ews that date back to the
twelfth century and the beginning of Christianity and which caused the
murder of thousands of J ews
On the 8th August, 2006 the SBS program Cutting Edge ran a short
documentary on Anti-Semitismin the 21st Century, which included scenes
from the Al-Shatat series. During the research for the program the makers
carried out a survey amongst the people of Lebanon, which asked if they
thought the horrific scenes in Al-Shatat are true or not. Overwhelmingly,
people said they thought the scenes were true. A 2003 exhibit that took
place in Alexandria and was sponsored in part by UNESCO included the
Holy Scriptures of Islam, Christianity and J udaism. As part of this exhibit a
copy of the Protocols sat next to the Torah because, according to the

Schoenfeld G 2004The Return of Anti-SemitismNew York, Encounter
Books [First Ed.,] pp 69.
S Fleischaker S 2006 According to Samuel Fleischacker in engageonline issue 1
www.engageonline.org Accessed 20
December, 2006.

Director of the museum, the Protocols, ‘has become one of the sacred
[tenets] of the J ews’. Fleischacker tell us how in 2001, when the Prime
Minister of Syria made a public appearance alongside the Pope, he was
heard to say, the ‘J ews try to kill the principles of all religions with the
same mentality in which they betrayed J esus Christ and the same way they
tried to betray and kill the prophet Mohammed’. Fleischacker continues:
‘Mustafa Tiass; his defence minister, published The Matzah
of Zion, a book recounting how J ews use Gentile blood to
make matzah, in the early 1980s; it has been regularly re-
issued ever since, most recently in 2002 and translated into
English, Italian and French. An article in the official
Egyptian Press informed readers that ‘The Talmud, the
second holiest book for the J ews, determines that the
‘matzahs’ of Atonement Day must be kneaded with ‘the
blood’ of a non-J ew. The preference is for the blood of
youths after raping them’. In Saudi Arabia a dissenting
voice was heard: the state run press declared in 2002 that
Christian and Muslim blood goes into Purim pastries, not
These are old myths in a different setting. They are resurfacing in line
with the developing Islamic states. Those nations who vilify J ews have a
different political context now, one they did not have before. They also
have advanced telecommunications and a wider audience. They have the
ability to perform terrorist acts on the scale of the Sept 11 [2001] attack on
the World Trade Centre, as well as attacks on Britain, Spain, Bali and the
rest. They have the burgeoning potential for nuclear power. Fleischacker
details recent anti-Semitism in Russia, Africa and elsewhere and he seeks
to find answers from the Enlightenment. He believes the J ews have come
to be associated with the ‘open, sceptical mode of seeking knowledge that
adherents of the traditional cultures and religions see as threatening the
foundation of their way of thinking’. Fleischacker believes the J ewish
participation in Enlightenment resulted in many J ews being actually
frightened of the Enlightenment but that they are so identified with it
causes hatred. Fleischacker suggests that rather than seeing anti-Semitism
as a system of beliefs [or conspiracy theories] we should view it as a
certain kind of story/narrative.
Fleischacker draws his ideas from the book by anthropologist Clifford
Geertz called Islam Observed [1971.] Geertz shows how over the centuries
stories are handed down from one generation to another and become
embedded into the culture. Geertz shows how these structure different
social, political and religious practices. Fleischacker believes it is precisely
this kind of story telling that helps to shape a culture of anti-Semitism. This
narrative is the tale in which
‘J ews are the human embodiment of the ultimate
materialistic force in the universe, a force that denies all

spiritual value and spins a web of illusion to hide its
nihilistic role from its victims’
Fleischacker believes the story provides a ‘template’/framing into
which all the facts can be collected. This is Langacker’s [1991] discourse,
written in the spirit of J L Austin [1976.] In Concept, Image and Symbol
[1991] Langacker asserts that you cannot separate language from concepts.
Another way of expressing this is to say we cannot separate language from
myths or the underlying narratives of the unconscious. Taken together
language and concepts lead to a number of false assumptions because they
present us with information in frames not meaningful sentences. What we
get is an abstract view of the world and its contents.
The Origins and Uses of Cognitive Linguistics.
Today, we have become more aware of how language can be framed
and used to disadvantage certain groups and give advantage to others.
Cognitive linguistics developed from the work of a number of researchers
in the 1970s, among them Wallace Chafe, Charles Fillmore, George
Lakoff, Ronald Langacker and Leonard Talmy. Chafe produced a
considerable body of work on the Native America Indian languages as well
as work on laughter, humour and prosody. Each focuses on the
unconscious elements that lead to the spoken word
. Charles Fillmore is
well known for his involvement in the ‘ebonics’ debate. This is a debate
that stems from the Oakland Unified School District’s 18th Ebonics
Resolution that held ‘people can’t learn from each other if they don’t speak
the same language’. ‘Ebonics’ was discovered when African children who
entered Oakland’s schools were found to speak a form of English that was
so different from ordinary English that they could not be understood.
Hence, these children perform poorly in the education system and they fail
to acquire the appropriate way of speaking to succeed in the outside world.
Fillmore suggested that, traditionally, schools treat this kind of speech as
‘sloppy’ and ‘wrong’ rather than looking at this as a different dialect that
the children might build on. A new program was brought into being that
focused on using African English, the language the children already had, to
build the language that the children needed to acquire for assimilation
Langacker is attributed with the founding one the most important
aspects of the cognitive linguistics movement; a cognitive grammar.
Here we see language attached to particular rules [semantics] which in turn
belong to different levels of social stratification or cultures
. In

W Chafe 1994 Discourse, Consciousness and Time Chicago, University
of Chicago Press.

C Fillmore 2006 Ebonics, Centre for Applied Linguistics, Los Angeles,
University of California www.cal./ebonics/edfilmo.html Accessed 5
May 2006.

R Langacker 1991 Concept Image and Symbol, Berlin and New York, And
Mouton de Gruyter and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Langacker Accessed
J une 2005.
Foundations of Cognitive Grammar [1987] and Descriptive Application
[1991] Talmy continues this work to show how the field of cognitive
semantics works. Talmy tells us our capacity for languages depends on the
ability to ‘integrate disparate conceptual contents and conceptual structures
to create unified cognitive representations’
. This is best understood by
examining our perceptions. Take for example the straight line with arrows
drawn at each end-point. When the arrows are pointing inwards the line
appears shorter than when the arrows are pointing outwards. What we are
looking at is an optical illusion because regardless of which way the arrows
point the line remains the same size. We can apply the very same
principles to the use of language. What we hear is often not what was
The ‘semantics of grammar’ are based upon and create a number of
constraints but these constraints are largely social in nature. In other
words semantic grammars can work for and against the individual and
group. They can be used to draw a precise description or they can be a
trigger for a more conceptual view; not what ‘is’ but what is also a
possibility. Grammars are stereotypes in language they detail a particular
conceptual field, much like modular building blocks. Depending on where
you place them they can create different designs.
That words have a semantic network is made clear in the British
experience of classes and dialects such as Estuary English. Estuary English
is the name given to a form of English that is spoken around East London
and the Southeast, so named because the speech pattern follows a path
along the River Thames to its Estuary. This dialect is often associated with
the Cockney accent, which is noticeable for its ‘jerkiness of speech’ as well
as its loss of particular consonants. For example the ‘t’ in such words as
Scotland or Gatwick – Sco’land, Ga’wick. In sentences such as, ‘A li’le bi
of bread wiv a bi of bu’er on i’
. It is only in recent times that Estuary
English has been thought of as English at all. It used to be described in
opposition to correct English as demonstrated in the film My Fair Lady,
which is taken from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion [1975.] Pygmalion
tells the story of a Professor Henry Higgins who turns a cockney flower
girl into a lady. The original story is based on the Greek myth and is told
by Ovid. Here Pygmalion falls in love with the statue he created. This is
not dissimilar to the Christian aims of turning all J ews towards Christ.
What Fullmore creates is a universal language paradigm, which is
useful for categorizing types but it can also serve to ostracize outsiders and
hide injustices. However, that difference in language dialect is given
credence at all puts forward the notion that there are also other notable
differences in thinking, speaking and consciousness that can be brought
into the sphere of understanding, and which may override our current
knowledge of language and thought formation.

L Talmy 1987 Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. California, Stanford
University Press. Vol. 1, V11.
D Rosewarne, 1984 Estuary English. London Times Educational
Supplement 19
October 1984.
The Purpose of Framing.
Exploring the ideas of framing and conceptual fields begs the
important question of whose interests are being served. Framing allows
issues, movements and individuals to be sorted into the relevant categories
or frames. Terrorism for example has been distinctly framed in relation to
Islamic Fundamentalist groups. By framing terrorism in this manner
George W Bush made the case to convince the American people that his
War in Iraq was necessary to destroy weapons of mass destruction [WMD],
weapons, which did not appear to exist. Elzinga and J ameson call this ‘the
policy of orchestration’. In a similar manner these same writers show how
in the context of the OECD [1981] the creation of a system of values
focused on the US economic culture came to dominate the Third World.
This particular frame is called ‘Foresight’. ‘Foresight’ became one of the
central new policy methodologies’ in the US. Elizinga and J ameson
contend, the new external frameworks in science were matched by the new
internal cognitive frameworks in the individuals and from this match the
social mapping and policy making took place in line with economic
In his book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think
[1996] George Lakoff details what he believes to be the ‘framing’
strategies the liberals have used to direct the terms of the US national
debate. The liberals, claims Lakoff, ‘framed virtually every issue from their
perspective’. The example Lakoff gives is that of the Governor of
California Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acceptance speech where he said:
‘When the people win, politics as usual loses’. In Lakoff’s view,
Schwarzenegger ‘ knows he is going to face the Democrat Legislature so
what he has done is to frame himself and also Republican politicians as the
people, while framing Democratic politicians as ‘politics as usual’ in
advance. Hence, the Democrats are already framed as the enemy of the
people before the debate begins. As Lakoff tells us, the liberals have put a
lot of money into creating the language for a particular worldview and the
progressives have not responded. Lakoff believes the progressives simply
do not understand how to respond
. By the time the 2008 primaries came
around the Democrats had learned to be a little smarter, we had Democrats
Hilary Clinton and Barack Obarma talking about the Republican ‘politics
as usual’. Framing is still an important concept in rhetorical dialogue and
it underscores many aspects of daily life.
Framing the J ews as the Devil and/or evil has been an effective form
of anti-Semitism throughout the ages. Evil became a cultural phenomenon
that people feared. Anything unpleasant, unknown or frightening was
called ‘evil’. ‘Evil’ has connotations of ghosts, spirits and supernatural
forces. Evil is then juxtaposed to its opposite ‘good’. Today, Israel is
framed as the ‘evil’ devilish giant, something to be feared and juxtaposed

A Elzinga A and A J ameson 1995Changing Policy Agendas in J asonoff S,
Markel G Petersen J and Pinch T [Eds.] The Handbook of Science and
Technology Studies Thousand Oaks, Sage p591.
G Lakoff 1996 Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals
Don’t. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

to the poor developing Islamic nations. Yet, in reality Islam is far from
being the poor underdog. Framing uses powerful metaphors that act upon
the individual’s experiences and emotions. Hence, the J ews are endowed in
a broader concept of an all consuming evil; that is not one bad J ew but the
view that all J ews are bad. This is distinctly racist.
This kind of framing is not new. In a similar fashion Marx endowed
capitalism with cannibalism making all capitalists potential cannibals. Such
a term works to incite the deeper emotions that connect to our ancestral
past when cannibalism was a reality. When such terms are used the auto-
sensory system immediately records something to be feared; the fear of
being consumed. There is something insidious about being referred to as
a cannibal it triggers feelings that are decidedly primal, uncivilized and
even non-human. Notably, it is not a word we use very much, its very
existence appears distasteful. Old cars are cannibalized for parts to put
into renovated models. Human organs are cannibalized [sacrificed
/donated] for surgical transplants. Violent physical attacks on people
[especially by sports men] often include biting, which is a form of
cannibalism. Some of the incidents involving self-harm, such as anorexia
can be linked to cannibalism. Many of the real events of cannibalism that
take place in current times tend not to be widely reported.
These language frames do not arrive out of isolation and the assertion
here is that they are linked to an ancient form of allegory and ritual acts.
The story is told in the myth of the goddess who devours everything and
rebirths it. This story works because it becomes embedded into the story
telling processes.
Constructing Narrative and the Play on Emotions.
Here is an example of framing from the popular media, which makes
clear the discursive trends in language framing and meaning construction.
On the 5th April 2004, Australia’s Channel Seven’s Today Tonight
television program ran a series of segments on what it called ‘welfare
cheats’. Not all of the people cited were actively defrauding the system;
some were just deemed by the TV Channel to be unworthy of receiving
government benefits. Take the case of a twenty-one year old Adelaide
mother named Rebecca Matheson. The reporter, Rohan Wenn, tells us that
Rebecca has been pregnant every year since she was thirteen and in total
she has given birth to seven children from three different fathers. Rebecca,
in her defence, said she didn’t want so many children, it just happened. The
reporter then asked, ‘what about contraception?’ Rebecca, looking rather
apologetic, told the reporter that she was not good at remembering things.
When Rebecca’s last child was born it was seventeen weeks early and
the welfare department would not allow the chronically ill child to go
home. Rebecca lived in a caravan and was struggling to make ends meet on
a government pension. In a moment of desperation she turned to the
television program thinking she might get some help to find a suitable
place to live. Her hope was that if she had a suitable dwelling she could
take her baby home. Rebecca told Media Watch: ‘The whole thing was to
help me get into a house and get my daughter home’. Channel Seven’s
Today Tonight got two night’s coverage out of this girl’s misery. The
Executive Producer Craig McPherson told Media Watch, ‘she received no
payment’ or help. There were apparently no guarantees given that Rebecca
would achieve anything. After the program went to air an elderly viewer
George Arundell saw the story and offered Rebecca a home with him. In a
further segment this mother was badgered into explaining why she would
not move 1300 kilometers to take up this offer with a stranger she knew
nothing about. Still not satisfied the show’s Adelaide host Leigh McClusky
ambushed Rebecca with photographs provided by a landlord suggesting
that Rebecca’s previous rented property was left in a mess. The whole
debacle ended with Rebecca sobbing and the program’s anchor person
raising her eyebrows as if to affirm, ‘you get what you deserve’
Since, then the same program has run regular segments aimed at
denigrating welfare recipients. These programs coincide with the
Australian Government’s policy on ‘From Welfare to Work,’ which cuts
benefits to single mothers whose children have turned seven years and puts
connotations of a poor work ethic on the rest.
Using metaphors such as ‘welfare cheats’ to describe a vast population
of welfare recipients frames and demarcates a whole field whilst
simultaneously telling us how to regard it. Not everyone who is part of the
system cheats the system but populations are led to believe that people on
welfare are bad people who are ‘sponging’ on taxpayers. This story [a
witch-hunt] demonstrates how easy it is to construct an image around any
group such as single mothers, immigrants or J ews as the case may be. It
sets up a binary system of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. The same system was used in
ancient myths to turn good men into heroes and heroes into gods. It works
because goodness equates with happiness that sits like a pot of gold at the
end of a rainbow. Everyone in the world wants to be happy.

Mediawatch Org. www.mediawatch.org Accessed December, 20
Chapt er Two
The Dialectic: Framing and Re-Framing
the Holocaust.
A small white soul is waving, a small white maggot.
My limbs, also, have left me.
Who has dismembered us?
I ntroduction:
Why do some historians want to deny the Holocaust?

The modern European Holocaust sits at the most extreme end of anti-
Semitism. A critique of modernism arose in the works of Adorno and
Horkheimer and the Frankfurt School, whereby modernism and rationalism
were blamed for the irrational acts of the European Holocaust. Yet, it is too
simplistic to say that rationalism is the only factor to be implicated in war
and genocide. War, murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing and the like are not
confined to this period in history, such behaviour has plagued generations
for centuries. In this chapter I will examine the framing of the Holocaust
and the revisionist debate as well as the myths and politics that lie behind
it. I will show how the same mythologies can extend across differing
landscapes and how myths are involved in power and control.
Paradise Lost.
Dominick La Capra’s essay ‘Trauma, Absence Loss’ examines several
kinds of representation and/or framing of the Holocaust from historical
accounts to Hollywood films. La Capra believes one of the reasons the
Holocaust is represented as an eternal torment is it tends to be viewed as
the ‘‘paradise lost’ narrative of the twentieth century with no hint of a
paradise regained’. This results in a hopeless nostalgic longing. La Capra
cites Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot as an example of this idea. In
Beckett’s play two shepherds wait for Godots [God] but their arrival never
comes. The play suggests that Godot has never existed so his absence
cannot be seen as an historical loss. This view means that histories are
nothing but myths of progress that encourage a belief in a path to
perfection. La Capra states ‘to assume the idea of progress is uniquely
religious’. La Capra claims that many representations of the Holocaust
misconceive the events as anti-pastoral like those in Waiting for Godot
. La

Sylvia Plath Event 21 May 1962.
D La Capra 2001. Writing history, writing trauma. Washington DC. J ohn
Hopkins University Press and www.dactl.org/thought/LaCapra_press_release
Accessed 12
J une 2005.
Capra’s work calls into question the entire notion of a pastoral/caring ethos
within society. It begs the question: If humans are essentially ‘good’ and
‘caring’ then why did they allow the European Holocaust to take place?
Did the extermination of more than six million J ews represent an
antiquated form of cleansing; a mass primal sacrifice perhaps with the
promise of a better, richer harvest?
World renowned philosopher J urgen Habermas placed himself at the
intersection of the Holocaust debate with historians on National Socialism.
The debate began in the mid-1980s with Habermas’s essay Die neue
Unubersichtlichkeit, which was published in the liberal newspaper Die
Zeit. The article was about how the conservative leadership had staged a
ceremony at Bitburg to commemorate the end of the Second World War,
which Habermas took to be a ploy by the right wing in Germany to enter
into a ‘conspiratorial pact to cleanse the German past’
. Habermas is
generally exemplified as a person of non-J ewish decent who has actively
raised the level of consciousness on the atrocities of the European
Holocaust but as Holub [1991] suggests, Habermas was a member of the
Frankfurt School when the Holocaust was high on the agenda.
. Holub
gives a good account of the differences between Habermas and the
historian/philosopher Ernst Nolte. It is worth outlining some of the issues
especially in relation to the Australian debate on the genocide of
Aborigines carried out by the first settlers. We can see similar patterns
between the two events.
The Revisionist Debate.
Nolte is a student of Martin Heidegger. Nolte has written several
works on fascism and communism. In TheThree Faces of Fascism[1966]
Nolte compares France, Italy and Germany and argues that fascism arose
as a movement in resistance to modernism. Nolte suggests that fascism
was anti-liberalism, anti-communist, anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeoisie. In
this respect Nolte classes fascism as totalitarian. The debate on the
Holocaust was sparked in 1986/1987 when Nolte published an article
entitled Vergangenheit die nicht vergehenwill [The Past that Won’t Go
Away] in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and claimed that the actions
of the Nazi’s were a defence against the crimes of the Soviets. He
expanded these views in the [1987] book The European Civil War 1917-
1945 claiming that fascism was replicated on the Soviet Union model.
Nolte also claimed that the twentieth century was an entire age of genocide
and the Holocaust was merely one chapter in that age of violence. Hence,
he said the Third Reich should not be afforded special status; instead it
should be integrated into German history. To this end Nolte claims that
Auschwitz represents nothing new in European history
. In a later article

R C Holub 1991 J urgen Habermas: Critique in the Public Sphere. London, Routledge
ibid p165.
titled BetweenMyth and Revisionism? Nolte suggested that ‘annihilation
therapy’ was a ‘favourite cure for the ills that had arisen from the Industrial
. This kind of argument is frequently used to justify war but it
doesn’t make it right. War and conflict might be inherent in the human
psyche but try telling this to a mother who has just watched her children
being blown up by a suicide bomber.
Habermas reacted to Nolte’s claims but he was not alone in the protest.
Nolte was also opposed by Hans Mommsen, Martin Broszat, Hans-Ulrich
Wehler, Heinrich August Winkler, Wolfgang Mommsen, Karl-Dietrich
Bracher and Eberhard J ackel. Historically, the conservatives, especially
religious conservatives have believed themselves to be superior and
therefore do not see that they have done wrong; they suffer cognitive
closure. Nolte was awarded the Konrad Adenauer prize from the [1966]
German Institute, which has links to the German Christian Democratic
Party. Habermas believes this to be a right wing [religious] conspiracy
The revisionist debate is ongoing with the most recent contributions
offered by Islam and the neo-socialists. It is therefore, a mistake to see this
debate as coming only from the religious and/or political right. The re-
writing of the events of the Holocaust is just another way of writing the
J ews out of world history; another form of extermination.
The world renowned Frankfurt School was established in 1923 at a
time when socialist parties were divided between the politics of Bolshevik
communism and democratic socialism; in the Weimar Republic this was
reflected in the Communist Party and the Socialist Party
. The Frankfurt
School examined this situation and returned to the original theories of
Marx and German philosophy but the Frankfurt theorists also believed that
Marxist economic theories were too limited; instead, they emphasized the
importance of the subjective conditions that lead to revolution. This is then
crystallized in the writings of Max Horkheimer and other members in the
critique of instrumental reason and the Enlightenment
. Notably, in a
strange twist of fate, Adorno’s [1941] work on aesthetics has also
influenced a number of contemporary fascists and revisionists and has
served to fuel the new anti-Semitism
Aesthetic J udgment.
Hannah Arendt is one of the best known commentators on the
Holocaust. Arendt [1958] takes the mobilizations of the 1920s to 1940s to
be caused by a social pathology brought about by the destruction of social
[class] bonds and the termination of ‘intermediate’ associations, those of

ibid p173.
J .B. Thompson 1981 describes this in his work Critical Hermeneutics: A Study in the
Thoughts of Paul Ricoeur and J urgen Habermas. Cambridge, Cambridge University
Press, pp1-9, 11,74.
T Adorno and M Horkheimer 1986: Dialectic of Enlightenment, [Trans.] J
Cumming, London, Verso, p267.
P Chesler 2003 The New Anti-Semitismand What We Should Do About It.
Berkeley, J ossey- Bass Publishing.
the religious groups and the professions. For Arendt there were three
distinct coinciding processes: the destruction of the nation state, the
collapse of class identities, racial and national identification and the socio-
economic crisis
. Compare this to Islam and the collapse of colonialism,
the rise of theocratic nationalism, a strong religious identity as well as the
desire for domination in the revival of Mohammed’s Islamic ideal for one
world religion. There is little to separate radical Islam from the notion of
the fascist state.
From Hobbes to Halberstam.
Halberstam [1999] addresses issues of totalitarianism by examining the
political settings beginning with Hobbes. He then moves to the
Enlightenment and the meaning of emancipation with science defining
human subjectivity. Halberstam views society as a human construction,
that is society as artifact and he believes liberalism ignores issues of
identity. Halberstam questions the notion of the ‘political community’ and
its relationship to the individual on which the liberal discourse depends.
He identifies two approaches to totalitarianism; first, the liberal one that
sees totalitarianism as its own antithesis or totalitarianism as a means of
rule by force. Second, the approach that totalitarianism is an outgrowth of
modernity, which means that a simple re-adjustment of the Enlightenment
ideals will not solve the problems
‘On the one hand the modern loss of world threatens to
provoke a response on the part of the alienated. On the other
hand meaning cannot be restored without reneging on the
modern commitment to freedom of the individual self-
determination in the private sphere and in matters of
Halberstam is influenced by Arendt’s turn towards Kant’s model of
reflective [aesthetic] judgment. Kant advocated a moderate and humane
form of the Enlightenment. ‘Reflective judgment’ relies on the defining
experience of ‘self- world’. Hannah Arendt in her 1951 volume at
Chapter 8 suggests that because the life of the community serves as a
reality, ‘a world integrating function’; ‘politics should create the
community as the embodiment of shared meanings as well as the bearer of
. This kind of communitarianism stems from Schiller’s [1795]

H Arendt1951 The Burden of Our Time, London, Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd. See
also 1958 The Origins of TotalitarianismNew York, Meridian.

M Halberstam M [1999] Totalitarianismand the Modern Concept of Politics. New
Haven, New York, Yale University Press.
Ibid p7.
H Arendt, 1951The Burden of Our Time, London, Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd.
Ch.8. See also M Halberstam M [1999] Totalitarianismand the Modern Concept of
Politics. New Haven, New York, Yale University Press.
On the AestheticEducation of Man. The aesthetic approach is a critique of
the rational, formal universal foundations of politics. In Schiller it was
romanticism and in Halberstam’s work it equates with the postmodern
genre. Halberstam believes that aesthetic approaches can succeed where
reason fails, that is to say ‘taste operates within a field of possibility’
Halberstam takes this idea as an important ground for politics but also
acknowledges that it can be viewed as a reaction to the Enlightenment and
a totalitarian politics.
Foucault [1970] tells us the ambiguity of aesthetic judgment was
expressed in Kant’s [1784] essay What is Enlightenment?
. Long before
the deconstructionists, Lacan, Derrida and the rest, it was Kant who had
come to realize the problems associated with judgment. David Cook in
Kant’s The Last Days of Liberalism[1993] maintains that Kant ‘reverses
the field of liberalism creating the typology of the postmodern society of
the spectacle under the sign of the aesthetic’
. Cook refers to Heidegger’s
[1962] study of Kant’s metaphysics and The Critique of J udgment [1952]
that establishes the centrality of the imagination. This serves to re-establish
the liberal theory as a ‘unity of wills’ that links the subjective claim of
universality to the transcendental imagination. As Cook notes, ‘the
imagination founds the individual and the state on the basis of the aesthetic
informing the judgment of the ‘kingdom of ends’’. In this way, Kant’s
Critique, states Cook, ‘stands as a founding text of aesthetic liberalism’
Kant realized that the eighteenth century Enlightenment could not eradicate
the power of myths, memories and stories that come from the depths of the
unconscious experience. The human will and the imagination are
inextricably linked.
Anti-Semitism and Deconstruction.
In the deconstruction discourse there is an attempt to transcend the
binary system upon which the political and religious myths are founded.
J ulia Kristeva, for example, has deconstructed the categories of male and
female by arguing that the whole of gender is ‘metaphysical’
. This
results in a universal, which is also problematic because abstraction is
difficult to explain, and it does not change anything. It is simply a move
back to a conceptual framework. To this end feminism’s aim of
circumventing identity is not necessarily going to liberate women from
patriarchal oppression. Nor will the women-centered approach offer

M Halberstam 1999 p8.
M Foucault 1970 The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences [Trans.]
Sheridan Smith New York, Pantheon p 310.
D Cook, 1993 The Last Days of LiberalisminPostmodernism: A Reader [Ed.] Docherty
New York/London Harvester Wheatsheaf p120-121.
ibid. pp120-121.
J Kristeva 1974. La Revolution du language poetique Paris, Seuil and 1984Revolution
in Poetic Language [Trans.] M Waller, New York, Columbia University Press p13.
liberation because women are participants in their own oppression; both
positions are flawed. Terry Eagleton [1990] points to the similarities
between the ‘sexual politics, class and nationalist struggles’. Both get
caught up in the very metaphysical categories they attempt to abolish. The
struggle between the Catholic and Protestant in Ireland is one such struggle
where the notion of emancipation becomes meaningless. The Roman
Catholic Church implies universality while the Protestant cause is more
closely associated with a nationalist identity but the British who colonize
both care only for product and labour and/or imperialism. Eagleton urges
us to look at what else might be at work
. For example, we cannot assume
that the group espousing an ‘ideal speech’ will exact every word from a
position of pure rational consciousness when language and action are
automatically implicated in the non-rational unconscious
Cognitive Closure.
Drawing on J L Austin’sHow to do Things With Words [1976]
Pierre Bourdieu explores what he sees as the limits of language and
understanding across the various social fields. Bourdieu examines the
sources of power and how they work to create social order. He gives
particular focus to what he calls ‘symbolic power’. Bourdieu’s idea of
‘symbolic power’, is ‘power, which can be exercised only with the
complicity of those who do not want to know that they are subject to it or
even that they themselves exercise it’
. Bourdieu’s focus is false
consciousness; he does not mention cognitive closure or the emotions,
which reveals the limits of the sociological view, but he offers a starting
point for further examination. The most extreme example of cognitive
closure comes from the European Holocaust. The term ‘bystander’ was
used in the nine hour documentary on the European Holocaust called
Shoah made by Claude Lanzmann in 1985 and published in 1995.
Lanzmann interviewed witnesses and placed them into three archetypal
categories, ‘survivor’, ‘bystander’ and ‘perpetrator’
. Bystanders are the
people who appear to play it safe. In Nazi Germany bystanders took the
form of citizens who obeyed the laws and ignored the terrors of the Nazi
regime. This is true not only of Germans but of millions of people across
the world who have systematically failed to respond to the atrocities and
injustices. In modern social theory being a ‘bystander’ may be no more
than the task of ‘getting on with life’. We are all bystanders in one sense
because we only see what we are conditioned to see. When we are told a
lie and the more often we are told this lie, the more likely we are to believe
in its authenticity. In this way the word/narrative/myth has, until now been
very difficult to tamper with.

T Eagleton 1984 The Function of Criticism, London, Verso, p108.See also 1990 The
Ideology of the Aesthetic Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, p24.
T Eagleton 1990 p24.
P Bourdieu 1991 Language and Symbolic Power [Ed.] J B Thompson [Trans.] G
Raymond and M Adamson, Cambridge, Polity Press, p164.

C Lanzmann in 1985 Shoah Film. Published 1995 New Yorker Films. www.imdb.com
Accessed 15
March, 2007.
Social Containment and Knowledge Control.
We live in times when the doctrine of a true knowledge is impossible.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries knowledge was simply
about education, learning about history, society, geography, natural
science, the human condition and the role of rhetoric in politics and the
social sciences. Knowledge taught us how to replicate roles. In the 1960s
learning became linked to the emancipatory discourses whereby knowledge
was a way out of the social constraints, and ideally the creation of a better
world for the next generations. Today, knowledge is about consumption
and integration. How will my creative efforts fit purposely into the
productive global paradigm? Knowledge produces knowledge markets
where people tend not to share knowledge but to compete for it out of self-
interest. The pure egoism expressed by the Marquis de Sade appears to
exemplify this notion. Yet, Sade exposes the knowledge that society
prefers to suppress. What we learn from Sade is that some knowledge[s]
are permissible, some are not. Take for example the issues surrounding
intellectual disability, once called ‘retardation’. The people that suffered
this condition were locked away in institutions, the knowledge and lives of
‘retarded’ people was limited and strictly controlled. There is immense
power in being able to control knowledge.
Secret Knowledge.
Some years ago I had a friend who was a member of a New Age
movement that was led by a man called Guru Maharaji J i, sometimes called
Prem Rawat. Maharaji is the son of a renowned Indian guru. Maharaji left
India and travelled to America announcing himself on centre stage as a
child guru and someone who had come to save the West. This was not so
unusual, in the minds of many traditionalists and religious people America
had too much money, too much freedom and too much sex; it was in need
of a saviour. Welcome Maharaji!
According to his website Maharaji started addressing audiences at the
age of three and gave his first public address at the age of four. Maharaji
started an organization named The Divine Light and amidst controversy
changed the name to Elan Vital. Today, he still travels the world with his
message which is a simple one, ‘peace needs to be in the life of everyone’.
What he offers is not just talk but a way to go inside and experience the so
named ‘inner peace’; otherwise known as meditation. Maharaji offers his
followers a course called the Keys. This means viewing several talks
before one can seek permission to acquire the ‘knowledge’. The guru jets
across the world speaking at events organized by Elan Vital, all the time
selling the ‘keys’ and the ‘knowledge’. Maharaji is a convincing orator.
He will speak to an audience for an hour or so and then offer to give them
the ‘knowledge’. He knows exactly how to raise the level of anticipation
and excitement in his audience. No one is ever told what the ‘knowledge’
is and those who are given the ‘knowledge’ in private consultation after the
event are made to promise never to pass on the ‘knowledge’ to anyone else
as it can only come via the ‘master’. In this way the ‘knowledge is always
kept as a shared secret. Those sharing the secret are the elites, many of
whom are gradually elevated to superior roles within the movement.
The public events are generally recorded and played in homes around
the world to tempt people into wanting the ‘knowledge’ and thus boosting
the membership of the organization. I was one of those people who sat
curiously through several of these video recordings while my friend
attempted to sell me the virtues of Maharaji. The notion of having a
‘master’ didn’t appeal to me very much but I was undoubtedly mesmerized
by the charisma of the man. His voice was engaging and it lulled the mind
into a state of calm. If this did not open the receptors to the message of
Maharaji then the potently alluring Indian music did. It is no coincidence
that Indian music is a favourite with many drug-users it acts against the
rational conscious mind to create a sleepy dream state and feelings of
euphoria. In this state one is more susceptible to repetitive messages.
A spotlight was put on Maharaji’s career when a disgruntled hate
group made up of ex-Elan Vital members started harassing Maharaji on the
Internet. They operated using a fake front webmaster allegedly residing in
Latvia who uses a blind e-mail address safely out of the reach of the
This was not the only group to bulwark against the accumulated power
of cults. Another example of revenge activism came later in a group who
were disgruntled at the teachings of the Church of Scientology. In this case
the ‘knowledge’ is presented differently and is called ‘clear’ but it still
involves making people feel special. R.L Hubbard, Scientology’s founder
was a science fiction writer and was naturally adept to producing
believable fantasy. Hubbard’s approach to beguiling his audience is
different to that of Maharaji’s but it has the same impact. Fantasy is
always already far more powerful than reason. It appeals to our creative
While Hubbard’s creations were quite unique, Maharaji’s ‘knowledge’,
is actually quite ancient and is based on meditations and stories from the
Upanishads. Maharaji’s talks include some of his own favourite poems by
the Indian poet Kabir. He draws heavily on feelings of romanticism and
nostalgia, as do most conservatives. Here is an example:

My master has given me
the herb of inner joy.
It can neither be cut, not burnt
and is always evergreen.
This herb is very dear to me
and tastes of nectar.
It has secretly been placed in a room
within the city of his body.
When the serpents of lust and anger
smell the herb, they perish instantly.
The power of worldly illusion
evaporates in the master’s presence.
Kabir says, Listen O truth-seeker,
this precious herb is extremely scarce

Kabir 1398-1518. Love Poems
The skilled words of the metaphysicists have beguiled audiences for
centuries. They tempt us with the secret knowledge. The secret in Kabir’s
work is the ‘herb’ or the drug of altered consciousness. Metaphysics was a
particularly powerful force in the opposition to the rationalist/scientific
European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Romanticism works because it touches our deepest human emotions. As
life in the real world becomes more difficult the tendency towards
romanticism and obsession becomes increased. Obsession is always a
result of fear or stress. In hard times we see an endless stream of prophets
appearing with magical cures and we should not underestimate the power
of the placebo. Some religious organizations deliberately create the fear
they are claiming to cure.
In 2008 Ronald Weinland published a book called God’s Final Witness
in which he claims to be a prophet sent by God to write the Seven
Thunders of the Book of Revelation, which the apostle J ohn saw but was
reluctant to reveal. Weinland reiterates the apocryphal myths and describes
what he believes to be the last one and a half years ‘man’ will rule the
earth. This story is recounted in the Seventh Seal of the Book of
Revelations. Weinland claims the last war will be a clash of religions in
which billions of humans will die. The only way out of this catastrophe is
to believe in God and do God’s work whatever the cost. The Bible teaches
that God is good and humans are sinful and this is the fault of the Devil
The Devil presents as the personification of primal violence. Every
religious story is the story of primal violence. God’s war with the Devil is
the monotheist war with paganism [and other religions] and it was fought
via the ‘seed’ or procreation but it is also the war between consciousness
and the unconscious. Note these words from Genesis:
‘J ehovah announces his purpose to produce a seed that
would crush the head of the Serpent, Satan the

The Serpent or the Devil is a euphemism for the unconscious
material that harbours the secret of primal paganism, or the fertile garden
[Eden] of creation. When the Hebrews put aside idolatry and paganism for
the monotheist revolution little did they know there would be a counter-
revolution. God told how the human seed would be a descendent from
but J esus is in fact born of the House of King David. The Siege
in J erusalem destroyed all the family records so the lineage has never been
fully explained. In ancient mythologies the king must defeat the evil spirits
and ghosts of his/her forebears in order to become first the king and then
the god. In the New Testament we are told how J esus the anointed one is

Ronald Weinland 2008 self- published a book called God’s Final Witnessand
distributed it via the Internet or snail mail.
Genesis 3:15. King J ames Bible.
Genesis 12:1-3
born and carries out his earthly ministry
. J esus dies on the cross and
ascends into heaven to be at the right had of God. He then casts out the
demons of Satan and they fall to earth to reek their havoc and finally a new
kingdom is born
. There are two versions of the ‘seed’ prophecy, the
Christian one and the Gnostic one. The Gnostic story is attributed to
Simon Magus [Simon the magician] who is often equated with the pagan
Saul of Tarsus a worshipper of the pagan goddess and father of the oldest
line of J ews, the Falashas who today reside in Ethiopia. Today, the
Gnostic story and the Christian story are still in a battle for supremacy but
there is another important player in this arena, Islam. Each has its own
version of the creationist story which it believes is the absolute perfect
knowledge or truth.
The Christian ‘Good’ and the J ewish ‘Evil’ in the
Utopian Vision.
The ancient chaos myths are the myths of regeneration, they create
order and systems. The J ews were benefactors of the Enlightenment and
early capitalism enjoying uniform legal rights but anti-Semitism that was
based on the ancient myths was still virulent. The Christians structured a
reality of the J ews as conspiring and evil. Similarly, Islam has historically
engaged in heinous plots to eliminate the J ews [and still continues to do
this.] Christianity too has its anti-Semitism. In an examination of the
works of Kant, Fichte, Herder and Wagner [anti-Semitism in German
thought] Paul Rose [1990] paints a picture of how the Protestants remained
pure and untainted by capitalism while the dross was blamed on the J ews
The J ews, despite their success were treated as evil criminals and inferiors
To this end capitalism became euphemized anti-Semitism, a trend that still
exists to this day in the counter-capitalist discourse. Such mythical
deceptions must be offset ritually, in protest, violence and/or
The Christians sought ritual purity in blood sacrifice, the crucifixion[s]
and the ancient cannibalistic feast. This was later re-enacted in the murder
and consumption of small children duplicating the ancient pagan Host
where the goddess devours all and regurgitates it. Each is based on a
fantasy. The etiology of these events gives birth to two notions:

1. A separation from reality and
2. The belief that this separation creates
A similar situation is happening today. Islam maintains its ancient
view of the J ews as inferiors and slaves. The scenario is vivid in Plato’s
Republic. Plato believed that some men were born to rule, others were born
to follow and that there is a natural relation between subordination and

Matthew 3-16: 17:4-17; 21:9-11.
Revelations 12:9-12.
P Rose 1990, The German Question/J ewish Question: Revolutionary Anti-
Semitism FromKant to Wagner. New J ersey, Princeton University Press, pp23-24, 44.
. Plato wrote about a fictional society but generations have tried
to make it real. In 1849 Thomas Carlyle wrote ‘The Nigger Question’, in
which he expressed the view that lords who dominate have every right to
use the ‘beneficent whip’ upon those who serve
. These ideas followed the
theories of Charles Darwin’s evolution and natural selection and those of
his cousin Sir Francis Galton who in 1869/1892 wrote his Hereditary
Genius expressing the belief that in the fullness of time, men who had
reached an earthly superior state would reach a heavenly state of
perfection. Like Plato, Galton also wrote a novel about utopia
. For the J ews utopia became dystopia and the ‘beneficent
whip’ was transformed into the gas chambers of Treblinka and Auschwitz.
Yet, as Frederick J ameson [2006] has indicated such representations of
utopia do not put an end to the dreaming. ‘Rather, such debates find
themselves drawn inside the utopian text, thereby becoming occasions for
further utopian productivity’
There is another way of putting this: Anti-Semitism is created in a pre-
symbolic space [the unconscious] and arises from the anxieties and
fantasies of that primal space. This sees the early Christians and Islam
acting out a system based on illusion. Modern psychiatry calls this state
psychosis. Blanchot [1993] explains this space and state as a kind of
‘foreignness’ in communication. Blanchot believes there is always a
‘foreignness’ between parties that obscures the Self-recognition but
demands a mutual knowledge at the same time. The quest for secret
knowledge is in the secret. Once the secret is no more the knowledge takes
on a different state and space. The knowledgeable become active agents
rather than victims of a phantasm. For Blanchot the problem is one of
Being and Being with Others. Here, a theory of alterity suggests that the
means of production is also the means of understanding the production
This suggests that primal terror/terrorism and/or anti-Semitism has
something to teach us. Fantasies and utopias are linked to the primal and
the mythical past, they tell the story of past terrors and they have also
paved the way for the on going production of myth and terrorism that
includes anti-Semitism. To solve the problem of racial hatred we must
fully understand the source of the narrative problem.

Plato 1941 The Republic [Trans.] F M Cornford. Oxford, Oxford
University Press, p 222,
In C Kingsley, 1877 His Letters and Memoirs of His Life Vol. 1 1877 Boulder
Colorado, J uniper Books pp374-5.

G Claeys 2001. Utopian Studies Amazon Digital.
F J ameson, 2006 Antinomies of Utopia in Imagining the Future:
Utopia andDystopias. [Ed.] A Milner, M Ryan and R Savage. Melbourne, Arena J ournal
New Series No 25/26 p17.
M Blanchot, 1993 The Infinite Conversation. [Trans.] S Hanson, Minneapolis,
University of Minnesota p 77.
Chapt er Thr ee
I slam and the J ews: From a Theory of Ritual
to a Theory of Meaning.
‘Perfection of a kind was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand;
He was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed respectable Senators burst with
And when he cried the little children died on the streets’
I ntroduction:
Why now, has I slamic terrorism/anti-Semitism become so
In the previous chapter I identified a number of issues in relation to
anti-Semitism that link history, myth, language and the emotions. I showed
how these come together in the use of language framing and how these
frames serve to manipulate the ‘real’ and ‘unreal’ worlds.
Plato made the distinction between what was real and what had only a
surface appearance. Reality for Plato existed in the ‘Eternal Forms’, truth,
justice, beauty and so on. Everything else is the replication of these forms.
Plato also believed his view could be verified and that any claim to ‘truth’
should have proof. For Aristotle things had function – telos. These views
are combined with a broader philosophical notion also taken from the
Greeks that divides the world into two entities, we call it a system of
duality; the subject/object relationship.
In their work Politics by the Same Means: Government and Science in
the United States [1995] Bruce Bimber and David Guston locate
American/scientific exceptionalism in the ideas from Plato’s Republic.
Platonism forms the basis of the conservative/Whig discourses
. As Gary

W.H. Auden in Voices 1969. Third Edition [Ed]. Georfrey Summerfield Harmondsworth
Penguin Education.,p29.
Bimber B and Guston [1995:] Politics by the Same Means: Government and Science in
the United States in Handbook of Science and Technology Studies J asanoff S, G Markle, J
Peterson, T Pinch [Eds.] Thousand Oaks, Sage pp556-557.
Bowden writes:
‘Whig historians documented the natural evolution of ideas
and technological artifacts, while sociologists gazed at the
institutional structure of science and its pattern of
communication and reward’
The traditional religions generally ground their philosophies in forms
of Platonic rationalism. In philosophy rationalism belongs to reason.
Rationalism or reason is the means by which we arrive at basic truths about
the world without experience. We do this because rationalism is associated
with innate ideas, that sees humans logically deducting truths about the
world from self-evident information. Rationalism is opposed to
empiricism, which depends on observation not innate premises.
Notwithstanding, rationalism and empiricism are often combined.
Immanuel Kant attempted to synthesize the two positions. Because many
modern rationalists are opposed to religion some people are unaware of the
historical links between rationalism and religion. In the 18
rationalism created its own religion called deism. The deists believed that
the course of nature demonstrated the existence of God. At this time almost
all philosophers were also theologians. Reason was applied to faith to
produce a philosophical discourse and much of this work was based on
Plato. These views underscore early Christendom and the lives of the
In this chapter I show how the innate rationalism is also linked to the
unconscious myths and fantasies [the non-rational] and how these are
acculturated and become ongoing. I show how myths play on the
imagination and lead to altered consciousness and cognitive closure. Here
I explore the innate biological links between mystical experience, religion
and terrorism and offer a view of how these connect to the broader
incidence of anti-Semitism [terrorism.] I contend that there are different
levels of consciousness that lead to different levels of language and
understanding as well as to cognitive cut-off, albeit mediated by culture.
This poses difficulties for rational communication as a solution to anti-
Semitism because the problem lies beyond the spoken word and beyond
The Language of Violence.
J Horgan tells us that for all the works written on Islamic terrorism
and for all the media coverage it attracts there is still no clear view of how
to understand terrorism
. The many expressions of terrorism elude us.
How then, does terrorism factor in the notion of ‘communicative action’?

G Bowden 1995 Coming of Age in STS: Some Methodological Musings in Handbook of
Science and Technology Studies [Eds.] J asanoff S, Markel G, Peterson J , Pinch T.
Thousand Oaks, Sage, p70.
J Horgan J 2005 The Psychology of TerrorismLondon, Routledge p xii- xviii.
Can one reason with terrorists? The acts of terror against J ews are not new
and there has been an ongoing escalation of anti-Semitism that now has
international terrorism as its offshoot. My proposition is that terrorism
bewilders the scientists because while the terrorist appears to hold fast to a
political/religious belief the terrorist is, first and foremost not a political
figure but one from myth and literature. There are also other biological
factors involved in terrorism that includes a residue of the original terror.
Terrorism occurs in a mind/body split. That is to say, the terrorist is not a
whole person in the Cartesian sense but a separated, disintegrated Self. The
act of terrorism takes place in an altered level of consciousness where the
‘I’ has been transcended. In this sense, terrorism is a form of
rationalized/organized primal blood ritual and is a mystical experience.
Indeed, what we should really be debating is not the politics of terrorism
but the metaphysics of terrorism, which finds its expression in political
acts. Terrorism resides in anxieties/fantasies/desires that relate to a loss of
the sacred [a state of pre-consciousness.] Through religious ritual the
devotee reaches a state of fear/pleasure and/or transcendence.
The moment of terror for the terrorist is strategic religious/mystical
transcendence based on the notion of an absolute truth. This is like Searle’s
relational conception of truth. Both Foucault and Searle tackled the idea of
truth, although they formed different views of what truth is they did share a
commitment to realism. The question is whether the perceived reality is
relative to the idea of truth. The experiential view of truth unlike the
constructivist view is committed to the idea that truth has something to do
with belief. Recent neurological studies suggest that belief induces the
emotions. All thoughts and feelings have biological impacts [changes in
the brain] that alter human behaviour
. Hence, belief can override the
concept of ‘Self’ in relation to Being. In this way rational action can
become retroactive and be based purely on fantasy.
How then, do we understand the language of terrorist violence? Was
the very public decapitation of American civilian Nicholas Berg carried out
by the dissident Islamic leader Al-Zawahri any different to the criminal
murders that take place daily on the streets of New York and elsewhere? Is
this murder any different to the crucifixion, assassination, genocide or
cannibalism? Why have we given ‘terrorism’ a different meaning in
language? Why is ‘terrorism’ so pejorative, while ‘insurgency’, ‘counter-
capitalism’, ‘political violence’ or the language of anti-Semitism fails to
invoke the same reactions? Two things, the first is that the spectacle
attributes to terrorism a markedly different conceptual view to that of other
forms of war, murder or abuse. Terrorism is ritualized and made mythical.
Terrorists become martyrs and heroes; not criminals. This means the
spectacle of terrorism provides a constant feeling of uncertainty as well as
a theatrical suspense/excitement that keeps us glued to the knowledge and
stories of terrorism. The very idea of terrorism creates a transcendence of
mind. The second thing is ‘the degree of willingness to ...tolerate
ambiguous and inconsistent views...of the use of violence in political
. That we accept certain forms of violence in society has to be

R Strassman 2000 DMT The Spirit Molecule Rochester Park Street Press.
J Horgan 2005 The Psychology of TerrorismLondon, Routledge Horgan, p5.
factored into our views of terrorism. The fashion, media and entertainment
industries are saturated with terrorism and violence suggesting that many
people habitually enjoy terrorism and violence at a distance. Bourdieu like
J L Austin [1976] show that ritualized symbols, ‘performative utterances’
are not just a means of describing events but ways of engaging in ritual.
Incidents of violence/terrorism/anti-Semitism become lodged in the brain’s
registers and normalized. That is to say, primary motivational factors
[nature] also interact with culture in human behaviour to provide patterning
and de-patterning
The Rise of I slam.
We cannot begin to understand modern terrorism without an overview
of its historical setting. The rise of Islam took place in Mecca in the 7
century AD as a result of intense struggles between the Persian and
Byzantine empires with Mecca emerging as an important centre along the
trade routes. Here the rich and successful traders [the bourgeoisie] existed
alongside the less fortunate [the lower classes] many of whom were
Bedouin nomads [wandering Arabs.] Times were hard for the wanderers
and there were constant raids on the traders, which led to a kind of
protection racket that was referred to as the ‘brotherhood tax’. This formed
into a complex relationship between the traders and nomads whereby the
traders bought herds and the nomads gained wealth and bought businesses.
In this way the tribal egalitarianism of the Bedouin gave way to a
competitive capitalism
Mohammed married a woman of substance and he became a wealthy
trader. His first followers were the bourgeoisie elite. Monotheism had
already been adopted by the J ews and Christians before it reached the Arab
world and Mohammed saw the advantages in having one God and one
Law. It was better than many tribal religions, which led to a lot of
squabbling. The Koran reflects Mohammed’s position as a businessman
and it alludes to Allah as the ‘ideal merchant’
. Hence, Islam is perceived
as a capitalist religion that holds salvation to be the result of accumulated
and just wealth. This makes Islam a discursive competitor in the modern
capitalist world not anti-capitalist. It marks Islam’s counter-capitalism as
euphemized anti-Semitism. In this respect, the Islamic view of capitalism
stands in contrast to the early Christian belief where money is equated with
avarice and sin. The establishment of the Islamic faith overtly reflects the

G Samorini 2000 Animals and Psychedelics, Rochester, Park Street Press
Ch. 1, p84. Also C Segal 1986 Pindar’s Mythmaking: The Fourth Pythian Ode New
J ersey, Princeton University Press.p221.
M Rodinson 1980Muhammad New York, Pantheon Books pp12-13,297.
M W Watt 1980 Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman New York, Oxford
University Press p39. See also Rodinson, 1974:14; Koran lxxxix, 17-20.
new mercantilism and Islamic colonialism. Islam created its great empire
while Christianity was still struggling for survival. The J ews lived between
these two worlds.
The Islamic people are an old, proud and once prosperous people but
like all empires Islam’s wealth came to an end. This failure reflected on
faith as well as on state and reverberated in the Islamic psyche as a terrible
Closing the Circle of Shame.
After Mohammed’s death the complex social arrangements between the
Bedouin and the traders began to transform into a rigid religious structure
of believers and non-believers. The pagan sacred rituals that closed the
circle of shame and restored self-worth were gone. The ancient blood
rituals fed into the new order, a state of exceptionalism and an extra-legal
violence. Mohammed set in place the notion of one god /Allah with the
prophet Mohammed as his representative followed by the Caliphs, his
religious successors. Abraham was the forefather of the Arabs who
descended through his son Ishmael, the J ews were descended from
Abraham’s son Isaac. For the J ews the Old Testament is the word of God,
for Christians this is re-written in the New Testament with J esus as the
saviour/messiah; for Muslims the Koran is the word of God as given by the
Angel Gabriel to the prophet Mohammed. Modern, New Age mystics call
it ‘channeling’. The Arabs adopted the J ewish-Christian beliefs but added
their own creative character to the texts. The hallucinations experienced by
Mohammed are like those of other religious zealots and are traceable to
ancient forms of Arabic shamanism, which rely on a number of
psychedelic plants used to create states of altered consciousness.
I slamic Shamanism and Soma.
Among the Bedouin of Palestine the flowering tamarisk [turfa] tree is
considered holy because when it blows in the breeze it sounds like a voice
calling ‘Allah, Allah’
. The Acacia wood that the Arc was made of was
said to represent the knowledge of the inner earth and its primordial origins
or the unconscious. The Acacia tree has bleeding resin and this was viewed
as the menstrual period of Gaia-mother earth. A small desert plant named
Harmal [Hajal or the Syrian Rue] is also associated with the female moon
deity Asfand; she is the goddess worshipped by communities along the
caravan routes and she has many names. Harmal is thought to be the basis
of the drink of the immortals called Soma. Plants and vines were used in
conjunction with mushrooms and bark to alter consciousness.
In the Khazner in Petra there is a relief carved by the Nabateans in the
First Century AD of an initiation. This relief is decorated with a series of
plants and features a chalice or the ‘vase of libations’. There are women
with wings as well as depictions of Isis and Tyche, these represent the
Eternal Virgin and the Immaculate Conception; the ‘vase of libations’ is

R Sajdi R 2006 http://www.acacialand.com/rami.html and
http://acacialand.com/Shmplants.html and http://acialand.com/nabtlib.html Access 2
September, 2006.

found in all the regions of the ‘Fertile Crescent’. The West calls this vase
the Grail Cup but this cup is not a symbol of the womb or a bloodline, or a
vessel containing only the blood of J esus as told in Western Arthurian
mythologies, the Grail Cup contains the psychedelic drug called Soma.
Under the guidance of shamans the initiates consume the drink that brings
enlightenment and religious feelings. With each drink there is a vision, a
journey, a quest and initiation into the religious community.
Today, many have incurred this experience by taking LSD or other
mind-altering substances. There is a huge global market in altered
consciousness. While the West engages in a ‘war on drugs’ the East freely
practices drug use and other forms of altered consciousness. Forty percent
of the world’s heroin is shipped from the Middle East [Afghanistan.]
According to modern science the desire for altered consciousness comes
from natural, biological drives. Animals habitually chew mind altering
plants. Altered consciousness can also occur in the body naturally
Maslow [1994] writes about peak experiences, a time when we our outside
our Self
. Being outside the body is the locus of eastern religions, the
New Age movement, anti-Semitism and terrorism. Heightened emotions
will give the feeling of being outside the body. It is usually experienced as
confusion. We are constantly reminded of the suicide bomber who aims to
terminate life because Allah promises freedom. In this religion of
exteriority being the martyr is much more honorable than being a victim in
life. Shame falls upon victims.
The European Connection.
What was the caterpillar smoking in the pipe in Alice in Wonderland?
This story of altered consciousness is told by Lewis Carol [1872]
Carol suffered from autism; a congenital condition we know little about
except that it is a different level of cognition. What we do know is that
autism changes a person’s worldview. Carol’s novel is a journey into the
unconscious. It describes the disappearing body of Alice as she stumbles
into a hollow and another world. The Greeks called it the grove of the
goddess [Arcadia.] The story is told in the myth of the Greek goddess
Persephone who is abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld, she is
returned to her mother Demeter but not before she has eaten pomegranate
seeds, this sees her having to return seasonally to the underworld in winter.
In modern psychiatric theory the winter has become identified as a
vulnerable period for people suffering schizophrenia and depression.
Pomegranates have for a long time been regarded as sacred fruits. The
seeds resemble the young psychedelic fly agaric mushroom; its psychedelic
properties are similar to the drugs used to treat schizophrenia. J oan d’Arc
wandered through the fields of France [gathering mushrooms] and hearing
voices that gave rise to delusions of grandeur. She gained an extraordinary
confidence that saw her lead the armies against the British invaders. Anti-

Samorini 2000.
A Maslow 1994 Religions, Values and Peak Experiences Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Lewis Carol 1872/2004 Alice in Wonderland California, Gramercy Press.
Semites, religious zealots, dictators, terrorists all share this same
In 1968 when the American soldiers returned from the War in Vietnam
many of the soldiers were addicted to heroin; President Richard Nixon then
initiated a War on Drugs. This was only re-stating an age old problem.
From time immemorial people have used drugs to alleviate pain and
suffering and to reach a state of euphoria.
Shamanism and the Emotional Life of the I ndividual.
For a long time now the mystics and religious advocates have used
their skills to transform the emotional lives of individuals. Eastern
religions focus on the whole body believing it connects via a perceived
energy to the rest of the Universe. This connection is said to take place
through a system of chakras, points that follow the endocrine glands
running from the base of the spine to the pineal gland in the brain. The
pineal gland is sometimes called the ‘Third Eye’. The story is told in
Euripides’s Cyclops. The aim is to channel the energy to the highest point
and alter consciousness. What is experienced is Nothingness. Shamans
altered consciousness to cure [dis]ease. Western monotheist religions and
medicine view these ideas as heresy.
The New Age has brought with it a renewed fascination for tribal
rituals and shamanism. Shamanism takes us back on a journey through
evolution and moves us to acknowledge the modern day practices of urban
shamanism. The need for some kind of connection with the primitive
world is affirmed in the popularity of a modern urban shaman industry.
For many the introduction to shamanism came in the 1970s in the
works of Carlos Castaneda. The West had already experienced periods of
experimentation with hallucinogens and altered consciousness and
Castaneda simply put the mystical overtones in place. Much of the 1970s
experimentation with drugs was shrouded with anger and disenchantment.
A Cultural Revolution had taken place in the West but there was an
unexpected backlash. The New Age philosophies filled the vacuum left by
the political failure.
Castaneda readers approached shamanism as a renewed glimmer of
hope for a better world, this time freedom meant spiritual freedom. It was
based upon the belief that we cannot change the world but we can change
our [spiritual] selves. The attraction to indigenous cultures was a way of
expressing the shared feelings of technological oppression. This in turn
enabled the lesser known religions such as Islam to spread the word of
Mohamed to the Western world.
Undoubtedly, the West suffered immense philosophical conflicts,
which became manifest in the equilibrium of peoples’ lives. Castaneda read
the signals of disenchantment and drew on a mythological residue that he
believed occupied the human psyche. He created a romantic image of the
past that became very popular with the disgruntled sectors of the
There were not many works in the Castaneda genre on the market at
the time; J oseph Campbell and Mircea Eliade were popular. A few intrepid
explorers braved the wilderness to see first hand what life was like in the
wild and remote villages but shamanism did not take off in the West in the
same way Hinduism and Buddhism did. While Hinduism and Buddhism
were generally shared experiences shamanism was vastly different. It could
mean long periods of introspection and isolation. True followers of
shamanism saw themselves as reawakening the spirit of nature and bonding
with the universe but it was a lonely business that attracted people who
were often mentally unstable and unable to socialize. For the devout
shamans socialization was part of the problem not part of the solution so
shamans opted out of society whenever they could.
The Meaning of Shamanism.
When the European missionaries explored foreign lands they must
have been shocked by the different landscape and a culture that was quite
different to the European culture. They would have been shocked that
people and animals shared a sacred unity. What the Europeans found was a
religious tribal culture with a belief system that was based on a primitive
cosmology where all life and all death were treated equally. We cannot
put an accurate date on the period of the shaman as shamans existed 40,000
years ago or more and they still exist today in various parts of the world.
In addition the renewed interest in shamanism has seen the onset of urban
shamanism across the Western world. Urban shamanism now forms part
of the legitimate New Age Culture.
Ancient humans related everything in the visible universe to their
own lived experience. The wind that caused a whistling through the trees
came from the same forces as the sun that parched sections of the earth.
These were the same forces that gave life and took it away again. It
brought life to the plants and crops and provided warmth to the newly born
animals. The same forces destroyed the crops and punished the humans
with self-doubts and confusion and/or a wandering consciousness. Ancient
humans believed the rain was the sperm of gods come to fertilize the lands.
The deep grottos were perceived to be the womb of the mother goddess.
Birth appeared to happen in violence – much blood and screaming – just
like human sacrifice. Humans would learn to duplicate it. Every gift of life
coming from the universe was replenished with an item given in return.
For every child born in blood one was cut into pieces and sacrificed. All
these phenomena were part of the same entity. All of life was
spiritually/magically interrelated.
The appropriate way to describe shamanism is a spiritual culture that
has its roots in tribal life. Shamanism is a belief that everything is
governed by spirits and nature. Tribal shamanism is still in practice today
in many parts of Haiti, Africa. South America, Asia and more. The
practice of shamanism was brought to the West at a time when the
orthodox religions were waning and when people were losing faith in
traditional forms of medicine. Importantly, shamanism is not just a religion
in the sense that we understand the meaning of religion in the West.
Shamanism is about physical transformation and healing. Shamanism is
about altering consciousness. Anthropologist Michael Harner argues that
shamanism is not a religion:
‘The spiritual experience usually becomes a religion
after politics has entered into it. So the renewed interest
in shamanism today can be viewed as a democratization,
returning to the original spiritual democracy of our ancestors
in ancient tribal societies where almost everyone had some
access to spiritual experience and direct revelation. We are now
restoring the ancient methods to get our own direct revelations,
without the need of ecclesiastical hierarchies and politically
influenced dogma. We can find things out for ourselves’

Michael Harner is the President and founder of the American based
Foundation for Shamanic Studies, having been an anthropologist for a
number of years and well known for his work with the J ivaro in Ecuador.
Harner devised a ‘Core Shamanism’ for his Western students. This
involves techniques of drumming and mediation. Harner believes
shamanism is a technique rather than a religion. There are four main
categories of shamanism:
1. Shamanism as a widespread form of indigenous knowledge.
2. Shamanism the oldest form of religion.
3. Shamanism as a northern –Arctic phenomenon
4. Can anyone be a shaman?
Shamans are those people who believe they can master an existing spirit
world. Manifesting the spirit world depends upon the use of rituals and
practices that cause visions and hallucinations. These visions are purported
to be the lost worlds of the dead. Death features prominently in shamanism.
The dead are honoured and remembered in rituals. In some Aboriginal
cultures it is offensive to show images of a dead person because the person
has become elevated to a spirit. Only shamans are permitted to talk to the
dead and learn their secrets.
Harner believes shamanism is non-political, J oan Halifax disagrees.
Halifax describes the shaman this way:
‘The shaman, a mystical, priestly and political figure
emerging during the Upper Paleolithic period, and perhaps
going back to Neanderthal times can be described not only
as a specialist in the human soul but also as a generalist whose
sacred and social functions can cover an extraordinarily wide
range of activities’
We might see the shaman as more of a leader and wise person rather
than a spiritual performer. The shaman has a unique power in his or her
community which gives the shaman a powerful political status.
To understand the meaning of all religions we have to understand the
lives and practices of ancient shamans.

In Bowie, 2000 Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy, Cambridge, Cambridge,
University Press, p 190.
M Harner, in Bowie, 2000 p191
Two Types of Shamanism.
Today, there are two specific varieties of shamanism one that has
been adopted by the Western world as part of the New Age movement, the
other is indigenous shamanism. While the West looks to the indigenous
peoples for guidance Western shamanism does not sit well with indigenous
shamanism. Western shamanism is capitalist market oriented and consists
of rituals that have been adapted from books, tapes, music CDs, lectures
and courses. Usually, a self designated leader takes on the role of
conducting workshops for drumming, meditation, dance and chanting. We
might call it commodified shamanism. This kind of shamanism is no less
effective for those who use it. The key to shamanic practices is the ability
to change the brain’s patterning and thus change the lives of participants.
Change only happens in relation to the pre-disposition for change.
The new shamanic movements that sprung up in America around the
1970s combined the legacy of the 1960s drug culture with
environmentalism and self-help groups who use visualization and
mediation as a process of healing. Guided meditation is a good tool for
calming the mind and it acts like a form of hypnosis. These groups are
generally [but not always] unstructured and non-traditionalist. Urban
shamanism promises a kind of corporal freedom that is a reflection of the
limits of modern living. Yet, not all shamanism is about social freedom.
Indeed, the traditions can be rigid and oppressive and offer very limited
options in terms of personal space or individual freedoms.
Indigenous shamanism comes almost exclusively from the
traditional groups with their own unique beliefs and practices. In these
groups there are strong disciplines and loyalties and very little money
changes hands. These groups though are easily exploited for their unique
arts and cultures. Today, the tribes often form part of a Western tourist
industry. Tribe’s people are basically put on display for entertainment, in
much the same way as animals are kept in reserves and/or zoos. Tribe’s
people present a certain quaint form of lifestyle that seemingly overrides
the many disparities society has bestowed upon them.
The New Age converts to shamanism have often been accused of
appropriating the knowledge of the traditional shamans and using the
practices to suit their own self interests. This is especially true in the
forging of Australian Aboriginal art and in a number of Native American
shamanic practices. Shamanism has been a way out of the constraints for
some indigenous people. Take the example of Sun Bear an America
Native American author and shaman. Sun Bear was born Vincent LaDuke.
He was an actor who was so strongly impacted by the negativity of the
Western movies showing Cowboys and Indians in conflict that he founded
the Bear Tribe in Washington [1970s.] In the movies the Native American
Indians were always treated as primitive and animal- like so the Bear Tribe
was a means of introducing a Native American Indian pride. Sun Bear
wrote a number of books on astrology and Native American Indian culture.
The tribe made tapes of festivals and rituals for the world markets and tribe
members invited people to join their celebrations. People came far and
wide wanting the tribal experience. The Bear Tribe dispersed after Sun
Bear’s death from cancer but the archival material has been important in
the continuing struggle for indigenous rights.
Native America shamanism has become popular because it so
clearly juxtaposed to the destruction of the earth by modern
industrialization. Part of the American Native Indian creed is to heal the
Self and heal the earth, a creed shared by many other philosophies and
religions. Gary Null tells us of the Lakota [Sioux] lore that arrived out of
the ancient story of famine and how a people were healed from the
devastating impacts. The story rests on the appearance of a woman dressed
in a white buffalo skin at a time when the people were particularly hungry.
She is carrying a sacred pipe and a red bowl. She explains that the wooden
stem of the pipe is for the trees and everything that grows on the earth. The
bowl is for the people, their flesh and blood. The smoke coming from the
bowl is the breath and the prayers going to Wakan Tanka the Creator. The
woman showed the people the pipe ceremony where offerings are made to
the four directions while drums are played and sacred songs are sung. The
people learned the connection between the sky and the earth replicated in
the unification between humans and the universe. The humans learned to
offer thanks to the Creator for all the good things that earth provided. The
women then disappeared but not before promising to return when the time
was right. Then she turned into a buffalo, the people followed her and they
were no longer hungry
. We might liken this story to that of the fishes and
loaves from the Christian New Testament where feeding the multitudes is
the spiritual nexus of community life and human survival. These
celebrations come from the ancient rituals.
Becoming a Shaman.
Unlike Western doctors shamans do not choose to become shamans
they receive some kind of calling. Sometimes it runs in families but more
often than not the person is an outsider and different from the rest of the
group. The potential shamans are struck down with a mental illness or
they are unusually introspective.
Plants play an important role in the healing processes and each plant
has a spirit and value. The notion of reciprocity is added here. When the
plant is taken something is left in return for the gift, sometimes this is
something symbolic, a prayer or a blessing. There is the continual
acknowledgement of the gifts of the earth whereby an intimacy is formed
with all life-forms. Everything is regarded as sacred. Shamans are people
who have deep relationships with their cosmologies and yearn for the same
experience in mainstream society.
It has often happened that shamans have left their original tribe and
started a practice elsewhere in an environment quite different to that of the
original tribal culture. There are also shamanic practitioners who have
never encountered a real shaman. Different urban shamans use different
artifacts for religious rituals. Sometimes these objects are made by the
shaman. Others are purchased from New Age shops or on the Internet.

G Null 1996. Native American Healingwww.garynull.com.documents.nativeamerican
html Accessed 2
December 2007.
The most important artifact to the Native American Indian shaman is
the shaman’s drum. This was originally made from the skin of an animal
and drift wood. Modern Western shamans hold drum-making workshops
where the drums are sometimes made from synthetic materials. High
prices are paid for the original article. When animal materials are used they
are often inappropriately sourced. I have seen some New Age shops in
city precincts selling the wings of dead birds as a sacred object and one has
to wonder if these creatures died naturally or simply for commercial
interests. Also, I have wondered how these kinds of artifacts get beyond the
Western boundaries given the stringent quarantine laws. Even, how they
get past the animal liberationists.
Native American Indian Shamans have been compared to Western
mediums for their practices in talking with the dead. Gary Null relates the
story of a man called George Amiotte an Ogalala Lakota from pine Ridge.
He became a healer after his own near death experience while serving as a
marine in Vietnam. When Amiotte returned home he searched for ways to
heal his life and restore his own wounded spirit. He was guided by the
Lakota spirits to pursue a career in medicine. He became a physician and at
the same time worked in medicine with the Lakota elders. He specialized in
helping veterans. He is a guardian of the sacred Sun Dance ceremony.
Amiotte draws on three levels of healing, the physical, mental and spiritual,
a [w]holistic approach that is absent in Western medicine. Traditional
Western medicine treats the disease it does not treat the whole person.
Today, a number of Western doctors also practice New Age remedies
Conflicting Cultures and Shamanism.
Many shamanic practitioners are quick to point out that shamanism is
not exclusive to Native American Indians although they appear to have
dominated the modern markets in shamanism. Officially shamanism has its
roots in Siberia. Shamanism is essentially paganism and it has evolved as a
response to harsh climates and how to escape them. The only deity
worshiped is nature and the spirit of the ancestors; animals and humans.
The unifying factor in shamanism is the esoteric journey or vision quest,
which opens the mind to archetypal experience. This experience transcends
the boundaries of religion and culture. Tori McElroy highlights the
common principles in all shamanism;
[1] Going around in circles – time is not linear.
[2] Survival.
[3] Responsibility and gifting.
[4] Education
[5] Honour your ancestors
[6] Respect
[7] Boundaries – limit negativity
[8] Spirit
[9] Connection
[10] Memory

T McElroy 2008. www.angelfire.com/journal Accessed 2
December, 2007.
Drumming and Altered Consciousness.
The shamanic practice of rhythmic drumming alters consciousness.
Neville Drury is a pupil of Michael Harner and he writes of his personal
experiences with drumming:
‘One thing never ceases to amaze me – that within an hour or so
of drumming ordinary city folk are able to tap extraordinary
mythic realities that they have never dreamed of. It is as if they
are discovering a lost fairyland of cosmic imagery from within
the depths of the psyche
The aim of the shaman is to initiate a visionary journey into the
unconscious. The traditional shaman acts as a magician/healer who guides
the souls of the living and connects them to the diseased. Central to the
role of the shaman is the ability to alleviate fears, especially fears that
relate to death and the spirits of the dead. The shaman works to take control
the spirits and then dictates the wishes of the spirits to the individual or
group. It is not unusual for the wishes of the spirits to find their way into
group and/or government policy. This trend is not unique to the ancient
world. The world’s parliaments are full of modern magicians and shamans.
It is a skill shared by priests and politicians as well as ruthless business
people. Shamanism lies at the basis of all religions, politics and creativity.
Indeed the very term ‘state’ has evolved from a particular ‘state’ of
The supposedly tamed spirits of the dead become a force for the
shaman who can call upon them at any time to serve particular interests. It
goes without saying that such power often corrupts and shamans have been
feared not so much for their spiritual associations but for their part in daily
activities of power and corruption. Many elements of the shaman’s
visionary journey are universal. Primitive people all over the world practice
some kind of shamanism. They recognize two types of shamanic journey or
dreaming. The first is concerned with every-day events the second is the
telling of life’s mystery, which is the role of initiates into the shamanic
priesthood. This position is bestowed only on a few. Shamans were special
people with special [secret] knowledge who prey upon those seeking to
understand their world.
The Legacy of Ancient Shamanism for Science.
Today, we have sophisticated technology to explore the brain, which
shows how brain anatomy functions with the rest of the mind and body.
We can now approach the need for human religions scientifically. The best
known of the brain technologies is the CT scan or Computed Tomography.
This is basically an ex-ray machine that can travel 360 degrees around the
patient’s brain. A die can be injected into the veins, which after it reaches
the brain can reveal any lesions or tumours. Tumours frequently alter
behaviour and induce violence and/or mystical experiences.

N Drury 1992 Anthropology of Religion London Routledge, p212.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI] uses a magnetic field made up of
radio waves, which identify particular characteristics of the hydrogen
atoms in the brain. These atoms have nuclei that spin in random directions.
When the MRI patient is placed in the magnetic field the spinning becomes
regulated to a single direction. The scanner then delivers radio waves at the
nuclei to push them out of alignment. When the nuclei rebound and
reorganize they emit a radio frequency which can be viewed on a computer
to reveal neurological disorders. The MRI reveals much more detail than
the CT scan and there is no need for the injection of a dye into the patient.
The downside is MRI takes a much longer period for scanning sometimes
an hour or so. In addition the MRI cannot be used on patients with a heart
condition or patients with any form of metallic material in the body.
CT and MRI scanning have revealed the complexity of the brain’s
functioning and the way in which the brain is implicated in disease and
behaviour. We know for example how dopamine-producing cells in the
adrenal glands might be used as a means of reducing the debilitating
behaviours associated with Parkinson’s disease. We also have a
sophisticated range of medications for treating mental illness such as
depression. The ancient shamans connected mental illness with behaviour
that is obsessively religious in nature. Today, we observe many people with
mental illness who have religious delusions. What these two groups have
in common is a distinct shift in consciousness.
Today, science is looking more closely at the role of the pineal gland
and its potential to shift consciousness. New research into transpersonal
psychology and psychiatry that includes mysticism [metapsychiatry] is
making the link between biology and mystical experience
. Ultra-
consciousness is no longer a matter of pure faith but one of medical and
social investigation. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation [rTMS]
can track and stimulate the neurological response to feelings and emotions.
For example, recent experiments have been able to track and stimulate
anger in the female brain:
‘Participants showed increased attention specifically to
male angry faces after stimulation to the right superior
temporal lobe, whereas they showed increased attention
to angry female faces after left temporal stimulation’
Advances of this kind offer different approaches to the problems of
violence, terrorism and deeply rooted hatreds such as anti-Semitism.
This science suggests we have the capacity to make free choices but only in
accordance with certain predisposed facets of our human biology, memory
and/or learned behaviour. There are limits on our choices. We often think
our choices are unique and we are surprised to find others have made the
very same choices. This is the circulatory nature of language, knowledge
and consciousness.

R Strassman 2001 DMT The Spirit Molecule Rochester Park Street Press.
M Brune M 2006 Angry Faces, Centre For The Mind Sydney.
We journey through all kinds of experiences that can be classed as
both the sacred and the profane and discover there are common links. The
writer G.E. Swanson said:
People experience ‘supernatural’ properties in social
life not merely because men are unwittingly
controlled by social norms, which they learn, but
because social relationships inherently possess the
characteristics we identify as supernatural
Religion is a supplement for the primal past. We are naturally drawn to
the past because of the emotional connections aroused in us. In this sense
shamans have been compared to Western mediums who hold séances to
talk to the dead. The séance is a form of healing. People who normally
attend séances are generally overcoming the loss of a loved one. Their grief
is able to be expressed through this kind of ritual and they go away feeling
a lot better because they believe they have made a supernatural connection
andthey have – with their unconscious emotions. Supernatural really
means super-conscious.
We come into life with a grief. The lost mother/nature love is hard to
express in adulthood. To seek this love is an unreal goal, a fantasy where
we recreate the imagined bliss of infancy and childhood. Religion helps us
to relive this childhood.

G E Swanson 1969 Problems of Analysis and Interpretation in Sociology of Religion R
Robertson [Ed.] Harmondsworth, Penguin, p245.

Chapt er Four .
Rationalist and Anti-Rationalist Groups.
Democracy and social justice
depend on self-empowerment.
I ntroduction:
I s religion and/or political activism a natural phenomenon
or are such groups pathological?
It is a strongly held view that terrorists suffer some kind of pathology.
This is understood within the framework of Western psychiatric illness and
the uncontrollable senses. For the ancient shaman it was not the
suppression of the senses that created normalcy but acting-out the emotions
in accordance with given myths. In this chapter I will show that religion is
a way of acting out ancient group rituals, which are otherwise presented as
pathology. Indeed, anything that borders on being non-rational, which is
not religious is regarded as aberrant and sees people excluded from the
In this section I will draw on some of the most recent research into the
affects of the psychedelic drug N-dimethyltryptamine [DMT] and its
natural occurrence in the body to show that certain emotions/feelings/
thoughts create states of altered consciousness that can be both euphoric
and traumatic, these translate into pleasure and pain and/or heaven and hell.
These experiences include psychedelic/out of body/near death experiences,
which I call ‘mystical’. I argue that the various myths of terror, journey,
quest and feast were conceived in this state of altered consciousness
[fantasy] and these are resident as data/memories in the brain. Also, this
data/memory can be resurfaced through the DMT molecule, sometimes
called ‘TheSpirit Molecule’ when this is triggered by particular emotions.
I connect these ideas to a ritualized public sphere and using Bakhtin’s
ideas of the ‘carnival’ and the ‘grotesque’ I discuss the ‘Other’ [or outcast]
as the reflection of the psychedelic out of body experience – that is the
separated, degraded/ disintegrated body – that manifests the original
terror/terrorism and its reflexive expression in anti-Semitism.
Dying to Live
Pagan religion taught that we all come from primal sources and to
those same sources we shall return –dust to dust. Yet, dying is not

J Cairns 1990 The Road Untried Melbourne Nakari Publications, Cover.
something we like to think about. In ancient societies people believed that
by living in preparation for death we eliminate the fears associated with
dying. People believed dying was nothing more than a return to the
womb. Arthur J anov [1973] turned this idea into a Primal Therapy. Based
originally on Freud’s developmental psychoanalysis J anov attempted to
heal the ‘primal pain’ brought about by the ‘separation of the child from
the mother’s womb’. J anov developed his form of therapy after
encountering a patient lying on the floor of his consulting room screaming.
After the screaming the patient calls out ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’. Further
to this calling out something appears to change and the patient seems to be
on the path towards being cured of his mental anguish
. The New Age
followers might call this a kind of rebirthing or a reawakening of
The aim of Primal Therapy is to make neurotics feel real. Most of us
feel real most of the time; when consciousness is shifting people do not feel
real. They lose the sense of who they are. They are no longer the ‘I’ but a
conglomeration of mixed identities and/or nothingness. This can be a very
fearful experience. It separates the individual from the world of things. In
these circumstances people often turn to religion, to God, to myth, to
fantasy, to drugs; in other words to abstraction. One of the things that
every psychotherapist will notice is that mental abstraction makes for a
different form of communication; it makes great art. Art is an example of
the unconscious moving through consciousness into the external world.
Art placates the feelings of exclusion; it connects the unconscious to
something real. Religion also serves the same purpose. Religion makes the
fantasy real.
Up to this point exclusion is treated as a matter of choosing to freely
move away from participation in the system. In the case of terrorists there
is a distinct separation from the system that is accompanied by an
overwhelming desire to destroy the system. In this sense exclusion is a
moral imperative that involves destruction of the Self and Other. Horgan
tells us the issues that relate to why people become terrorists are complex
but there are noticeable trends in becoming a terrorist:
1. A sense of working towards the acquisition and articulation of a
‘special’ internal language of both [a] explanation and [b]
rationalization, which is solidly grounded in the social and political
context in which the violence of the terrorist group emerges.
2. As a result of [1] the growing empowerment, control and
3. As a result of increased engagement in events, a developing sense of
engaging in risk-laden behaviours.
4. A probable sense of working through the development and devotion to
personal fantasies.
5. Specifically in relation to the commission of terrorist activity, a
lowering of inhibitions in relation to the expression of violent
behaviour [with the group presence being a major controlling
consequence of this.]

A J anov Primal ScreamNY Abacus.
6. As an overall consequence of increased involvement and particularly
engagement in terrorist activity, an increase in very focused, purposive
[i.e. terrorism related] social activity, and as a result of this,
7. An overall decrease in non-focused, non-purposive [i.e. non-terrorist
related] social activity
What Horgan describes used to be called unity or solidarity. The
modern initiate contemplates the world of good and evil. Having
acknowledged this state s/he must then decide how to combine moral
sentiment with moral outrage, like Electra who is driven to avenge the
murder of her father by her mother. It is like Bakhtin’s artist who
‘undertakes to speak about his act of creation independently and as a
supplement to the work he has produced’. Bakhtin tells us the artist usually
substitutes a new relationship for the real relationship that he has created
with the work. He sublimates his own actualization for that of the hero
The painter paints, the actor acts and the terrorist will seek to martyr him or
herself in the same processes of Self-denial. Here Being exists without the
recognition of the Self. I am alive but I don’t know who I am’. This person
lives with some confusion. This is not such an unusual state. It would be
hard to find anyone who has not asked themselves: Who am I? What am I
doing here?
These are universally perplexing questions that have a lot to do with the
development of mature cognitive skills. This is not a process of
individualism but of individuation, where the Self recognizes itself as being
in relation to but also separate from the Other. When individuation has not
taken place the individual feels frustrated and oppressed. The body that
houses the individual feel foreign.
Horgan describes how today’s terrorist has evolved out of the images of
the traditional revolutionaries. The symbol of revolution is the gun.
[Hezbollah’s flag displays the gun]
. Certain objects cause excitement and
emotion and sometimes a sensory overload that shifts consciousness. This
allows the mind to transcend the Self. The gun, like the crucifix is a multi-
functional symbol. Besides being a weapon for killing people the gun is a
psychosexual icon that stimulates the repressed feelings of terror and
regeneration, this is the shared pain/pleasure recorded in the creationist
myths. The gun is the thunderbolt; or the big cosmic bang [which may well
have been a series of smaller bangs over a long period of time.] The gun
is the fireworks display that heralds in every New Year. The gun is a
phallic replica simulated in a variety of modern consumer goods from
lipsticks to elongated sports cars. These artifacts involve rituals of
possession, position, consumption, worship, duties and so on. They invoke
feelings of power, speed, seduction and weightlessness or mystical
transcendence. That sexual symbolism sells products is indicative of the

Horgan 2005 p138.
M Bakhtin, 1990 Art and Answerability [Ed.] M Holquist and [Trans.]V Liapunov,
Oxford andTexas University Press. pp7.
Horgan 2005p5
strength of the sexual/emotional drives. We have come to understand the
importance of these artifacts in words and symbols and have forgotten the
importance of emotions and feelings. The brain reads emotions.
Terrorism and Sade’s Libertines.
Compare the terrorist to Sade’s libertines who do not accept their
actions as aberrant; rather as directions of nature. Sade juxtaposes
civilization and barbarism to show how language defines the consequences.
What Sade is saying is emotion and words are often separate. ‘The
distinction is that civilized men speak, barbarians are silent’
. This
translates into ‘them’ and ‘us’. Sade sees himself as a victim as does the
terrorist/anti-Semite. Sade takes the most extreme way of finding voice,
that is murderous, sexual, frenzied death and/or the primal violence that is
marked by a dream state, otherwise called cognitive closure. Sade
experiences the primal dream and like the artist attempts to make
something meaningful out of the vision. Bataille writes in detail about the
way Sade becomes introspective to a point of Self-negation. This is the act
of the terrorist. The solitary individual works towards total negation, first
against the Other, then himself or herself
. Sade’s primal violence takes
violence into another realm of rationalized violence to confound the
barriers of Self and Other. Here, death is always present in mind as a
component in life as it was for the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, both
of which were great warriors/terrorists. Modern politics expresses this
morbidity as heroism. For the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians life was
not just about living and consuming it was a preparation for death.
However, there is a vast difference between the ancient practice of
possessing the knowledge of death and the Western dilemma of being
possessed by the fear of death.
Fear and Consciousness.
What does it mean to be truly petrified? Imagine the experience of a
person who is very afraid of snakes and who sees a deadly snake in the
living room. This person feels intense emotion but s/he may not have a
conscious thought which says ‘I am afraid’, or ‘I will scream’ or ‘I will
run’. The experience of petrified fear is beyond language and beyond
consciousness. Petrified fear may cause one to scream and run, it may
also cause inertia and immobilization. When there is intense fear the
reactions are instinctive not conscious. In this instance consciousness is
cut off from its normal operations and a small section at the centre of the
brain called the amygdale kicks in and causes panic. The person then
screams, runs, or whatever… After the event the person may not remember
anything about what happened to them. There is no conscious memory of
the petrified fear or the response. This is cognitive closure. However, there
may be an unconscious memory that is not accessible to consciousness and

G Bataille 1987 EroticismNew York, Marion Boyars, p186.
M Blanchot M 1995 Writing the Disaster [Trans.] Ann Smock. Nebraska, University of
Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, pp75-76, 110.
this might trigger the emotions and cause erratic behaviour later in what is
called post-traumatic stress and/or other mental dysfunctions, which can
include depression, fantasy, anger, racial hatred and even terrorism.
Fear makes us anxious and this is revealed in a language that is laced
with adjectives that indicate fear. The words used for example are as
follows: Apprehension, uneasiness, nervousness, worry disquiet,
solicitude, concern, misgiving qualm, edginess, jitteriness, sensitivity,
discomfort, unease, being pent-up, trouble, wary, unnerved, unsettled,
upset, aghast, defensive, disturbed, distressed, perturbed, distraught or
threatened, consternation, trepidation, scare, fright, dread, terror, horror,
alarm, panic agitation and more.
One of the failures of positive science is that it did not account for the
senses or the emotions. Behind every form of religious practice there sits
the emotion of fear. Everyone experiences fears. Yet, fear is not something
we like to admit to experiencing and societies have generally treated fear as
a negative emotion. Nonetheless, we all get worried about the future, about
our relationships, about whether we are doing the right thing by ourselves
and others. We worry about the environment and whether it will sustain us.
We worry about our health and whether we can look after ourselves as old
age creeps in. Fear is related to all the issues of life and death. Fear is
always with us and it is largely regulated by our lifestyle. The poor person
may fear where the next meal is coming from. The rich person might fear
losing his or her fortune. What undermines fear is fantasy but fantasies can
also cause fears. Religion is the bridge that connects fears and fantasies.
The circular journey between religion and fear and is both enduring
and profound. Religion is a social construct but the propensity for
religion is not. Religion has come about because there is a natural [innate]
spiritual feeling that resides in all of us. Indeed, to suggest that there is no
need for religion is also based upon fears.
The Fear I nstinct.
All mental dispositions involve levels of fear, which sometimes lead to
ongoing anxieties and sometimes to anti-social behaviour. Fear is not
pathological. Fear is the oldest and most basic of instincts linked to human
survival. Fear alerts us to imminent dangers. However, paranoid fears can
constrain us from carrying out the most rudimentary of daily tasks. In this
respect fear is linked to isolation, self-harm and depression; it is also linked
to hatred and violence. There are positive and negative aspects of fear.
People who are exceptionally fearful of changes regress into
immaturity. This is evolution’s way of protecting the individual by
returning them to the child. Similarly, people who experience this
regression can do so temporarily or for longer periods of time and many
slip in and out of these states, which are generally referred to as relapses.
Mental deficiency is consistently, in the West, equated with failure or
pathology not difference. The overall aim of almost every human is to be a
whole person but the notion of the whole person is itself a fantasy.
Various Modes of Fear.
J ohn Hollander of the New School for Social Research has highlighted
the need to better understand our fears. He has made a note of the language
we use to describe fear particularly in its political context. Hollander
begins by acknowledging both ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’ kinds of fear. Chronic
modes of fear build upon acute fear and are certain forms of hatred and
resentment. Hollander takes his lead from William J ames who ‘wrote of
‘grief, fear, rage, love, in which everyone recognizes strong organic
reverberation’ as ‘courser emotions’ that he opposed to ‘subtler
emotions’…whose organic reverberations is less obvious and
. J ames takes his reference from Darwin. In Holland’s view ‘the
‘courser’ emotions have ‘subtler’ counterparts, he calls these ‘the course
fear, acute fear and the subtle chronic fear’. For Darwin acute fear is
purely and simply an ‘emotion’. Hollander regards chronic fear as a
‘condition’ whose character can vary along many axes, for example, an
apprehension, which may dull other aspects of consciousness. The level of
fear can be parallel to the level of violence
Hollander’s aim is to show how fear has gained pre-eminence for
political purpose. Hollander, like many others before him draws attention
to ‘how acute fear can produce either hyperactivity or panic or the moment
of catatonia of astonishment’. The latter being where someone is mortified
by fear. ‘Fear drives other drives’ including chronic fear, which is also to
be feared as a ‘distrust in the human condition itself’. As Hollander tells us
the ‘fear of fear’ was an interest raised by Roosevelt, Montaigne, Francis
Bacon, Edmund Spencer and Henry David Thoreau. The fear of fear
compounds the notion of being afraid and it has strong linguistic
implications. Hollander points to the allegorical framed language of
poetry that exists in the concept of fearing fear itself. He quotes Edmund
Spencer’s [1908] The FaerieQueen [II vii.221] ‘where… we are told how
“trembling fear did to and fro fly
. Hollander writes:
‘Here we are presented not only with a frightened
personification, but more interestingly with the
notion that fear can no longer find a hiding
Spencer raises the question of what is it that fear is afraid of?
[‘Something frightening, rather than someone frightened.] Hollander asks:
‘Do we distinguish between the direct objects of fear and the effects of
being frightened by it?’ Is it feasible to say we are afraid of being
frightened? This is to be suffering from chronic fear as a condition rather
than fear as a momentary and instinctual experience. Hollander goes on to
list ‘aspects and modes of fear without any systematic taxonomy’. He
1. Fear of one’s own death.
2. Fear of the death of another.
3. Fear of pain and other bodily suffering.
4. Fear of loss of liberty.

W J ames 1983:1063 in Hollander 2006. New School for Social Research. www.nssr.org
Accessed 31 December, 2007.
Hollander 2006.
5. Fear of punishment.
6. Fear of change.
7. Fear of heights or extreme enclosure.
8. Fear of something in a dream.
9. Fear of the known but that which is nameless
Hollander gives particular attention to the terms used to invoke his
examples of fears. These are ‘fright, dread, terror, horror, panic, alarm
dismay, consternation, trepidation, apprehension, anxiety and timidity’. He
notes how these terms also designate the term ‘apprehension’ rather than an
acute or chronic fear. Hollander tells us that ‘apprehension - from
apprehend - to seize or grasp’ is a conceptual intellectual act rather than an
‘emotional passion’. We think of apprehension as more rational than fear.
It is softer and more pliable. It is much easier to say, ‘I feel apprehensive’
than to say ‘I am afraid’. A lower level of vulnerability is revealed. The
emotions are repressed.
Hollander also notes how the noun ‘panic’ lurks as a suffix in the name
of the Greek god; Pan, otherwise called Dionysus. Hollander tells how
‘panic was at first adjectival used to modify nouns like fear or terror to
indicate they were sorts of condition resulting from the powers of Pan’.
Hollander tells us that noises encountered at night by ancient villages,
those that caused fears, were often attributed to the gods moving about in
the hills. Later in his article Hollander adds the use of the word ‘awe’.
Here being afraid is mixed with a sense of wonder and admiration. The
term ‘awe’ of often used to describe the sublime experiences, especially in
the perceived beauty of something such as art. Awe and ecstasy share a
circular meaning
. Something awe inspiring can be ecstatic, powerful and
also painful, like the crucifixion.
Hollander goes on to discuss words and emotions that sit on the edge
of definition like a kind of ‘near pornography’ and ‘an aesthetically
cultivated narrative throughout history’. This is related to the kind of fear
that is embedded in children’s nursery rhymes and stories to keep them
disciplined and under control. He draws these ideas from Foucault [1971]
who suggested discipline is more easily acquired through pleasurable
In this way Hollander gives focus to the ‘aesthetic sublime’ and
how this is engaged in the ‘rhetoric of rulers and ruling institutions. He
explores the methods of control through narrative. This is paramount in
religious practices as well as in politics [politics meaning power.]
Hollander uses the example of the Nuremberg Rally with its entire
spectacle captured in the images of Leni Riefenstahl’s The Triumph of the
Will. Hollander comments on how this Nazi event was made fictional and
how its reflexivity enhances both chronic and acute fears. J ust as myth
becomes an ongoing narrative so too do the images become a spectacle to
trigger the emotions, both real and imagined
Fear is easy to manipulate. The same kind of reflexivity used to heal
can also be used to harm. This takes place in the ‘fear of God’ as spoken of
by the Hebrews and Christians. This was soon turned into the person

feared. Not just a voice but a form. Machiavelli presents as a good
example. The dictator installs unconscious fears - the instillation of
unconscious fears are fears built upon fears – or reflexive fears. These
fears are then the driving force of all our societies and all our religious
quests. Here we see governments governing by fear and using the fear of
chaos to bring about order - the fear of terrorism or the individual/group as
terrorist[s] - Hollander tells us, ‘politics deals in the ‘fear of malice’ while
religions overwhelmingly deal in ‘the fear of death’
This kind of magical psychology is very different from the scientific
based clinical psychology, magical psychology has existed for many
thousands of years and people have been reluctant to relinquish it. Magical
psychology is partially contained in all the religions and is most vivid in
prayer and meditations but also in the Christian celebrations of the
Sacraments, Christmas, Easter, the Host and the Harvest Festivals. The
magical arts are linked to the religion of essence and a belief in everlasting
consciousness. They have undergone several major revivals the latest
between 1950 and 2000 and again in 2006 in Dan Brown’s blockbuster
novel and movie the Da Vinci Code, that places Mary Magdalene as the
head of the Christian church. These challenges to conventional Christian
teachings have gained a strong reaction but this has only served to
reinforce the popularity of alternative religions; including Islam.
Fears can change our language and actions. We feel these changes
and others can also sometimes see these changes. When the individual
feels fear the heart starts pounding and the pulse races, the body perspires
even though one might feel cold. The two of the most obvious changes in
behaviour during an attack of fear are in striking contrast, one is the
tendency to feel immobilized; and to remain motionless and mute…The
opposite tendency is to become startled and scream and/or to become
hysterical . Notably, both these tendencies form part of religious ritual
when the individual feels not fear, in the general sense of the word, but
awe. Fear [and its counterpart awe] is at the basis of all primal ritual and
all other religious activities. Fear is also the primary source of mental
illness. Fear alters consciousness and creates its own form of healing, the
fantasy. Fantasy alleviates fears and makes them unreal. Only the fantasy
appears real.
Strassman’s DMT Experiments.
Dr Rick Strassman has an interest in fantasy. In the 1990s
Dr Strassman conducted clinical research at the University of New Mexico
in which he injected volunteers with DMT psychedelic drugs. He wrote a
detailed account of the sessions in order to understand the mind and prove
his theory that psychedelics had therapeutic potential for the mentally ill.
Strassman’s volunteers reported their near-death and mystical experiences
and Strassman became convinced that the natural DMT in the body
excreted by the pineal gland triggered the same experiences facilitating
what has been perceived as the soul’s movement in and out of the body at
birth and at death. Strassman also believes that certain mental visions,
including alien abductions, are brought about by accidental releases of

DMT. The release of DMT shifts consciousness to accelerate feelings of
death and immortality. DMT can also be triggered by intense emotions
This is breaking new ground and further studies are taking place, especially
in relation to Brut Art [Outsider Art.] This is the art produced by visionary
mental patients
. Indeed, there is much to be learned about the relationship
between art and consciousness.
The Theatre of Consciousness.
Bernard Baars has written a book called In theTheatre of
Consciousness [1997] in which he offers one of the best explanations of
how consciousness works. While the term Theatre of Consciousness goes
back to Aristotle, Baars asks us to imagine the brain to be like a modern-
day theatre:
‘Imagine entering a theatre just before the beginning of
the show, noticing the stage, the chatting audience and a
few doors leading back stage. As the house lights begin
to dim the audience falls silent, a single spotlight pierces
the descending darkness. , until only one bright spot,
shining on the stage remains visible. You know that the
audience, actors, stagehands and spotlight operators are
there working together under invisible direction’
All theories of cognition now involve theatre metaphors where
conscious is compared to a bright spot of attention on something. Behind
the scenes are the influences of beliefs, memories, language learning and
socialization. It is now generally accepted that roughly fifty percent of
what we understand comes from socialization and roughly fifty percent
comes from the innate and unconscious factors. Neurotics and psychotics
throw off the screens of socialization and reveal the primitive unconscious
tendencies that exist behind the socialization. As R D Laing once stated
‘we see other people’s behaviour but not their experience
. The psychotic
draws our attention to the falsehoods and/or to the various stereotypes that
modern society has created. The stereotypes serve to hide the dynamics of
the innate neurotic and psychotic behaviours that reside in all of us.
Stereotypes relate to how we see things. They provide us with a
conceptual view of the world and its groups. The stereotypes are often
based upon race, culture, religion, age, economic status or other.
Stereotypes place people into categories and tell us how to regard them.
These stereotypes are often conceived to explain the inexplicable.
Sometimes stereotypes are used to hide knowledge that might otherwise

R Strassman 2001 DMT The Spirit Molecule Rochester Park Street Press.
See A Grey2000 Paintings Transfigurations, Rochester, Vermont, Inner Traditions.
B Baars 1997 In the Theatre of Consciousness the Wright Institute Berkeley California.,
R D Laing R D 1969The Politics of Experience Harmondsworth, Penguin, p35.
serve to empower people. Behind the stereotypes there are always
individual/group interests.
Our entire human history is grounded in stereotypes. This affirms that
humans have very limited contemplative consciousness. Stereotypes work
well because they are basically simplistic. Human consciousness becomes
easily confused if there is too much detail to be deciphered. Most students
will know what it is like to experience a consciousness [mental] overload.
The head spins and thoughts become fuzzy. There is an overwhelming
need to rest and sleep.
People who go though extreme trauma will often break down from
mental overload because the emotions are overwhelmed. Life cruises
along at a comfortable pace when the brain’s patterning is not too severely
disrupted. Brains just thrive on routine and ritual but they tend not to grow
on it. Brains grow when they are challenged. Too much challenge can lead
to breakdown and sometimes to mental illness.
Making a break from the stereotypes, especially when they involve
long term traditions is often very difficult for people. Stereotypes provide
a concrete model of ‘root metaphors’
. Stereotypes ground our thoughts
and feelings. They provide markers for understanding difference but this is
not always a good thing. Gilman gives attention to how negative labelling
can be used to categorize and stereotype particular groups of illness,
including mental illness. He uses Foucault’s ‘clinical gaze’ in medical
diagnoses as an example of how we learn to see things. In medicine certain
symptoms present possible clues as to the outcomes. Similarly, a human
can display certain forms of behaviour that will have him/her labelled
insane or primitive, or even evil
. Yet, these behaviours are never unique
to one group. This happened with the J ews but it has happened with many
other groups who do not fit into the status quo.
The way we see and experience things or people is not always the way
they are. As R D Laing notes, how ‘the many theories of experts in the
field of mental illness often manifest the faults they describe?’ Laing
‘I see you, you see me. I experience you, and you
experience me. I see your behaviour. You see my behaviour.
But I do not and never have and never will see your
experience of me. J ust as you cannot see my experience of
you… My experience of you is just another form of words
for ‘you-as-I experience-you’
In this respect we can never really know another’s fear or pain. Laing
pointed to this lone experience as a very alienating process. Laing believes
that natural science is only ever concerned with the observation of things

Stephen Pepper 1942 has used this term; he is quoted by in S Gilman 1985 Difference
and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race and Madness. Ithaca. Cornell University
Press., p46.
S Gilman 1988 Images of Illness fromMadness to AIDS NY Ithaca Cornell University
Press ppxiii,1,63.
Laing 1969 p17
not with the internal story. Hence, Laing stated, ‘the relation between
experience and behaviour is the stone that builders will reject at their
. The religious experience is very real to those who experience it
but unknown to non-believers. This in itself makes it difficult to imagine
in neurological terms.
The essential feature of the brain’s neurons [mutually
communicating cells] is to process information. The nervous system, made
up of these neurons, brings forth information from the outside world, it
interprets it and it remembers some of it [not all] and it tells the body how
to respond to it. The nervous system and its neurons play an import role in
human survival they are the mechanisms that enable the brain to consume
power. Thompson [1985] attempted to estimate the power the brain uses to
function and related it to the equivalent of a 20-watt electric bulb
It is common to compare the workings of the brain to the way a computer
works, the hardware operates on the software we put into it, but there is an
important difference. Neurons in the brain somehow afford us an insight; a
computer according to science does not have this same insight. We draw
this insight from factors that are innate. Certain instincts are present
because they are already programmed into us and they get passed down
through the generations. Levinthal gives a very good description of what
neurons do:
‘If you lowered a thin wire [5-10 microns in diameter] with a
recording electrode at its tip into the brain tissues and
observed the changes in voltage that would occur over a
period of time, the dominant impression would be that of an
irregular series of short bursts of activity…when connected
to an audio amplifier, the electrical activity would sound
like a Geiger counter with a continual rising and falling in
frequency of those short bursts
We can liken this to the communication of dolphins. We have made
great headway in the exploration of brain neurons. For example, recent
research has revealed how the mirror neurons are involved in feelings of
empathy. Mirror neurons are brain cells that are activated when a person
performs an intentional action and when he or she sees someone else
performing another intentional action. Mirror neurons were first discovered
in Macaque Monkeys approximately eleven years ago. Since then there
have been ongoing studies at the Brain Mapping Centre at the University of
California in conjunction with the Society for Neuroscience that give us a
much more intimate picture of how the brain and its neurons work, also
what kind of influence this has on behaviours such as religious
fundamentalism, terrorism and anti-Semitism

ibid p35.
In Leventhal 1990 Introduction to Physiological Psychology New J ersey Prentice Hall
Ibid p43.
Brain Mapping Centre at the University of California www.ucla.edu.ca Accessed 31
December, 2007.
Space and Consciousness.
Trying to convey our consciousness [and its diversity] to others is very
difficult. Laing offers two very useful analogies of this problem that are
worth considering:
‘The sky is blue’ suggests that there is a substantive sky
that is blue. This sequence of subject verb object, in which
‘is’ acts as the copula uniting the sky and blue, is a nexus
of sounds, and syntax, signs and symbols, in which we are
fairly completely entangled and which separates us from at
the same time as it refers us to the ineffable sky-blue sky.
The sky is blue and blue is not sky. But in saying the sky
is blue’ we say ‘the sky’ ‘is’. It serves to unite everything
at the same time ‘is’ is not any of the things that it unites

Laing also uses the example of the invisible in the sound OM. He
‘One cannot put a sound to soundlessness…
I cannot say what cannot be said’
These ideas are not just scientific they are deeply religious. I do not
see God but that does not mean God does not exist. I am God. You are
God. God is both real and imagined. It begs the question where is the
origin of our imagination? If life is consciousness, what is
unconsciousness and/or pre-consciousness?
People who withdraw from conscious awareness live in a space we do
not experience in our own consciousness. There is no language to convey
this space, it is beyond language. Laing puts this in another perspective.
He describes how the mind seeks to discretely reveal the fundamental
mystical inklings that lie at the heart of unconsciousness. Yet, why should
we call the unconscious mystical? Because this space lies between life and
death, we call it mystical or transcendence. The outlet for these inklings is
religion. If we fail to bring mindfulness to task then the mind can wander
aimlessly, for the most part we recover our mind, it gets back on track and
we continue on the road of life. Sometimes it is not possible to get back on
track and madness occurs. It is not so easy to recover from this madness. It
is a little like travelling to Mars on a rocket. The rocket and its crew return
to earth but we are left behind in a foreign land. Some kind of vehicle must
bring us back.
I nner and Outer Worlds.
For 40,000 years humans have created remarkable examples of
art/religion/spiritualism beginning with people we regard as primitive.
Somehow we have been genetically ‘wired’ to create internal images in the

R D Laing 1969p35.
external world. However the culture changes we can still tap into the
extraordinary images of past events. The primary numbers were given a
mystical quality in Greek philosophy, yet people with brain impairment
and extreme learning difficulties can recognize primary numbers
. Some
people are unable to learn their native language yet they can access the
mental machinery unavailable to the rest of us, and display traits of genius.
This process is especially intriguing in the work of gifted autistic savants
whose self-absorption [daydreams, fantasies, hallucinations] manifests
unique talents. This condition allows these people to achieve outstanding
memory feats, mathematical, artistic and musical abilities. The movie
Rainman brought savants to public attention when the leading character
Raymond displayed a great memory for ball player statistics. The
attention to detail displayed by these physically impaired people is like the
psychedelic images and it resembles many of the descriptions handed down
in myths. It is also obsessive/compulsive behaviour a condition that
plagues terrorists and anti-Semites. Advances in brain imaging now shows
that certain people with dementia have savant syndrome, which suggests
that some aspects of ‘genius’ [or obsession] lie dormant in all of us
. This
leads to the notion that terrorism, anti-Semitism and other forms of anti-
social behaviour are much more than an outward display of socio-political
or religious angst.
Cult Conversion.
The recent focus on terrorism has been explicated via studies of cult
conversion. Geri-Ann Galanti [1991] presents a theoretical analysis of cult
conversion based on the triune brain
. The research stems from her
participation at a Unification [Moonies] training camp. The triune brain is
where the brain is categorized as having three main components, which
evolved phylogenically, that is to say as evolution took place the brain was
added to rather than re-created to suit the environment. The oldest and most
primitive form is the R-complex or reptilian brain with four basic drives,
feeding, fleeing, fighting and sex. The R-complex or reptilian brain is the
site of instinctive rather than learned behaviour. Carl Sagan [1977]
suggests this is the site of ritualized behaviour. Learned rituals can also be
collected in this region, while they may have started in the neo-cortex,
which is the site of the intellect or the thinking brain; once they become
ritualized the reptilian brain takes over
. This is an example of cognitive
closure and/or altered consciousness, which occurs for instance in

M Anderson 1999 How Do They Do It? Savants. A Savant Prime Number Calculator in
Geniuses, Prodigies and Savants, Australian National Library and University of Sydney,
DTreffert D [2004] Savants in Scientific American Mind www.sciammind.com
Accessed 25
September, 2006.

Geri-Ann Galanti 1991 www.icsahome.com/infoserve_articles/galanti-
geriann_brainwashingandthemoonies_abs.htm Accessed 20
September, 2006.
C Sagan C 1977 The Dragons of Eden New York, Random House p60.
repetitive chanting, dance, thresholds of pain, pleasure, confusion,
paranoia, heightened emotions, schizophrenia, autism or what is sometimes
referred to as an absence of mind, so on and so forth. These same feelings
can also be brought about by the use of certain psychedelic drugs. Snyder
[1996] tells us that just one experience with LSD can cause breakdown and
The second component of the triune brain is the limbic system, or
mammalian brain. This is the primary site of emotions. It contains the
thalamus, which relays information to other areas of the brain; the
hypothalamus, which regulates functions such as hunger, thirst, sleep and
the automatic nervous system. Third is the amygdale, which is associated
with emotional memories - the pituitary gland and the hippocampus, which
stores the spatial memories. Sagan summarizes the triune brain as the
reptilian brain that houses the ritualistic/ hierarchical aspects. The
emotional/religious/altruistic aspects are in the limbic system, and those
areas of our lives that are concerned with reason are in the neo-cortex
Galanti writes about her personal experiences of brainwashing within
the Moonies. She says she was surprised to find that the brainwashing that
took place in the group did not impact on her intellect. She was able to
critique both the content and the methods of lectures given by the Moonies
group leaders. She observed that the lectures began with a ritualized song
that put the mood of the group into a positive frame [stimulating the limbic
system.] Galanti found that she had been put into such a positive mood
that someone had to remind her of the bad things that happened in the
Moonies. Galanti came to the conclusion that the group had seduced her
but not through her intellect. They had reached her emotions. Galanti
affirms that the emotional truth is stronger than the intellectual one. Galanti
writes in detail about how she liked the people in the group. Everyone said
really ‘nice’ things to each other. ‘The group made everyone feel cared
for’. Galanti describes how the members of the groups sang songs, played
games and acted like children. Galanti says that rather than using chanting,
ritual, prayer and mediation the Moonies used techniques they called ‘love
bombing’. This method consists of telling people how wonderful they are.
People write letters to each other expressing their emotional feelings.
Galanti tells us the Moonies succeed in brainwashing people because they
teach them to ‘feel’ not ‘think’
Terrorist Ritual.
Horgan tells us the studies of the terrorist’s behaviour prior to the Sept
attacks on the World Trade Centre indicated ritual behaviours were
‘essentially aimed at reinforcing the terrorist’s determination and
maintaining focus during the final phases of the attack... including what to
do if any passenger should offer resistance’:

S Snyder S 1996 Drugs and the Brain New York, Scientific American
Library p180.
Sagan p60

Geri-Ann Galanti 1991 www.icsahome.com/infoserve_articles/galanti-
geriann_brainwashingandthemoonies_abs.htm Accessed 20
September, 2006.
If God grants any one of you a slaughter, you should
perform it as an offering on behalf of your father and
mother, for they are owed by you.’
The Arabic word for slaughter is ‘zhabiha’ meaning slaughter of an
animal. Horgan tells us the act of terrorism is placed in the context of
family/group and duty/debt. This is also the conceptual framework of the
primal ritual family where the killing and eating of the slaughtered
animal/human leads to regeneration
. Here we see the ritual of exchange.
Sacred exchange like all social exchange involves the giving and receiving
of valued goods. There are different levels of exchange but each involves
the sacred journey, which may be towards or away from the sacred
. Martin Kramer [1989] explains this directly in relation to
Islam. He suggests, ‘the jihad defines Islam and distinguishes between the
pure faith of Hezbollah – the Party of God – and the compromised
backsliding Muslims’. The participant leaves the struggle of splitting
communities and fragmented families and joins the ‘religious, political
community spanning three continents’
. The participant [leaves the Self
and] takes the ritual journey that joins heaven and earth [unification.] In
exchange the pilgrim is rewarded with being remembered as a martyr/hero.
S/he has reached the higher Self through action/emotion and possibly an
accidental release of DMT in the brain.
Ritual, Rights and the Public Sphere.
‘Hegel conceived the French Revolution as the world historical event,
which for the first time had conferred real existence and validity on
abstract right’, a view that was to be disputed by Marx [1887]
. In post-
war Germany socialism was identified with Stalinism, this led to the
emergence of the revitalized left in the 1960s and a move away from the
traditions of the Frankfurt School. Habermas rejects Marx and gives his
support to Rousseau’s social contract albeit, with a clearer division
between public and private spheres.
The notion of a revitalized public sphere has had enormous influence.
One of the reasons for the public sphere influence is because The
Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere asks ‘when and under what
conditions the arguments of mixed companies could become authoritative

Horgan 2005p119.
R P Werbner 1989Ritual Passage, Sacred J ourney: The Process and Organization of
Religious Movement Washington DC Smithsonian Institute Press and Manchester
University p2.
Kramer 1989:74. Kramer M [1989] Hezbollah’s Vision of theWest The Washington
Institute Policy Papers No 16 Washington Institute for Near East
Policy Washington DC p74.
Habermas tells us this in Theory and Practice Boston Beacon 1974 p122.
basis for political action?’
. In this respect, Habermas’s uses of narrative
[communicative action] are important because they address the need for a
[rational] democratic society that will serve the needs of fast capitalism.
They are important also, because they acknowledge the shift from the
Marxist/Hegelian politics and philosophy that have dominated the West.
These shifts have been supported by campaigns that highlight the
socialist/communist ideals as being totally irrational and anti-social while
promoting the friendly face of liberalism. The careful use of language
framing has seen communism become almost obliterated from
conversation despite the fact that there are still pockets of communism.
Similarly, capitalism has become largely a Western invention whilst the
notion of capital/labour exchange, value and trading goes back to antiquity.
Habermas uses conversation to put back the liberal Kantian order.
Habermas frames language as potentially rational, ideal and integral in the
revitalization of the modern public sphere and democracy. The world thus
becomes rational in theory. It was Kant who, in the Critique of Pure
Reason [1780/1978] articulated the notion of a bourgeois public sphere.
However, it was the bourgeois public sphere that gave birth to the social
movements [protest/terrorism] and it is the site of continual religious, class
and philosophical struggles that find their continuum in today’s terrorist
regime. Within every political proposal there is the seed of its undoing.
This is the nature of change and of human evolution. While we need to
embrace change we also need to understand where change is coming from.
The Eighteenth Century Public Sphere: Science, Literature
and Social Contract Theory.
The bourgeois public sphere is synonymous with the rise of two
significant disciplines science and literature. Each contributed to art and
oratory as a form of social protest. They also contributed to theology. We
locate two important historical shifts in this era: [1] The notion of
democracy and social protest. [2] The study of human behaviour and
proposed methods of constraint. Religious institutions played an important
role in order and constraint. The J ews were active contributors to the public
sphere. Indeed, the J ews are renowned for their ability to formulate social
capital but this also created much resentment. This period is also were we
locate first wave feminism. The same vitriol manifest against the J ews
would also be felt by women, especially radical women.
George Sand [1836/7] finds her method of protest in letters. Sand
wrote a series of fictional letters to someone called Marcie and had them
published in a newspaper. The letters dealt specifically with the need to
reform society so women could be free of the bonds of marriage. George
Sand, of course was a women not a man [a cross dresser.] We glimpse a
similar situation in the [1776] letters written by Abigail Adams asking her
husband J ohn Adams that laws not put so much power in the hands of
husbands. It is at this time that Thomas J efferson and Benjamin Franklin
were drafting the American Declaration of Independence. Also, at about

C Calhoun C [1992] [Ed.] Introduction to Habermas and the Public Sphere in J urgen
Habermas, Cambridge Massachusetts and London, MIT Press ppvii-viii and 1.
this time Mary Wollstonecraft, in Britain wrote A Vindication of the Rights
of Women [1792.] Similarly, between 1869 and 1940 Emma Goldman
addressed the issue of Traffic in Women [1910.] Goldman’s work follows
the socialist [Bolshevik] traditions, which were strong on womens’ rights.
The liberal J ohn Stuart Mills wrote the essay The Subjugation of Women
[1869.] Later the communist Friedrich Engels wrote The Origin of the
Family, Private Property and the State [1884.] The Marxist August Bebel
wrote Women and Socialism[1885] and the sociologist Thorstein Veblen
wrote The Theory of theLeisure Class [1899.] Veblen’s work draws
attention to social compliance such as feminine beauty. From 1903 to the
outbreak of World War I Emmeline Pankhurst led the militant English
suffragists in a struggle to gain political recognition and equality for
women. Methods included producing pamphlets, marches and activists
chaining themselves to fences
. These protests coincided with the early
studies of the brain, which were designed to deal with the social dissidence,
most notably in the works of Le Bon [1895] Tarde [1903] and Freud
[1929.] In the sentiments of Aristotle, whoever was not of the polis was
the [mad] beast or a god/goddess.
One might say the late eighteenth century lives in the collective
memory as Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and de Sade’s Philosophy of
the Bedroomor the opening of the floodgates to desire
. Freud toyed with
the nature of desire in Civilization and its Discontents [1929] having
discovered the idea of the ‘death instinct’ from the actions of the angry,
lawless mob who demanded their share of justiceand were also prepared to
die for it. Freud searched, not only for a reason for this unlawful outburst
against civilization but also for a cure
. The public sphere reforms
supported by the new science were meant to temper the public dissidence,
they have never succeeded.
The public sphere and its emancipatory discourse duplicate the ancient
myths whereby all is a means to an end. The goddess/god energy devours
matter and transforms it. This allegory of consumption and regeneration
and/or cannibalism underscores the modern social contract. In other words
altruism is not pure. All humans, if they are to survive are bound first by
the evolutionary contract which gives emphasis to self-interest. This in turn
becomes natural law.
The modern social contract theorists do not see cultures and religions
as norms within society. The only basis for laws is reason. In modern
industrialized societies reason prevails because rituals are separate from
each other. For example, performing arts are separate from life crisis, civic
and political ritual is separate from family ritual. Anthony Wallace
[1966:106] provides five categories of industrialized ritual:

Each of these works took much of their inspiration from the French Revolution and the
notion of liberty, equality, fraternity.
S Brodribb 1992 used this term in her feminist work Nothing Mat[t]ers Melbourne,
Spinifex p93.
See Sigmund Freud 1929 Civilization and Its Discontents. J acques Lacan 1976 revived
Freud’s ideas with a focus of the dark unconscious. 1967/1977Ecrits: A Selection.
London, Tavistock p92
1. ritual as technology
2. ritual as therapy
3. ritual as anti-therapy
4. ritual as social control
5. ritual as salvation
6. ritual as revitalization...transformations of state
Notably, Wallace does not include a ritual of violence; if you are
violent you are fitting into society. Normalizing violence is part of science
and industrialization and it enables the vision of violence to be located
The Carnival and the Feast.
The carnival feast with its laughter, merriment and storytelling
separates and frees the community from the religious and ecclesiastic
. This replicates the ancient erotic orgy [the creation/terror] and
releases the bottled-up energy of pre-cognitive uncertainty. Bakhtin [1968]
writes about the festival. He recognizes the sensuous character of these
occasions. He uses the term ‘spectacle’ to describe the carnival folk culture
and its important links to the marketplace. Bakhtin shows us that this
artistic form holds much more of a mystery than we imagine because it
belongs to a border between art and life. This is also the space between
reason and madness. Ancient festivals used the symbol of the mask to
denote the two sides of the human character, the good and the bad; the
conscious and the unconscious. Even today, we see the symbolic mask
hanging over the doorways of theatres. We see the mask used in comedy
and tragedy as well as in political protest. The unity of street theatre and
protest has not changed.
The festival/ritual also belongs to theatre and the state of delirium,
experienced as both a pain and ecstasy. It is where de-individuation is
made possible
. The ancient myth of Inanna shows how easy it is to be lost
in this space. Inanna goes into the underworld [the unconscious] to retrieve
the lost souls but cannot find her way back again. There is minimal
responsibility in this space. A lack of confidence and social skills are
consumed by fantasies and primal urges that are both empowering and
confusing. This is the way Horgan describes terrorism. Horgan tells us,
where there is a ‘no rules warfare’ the dehumanizing process comes as a
kind of rebirthing, a kind of schizophrenia or multiple disguises. Horgan
describes how terrorists in Northern Ireland reached increased levels of

A F C Wallace 1966 Religion: An Anthropological View. New York,
Random House p106.
See M Bakhtin 1968Rabelais and His World [Trans.] H Iswolsky, Cambridge, MIT
Press pp 7-8

M Blanchot 1995 empasizes the theatre as the original madness. SeeWriting the
Disaster [Trans.] Ann Smock. Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and
London, pp75-76 and 110. Also 1993The Infinite Conversation. [Trans.] S Hanson,
Minneapolis, University of Minnesota ppxii. 77.
aggression by employing different personas [masks.] The injuries upon
victims were more severe when terrorists wore masks [absence of the Self.]
Horgan tells us the entry into this other world of dehumanization also
involves a separate language. ‘Palliative expressions’ are used, ‘targets’
not ‘people’
. In this way violence becomes an experience of the
disappearing body and/or the body consumed [cannibalism.]
The terrorist mirror’s his/her own disappearance/transcendence in the
killing of the Other. In contrast the disappearing body is brought back in
the theatrical [ritual] drama. The festival is about showing off the body in
costume and dance. Take two modern examples of this manifest
materialism J esus Christ Superstar [1970] and Godspell, both rock operas
they elevate the sacred into the modern context to reveal what is sacred in
modern societies. J esus Christ Superstar deals with the notion of charisma.
The ritual feast is depicted in the Last Supper. The words of J udas at the
end of the opera have lasting significance:
‘Always hoped that I’d be an apostle
Knew that I could make it if I tried
Then when we retire we can write the gospels
So they’ll still talk about us when we’ve died’
This verse conveys the same sentiments as the ancient Egyptian
funerary rites where the deceased king waits in the pyramid for his
transcendence to the heavens to become the god, or death as the path to
perceived everlasting life. The rebirthing or the mask of dehumanization
can also be one of indoctrination, ‘the Muslim person who believes in the
divine secrets, and who realizes that the Book of Allah contains acts not
understood except by Allah the Almighty’
. Horgan retraces the terrorist’s
ritual to read like the carnival feast that is followed by the
denigration/destruction of the enemy. Bakhtin sees the universal spirit in
the carnival event and believes this is a spirit shared by the whole world
and that difference is merely a matter of the stories that are used to describe
it. Bakhtin illustrates the sequence of events as the hunt, the killing and the
consuming. This is the eating of what has been sacrificed. Bakhtin shows
us that words and meaning become conflated in ritual. For Bakhtin the
carnival is the reification of the past ‘the people’s second life’
. This is
the same ritual that is re-enacted in the Christian Holy Sacraments designed
to remember the body and blood of J esus Christ.
Ancient Ritual and Modern Terrorism.
Why now is terrorism so prominent? Terrorism has made visible the
incidence of ritualized killing as a search for sacred ritual past and/or the
mystical experience. It is not just the politics of terrorism and anti-

Horgan 2005, pp134-135.
J esus Christ Superstar In R Bocock R 1974 Ritual in Industrialized Society. London,
Allen and Unwin p52.
Horgan 2005 p135.
Bakhtin 1968 p8/Ch 1.
Semitism that we need to understand but the deeper psychological
meanings of the ritual act. What is being satisfied in the urge to torment
and torture others? Our current understanding of ritual killing is that it is
deviant, obscene and therefore only exists beyond the civilized borders. For
example, the Asia Edition of Time Magazine 29
J uly, 2002 shows how
ritual killing still takes place in India as a gluttonous celebration. The
article describes how 15 year old Manju Kumari was gagged and pinned to
the floor before the shrine of the mother Goddess Kali. The perpetrator
Khudu Karmaker removed the girl’s clothing, wafted incense over the
body, sprinkled it with holy water from the Ganges and rubbed it with
cooking fat. Then chanting mantras to the Kali Goddess, he sawed off
Manju’s hands, breasts and left foot placing the parts in front of the Kali
idol. The police report said the girl bled to death
. Examples like this serve
to disguise the everyday incidents of ritualized killing, in wars and on the
streets, in rapes and domestic violence and in racial hatreds like anti-
Semitism. There are numerous examples of ritual killings that may not
seem obviously religious in context. All life is entwined with the events of
death. Virtually every culture has a recorded history of human sacrifice
and these memories remain as unconscious material in our brains. Ritual
killing is not confined to the South, it has happened in London and New
York. Indeed, the increasing number of street gangs across the world
suggests an overall revelling in ritualized violence as well as a strong
desire to reconnect to the primal instincts. Social science deals with this
problem on a rationalist, empirical basis and misses the phenomenal
archetypal aspects of ritualized torture, killing and the primal violent sexual
drives involved in these practices. Ritualized murder is more than a
problem of social environment it is a backlash of evolution that we must
constantly struggle against.
In 2006 in a Melbourne suburb a group of twelve teenage boys
attacked an intellectually handicapped girl, urinated on her then set her
alight. The group then made a DVD of the events and posted it on the
Internet site YouTube
. To a normally quiet community these situations
are shocking. Yet, for decades murderers have been creating public
montages of their victims. We see the same thing in ‘snuff movies’. These
are movies where the camera films somebody being abused and killed.
In 2007 Saddam Hussein was led to the gallows, a thick rope was put
around his neck and he was hanged. The images were shown to the world
on television sets and computer screens when usually we expect such
incidents to happen in private. Public torture and hangings are not new;
throughout history they have been a popular form of sport and
entertainment. Suicide bombings and other attacks in Iraq have also been
placed on YouTube by the perpetrators for public viewing. Here the line
between pain and pleasure is exalted. One point two million children are
kidnapped or sold into slavery each year many of these children end up as
prostitutes and sexual slaves; many are sexually mutilated, beaten and
killed. Films of these incidents are freely available on the Internet despite
the aims of international police to close down the circles of pedophiles who

Time Magazine Asia Edition 29
J uly 2006.
Age 25
October, 2006.
continually make, access and use them. These are the remnants of
mythical terror and real cannibalism. There is always already a conflation
between sex, stomach and cannibalism. Murderous, sexual intent lies at the
heart of all human survival. It abhors, it disgusts and it dismays so many of
us but we have yet to find ways of eliminating it.
The mythical [terror] feast that was human sacrifice [cannibalism]
provides a special connection between the inner and outer worlds. The
primal cannibal consumes the strength of his enemy [Other] by eating him
or her. Even in polite company we have not altogether relinquished this
practice. Rather, we kill and eat the animal, the beast [the Devil.] The
ritual Sabbath is still tainted with the primal act of humans eating human
flesh in a religious festival. In fact, we are much closer to these primal
rituals than we realize.
Countless reform groups have been created around these simulated
religious festivals, Zionism and the idealized homeland; the Quakers and
the creation of reformist prisons; Pentecostalism and the peace movement;
the Baptists and Civil Rights; the Catholics and the workers movement; as
well as the anti-communist/Solidarity movement and many more. Food is
material and spiritual survival but it is also connected to the most primal
memories and emotions. The urge to kill and the urge to consume are
inextricably entwined. In a civilized society we repress this knowledge and
the emotions that lay beneath it.
Science is coming to terms with past omissions and now describes
how these emotions and rituals can alter the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Science shows us that ritualized behaviour has biological roots. Snyder
[1996] describes how an autistic person must have routine and ritual to feel
safe and in harmony with their surroundings. A break in the routine
changes the brain chemistry and causes panic and violent outbursts
. A
shift in consciousness puts the individual outside the collective
consciousness. From this different space the individual seeks to fill the
vacuum or the lack. The result can be heaven or hell, survive or die.
Clearly, rational discourse offers only a limited one-sided approach to the
problems of ritual violence. Ritual violence is not rational and there are
problems in attempting to understand it by a philosophically linguistic and
rational means. Rationalism does not account for the silence, the
Nothingness or the spaces in between. We seek out the myths and stories
[the non-rational] to explain these spaces and make them valid in our lives.
It is not easy to explain mental Nothingness. It cannot be tested or verified.
The experience of Nothingness is uniquely individual and quirky.

S Snyder 1996 has carried our studies at the Mind Centre Sydney.
Chapt er Fi ve.
Capitalism, Counter-Capitalism and the
Female Principle.
‘Down in the frantic Mountains
They say a canyon winds
Crammed with hysterical waters
Hushed by placid sands
They tried to map that country
Sent out a filed boot crew,
But the river surged at night
And ripped the map in two’
I ntroduction:
How did counter-capitalism become euphemized anti-
Previously, I asked the question: Can active, speaking agents be fully
understood within the parameters of natural science? I then posed the
limits of science, which in turn calls into question the notion of rational
communication. In the paragraphs detailing cognitive linguistics it was
shown that the understanding of information depends on the way
information is ‘framed’ and how this is matched with the recipient’s life
experiences. Cognitive science cannot account for the phenomenal. If I
fully believe in the myth of Allah I accept no other knowledge but Allah’s
teachings. This closure was pre-empted by J L Austin [1976] and explored
further by Bourdieu [1991.] For Bourdieu, ‘the efficacy of ‘performative
utterances’ is inseparable from the existence of an institution’, the
institution ‘defines the conditions [such as the place, time, agent] that must
be fulfilled for the utterance to be effective’
. Bataille [1987] sees the
situation as one of ‘sovereignty’, or a language we lose ourselves in and
that which transcends human/ institutional limits
. I call it ‘mythic
consciousness’ because this language is uniquely based on original
narratives. For Freud [1929] this is the unconscious. From Freud we learn
that not every act is a conscious act and words can cover a much wider
conceptual field than we might anticipate. Researchers in linguistics and
cognitive science now acknowledge that every statement is relative to the

William Stafford in Voices 1969 Harmondsworth, Penguin Education p140.
Pierre Bourdieu quoted in Thompson, 1991:8. See also Bourdieu 1991 Language and
Symbolic Power [Ed.] J B Thompson [Trans.] G Raymond and M Adamson, Cambridge,
Polity Press, pp37 and 40-41.

G Bataille 1987 works to deepen the meaning of false consciousness.
conceptual view, this means that information stored in the memory comes
into play when we make statements. These various forms of knowledge
have been called ‘frames’, ‘scripts’, ‘schemata’
‘Issue frames call our attention to certain events and their
underlying causes and consequences and direct our attention
away from others. At the same time they organize and make
coherent any apparently diverse array of symbols, images
and arguments, linking them through an underlying
organizing idea that suggests what is at stake on the issue.
Framing deals with the gestalt or pattern organizing aspect
of meaning’
In this chapter I will explore the long existence of anti-Semitism
highlighting the struggle between Protestant capitalism and J ewish
capitalism to assert that counter-capitalism is really euphemized anti-
Semitism. To be clear, what is being proposed here is that there is no real
opposition to the overall concept of capitalism. Rather, there is a struggle
between different forms of capitalism. The focus here is on the Protestant
opposition to J ewish capitalism as this sets the scene for a more detailed
history of Christian and Islamic anti-Semitism. In this chapter I contend
that the struggle between Protestant capitalism and J ewish capitalism takes
place at the level of language and action, this is driven by fantasies and
anxieties caused by the primal instincts as told in the ancient creation
myths. In the context of these anxieties the Christians constructed a picture
of the J ews as ‘evil’ and/or the ‘Devil’. I seek to reveal what lies behind
this social and religious construct. The Devil is mythically associated with
the female principle and the primal sacred. The Devil is also composed of
animal features and can be taken as a separation between animals and
humans as well as the pre-conscious state, which is often portrayed in a
figure that is half man and half beast [Dionysus.] Despite patriarchy this
connection with the female principle, the Devil and the sacred has never
been lost. Christianity and Islam both struggled with paganism while
J udaism reconciled the female principle in the Kabbalah.
Historically, what troubles the mind has always been the domain of
religion. In medieval times madness or difference was perceived as being
possessed by the Devil. Those possessed by the Devil were perceived as
animals and they were locked away in asylums in cages or behind bars. In
ancient myth the Devil is the primal goddess representing death and
rebirth, the pre-conscious state. In this chapter I argue that the primal
sacred/death is an ongoing source of human anxiety, which is offset by
hostility towards the Other. This took a particular rationalized form in the
development of capitalism and is now visible in Islam.

G MacLachlan and I Reid, 1994: Framing and Interpretation Melbourne. Melbourne,
University Press p2, 42-3. Also W Gamson 2000The Notforprofit Quarterly Vol 7 issue 2
W Gamson 2000.
What is capitalism? Since Marx the term ‘capitalism’ has become
problematic because the term is used to describe a diversity of phenomena
spread across disparate historical cultures with a wide variety of
worldviews. Capitalism is not simply a system of practices it is a way of
thinking. The earliest forms of direct capitalism come from the mercantile
cultures of Rome, the Middle East as well as forms of early Chinese
capitalism. Capitalism first existed at a time of immense imagination,
superstition and myth. The mercantile system of capitalism saw goods
bought and sold for a profit. As the Empires expanded so too did the
merchants. Similarly, as the Empires contracted the merchandize was
limited to smaller, more localized economies. The Arab countries have a
long history of mercantilism helped by the fact they settled along the
world’s greatest trade routes Egypt, Persia and later Byzantium. Islamic
trading spread to almost global proportions. In this respect, from 1300
onwards most global exploration was driven by mercantilism and the desire
for greater profits. These events gradually led to capitalism as we have
come to understand the term.
The Mythic Origins of Capitalism.
Capitalism is an economic system that aims to create growth. The
cosmic version is told in the story of Isis and Osiris. Isis is the Egyptian
goddess of all creation. Isis swallows Osiris and brings him back to life as
the child Horus a pre-linguistic primal cannibalism. In modern social
theory it is Marx who links capitalism with cannibalism. In Capital [1887]
Marx describes how people are torn from the land and forced into
industrialized alienation. Osiris was torn to pieces and his parts thrown
into the water whereby one part was lost, his penis. Isis made him one of
. While this is the mythical story of innovation and production [life
and death] Scholz [2001] provides a new perspective on these events. He
gives a description of the compromised ritual of castration as it was
practiced on ancient priests and kings. Osiris became king of Egypt and
served for a reign of 28 years. Plutarch records these sacrificial events as
fertility rites and links them to all forms of production and prosperity.
These rites hold death as the regeneration of life. Castration is regarded as
a mini-death; a microcosm of the whole cannibalistic process where the
body of the human/animal is consumed for its spirit/strength
Myth takes us through the periods of evolution at a time when life and
death and all things associated were sacred. The people of the Paleolithic
period regarded hunting as sacred. Later agriculture made the harvest
sacred. Those who engaged in these activities did so in a state of ritual
purity. The power of change is replenished in sacred ritual/feast and the
memory remains as the evolutionary maps of humanity.

B Walker 1983,The Women’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets NY Harper and Row
454-455; Also E Gould-Davis 1971, The First Sex Harmondsworth Penguin pp37-38.

P.O. Scholz 2001 Eunuchs and Castrati: A Cultural History. New York,
Marku Wierner Publishers and Brodwin S Frish pp32- 36, 79-80, 257-297.
Etymology of the Word ‘Capital’.
The word ‘capital’ has its roots in the Latin capitalis. This comes from
the proto-Indo-European Kaput, which means‘head’. To remove the
head/decapitate is the ultimate statement of powerlessness and it has
remained a strong symbol of defiance amongst the radical Islamic clerics
and their followers. The etymology of the word ‘capital’ is linked to the
possession of animals as a measurement of wealth. The Egyptian gods and
goddesses were generally depicted in the company of animals and/or their
spirits/familiars; this idea was spread across Europe and lasted well into the
Middle Ages whereby in Europe powerful witches [medicine women] were
associated with black cats, owls, goats, toads and more. The links between
animals and economics is evidenced in a number of anthropological
. Bataille [1987] reminds us that evolution for humans is a process
of moving away from being the animal. Bataille believes that animals,
unlike humans, have never progressed from fighting each other to the
rational, organized undertaking of war
. Humans regularly hunt in packs
and display predatory behaviour. Clearly, the animal still exists in the
Marx and Engels first used the word Kapitalist in 1848 in the
Communist Manifesto. In 1854 Thackeray used the term ‘capitalist’ in his
novels about society. In 1867 J oseph-Pierre Proudhon used the term to
refer to the owners of capital. Proudhon produced a number of books in
relation to capitalism. He believed capitalism led to misery for the workers.
Proudhon’s What is Property ? [1840/1994] and The Philosophy of Misery
[2004] follow the traditions of Marx. Proudhon is regarded as one of the
most influential critics of French bourgeois society. His work has become a
classic in political thought with its focus on private property as the centre
of Western culture. Proudhon’s work is still invoked by those who oppose
capitalism, especially J ewish capitalism. Proudhon wrote that ‘the J ew is
the enemy of mankind’ a race that ‘poisons everything, by butting in
everywhere without ever merging with the people’
The word capitalism was later used by Werner Sombart in his work
called J ews andModern Capitalism[1902/1982.] Sombart was a member
of the German Historical [Economic] School. Sombart’s early writings
leaned towards Marx and away from the German school’s conservative
trends but in his later work Sombart turns to a decidedly nationalistic and
Nazi view of capitalism. In each of his works the bourgeoisie is largely
denigrated but in the later work capitalism is presented as the fault of the
J ews. In Sombart’s work the capitalist economics come directly from the
Enlightenment’s notion of reason and the control of nature. Sombart’s

Each of these anthropologists have linked animals to capital: Morris 2000; J ames 2005;
Weisel 1959; Chapman 1992; Evans Pritchard 1929; Malinowski 1926; Bateson 1936;
Leach 1954- 1996; Levi-Strauss 1962-1984; Durkheim 1965; Mauss 1972; Sahlins 1981;
Tambiah 1969- 1979; Turner 1967-1975; Kelly and Kaplan 1990.
G Bataille 1987 pp 63-64.
G Schoenfeld 2004The Return of Anti-SemitismNew York, Encounter
Books [First Ed.,] pp 69,147.
writing traces the ‘capitalist inquisitiveness’ to the rise of J ews in central
and northern Europe. This view stands in contrast to Weber’s ideas on the
spread of Protestantism as the core reason for capitalism’s success.
Sombart’s work is distinctly anti-Semitic and alludes to the ‘crafty J ewish
capitalists’. Sombart’s work also became very popular; it fuelled
nationalism and an intense hatred towards the J ewish people. Sombart
went on to write A New Social Philosophy [1969] which was and still is a
highly distributed Nazi text.
Michael Neuman has offered the all-important definition of ‘anti-
Semitism’, which, ‘properly and narrowly speaking does not mean hatred
of Semites; this is to confuse etymology with definition’. Rather, ‘it means
hatred of the J ews!’
. In his work Separation and its Discontents Kevin
MacDonald offers eight reasons for anti-Semitism of which capitalist
success appears as the least important. MacDonald believes that cultural
differences underscore resentment. For MacDonald the acquisition of
identities such as ‘J ewish’ and ‘Gentile’ leads to negative stereotyping and
. For Bourdieu capitalism and culture cannot be separated.
Words are only signifiers of much deeper feelings
. Professor Daniel
Goldhagen wrote in Hitler’s Willing Executioners [1997] ‘it was not
Rothchild the capitalist, but Karl Marx, the socialist, who kindled Adolf
Hitler’s anti-Semitism
. Nolte [1966] said it was communism that caused
the Holocaust
. Hitherto, anti-Semitism is blamed squarely [and unfairly]
on Marx, himself a J ew.
I mperialism.
European Imperialism and international capitalist trade are first
associated with Anders Chydenius who proposed free trade in his [1765]
book The National Gain. This was followed by Adam Smith’s [1776] The
Wealth of Nations and the works of David Ricardo who was accredited
with systematizing capitalism. Ricardo was a businessman, financier and a
speculator who acquired a considerable fortune. Ricardo rejected his
orthodox J ewish origins and eloped with a Quakeress [a Protestant.] In
1819 he took a seat in the British Parliament where he advocated free trade
and the repeal of the Corn Laws. Ricardo’s name is still invoked today by
those who oppose capitalism, imperialism and globalization.

Michael Neuman 2003 What is Anti-Semitismin The Politics of Anti-Semitismin
Counterpunch [Eds.] A Cockburn and J St Clair. Los Angeles AK Press pp1-2.
Kevin MacDonald1998 Separation and its Discontents:Towards an
Evolution Theory of Anti-SemitismLondon and New York Praeger.
Ch. 1
P Bourdieu 1991
D North 1997 Anti-Semitism, Fascismand the Holocaust: A Critical Review of Daniel
Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners SEP Pamphlet Series:17: 3. www.wsws.org
Accessed 15
September, 2006.
E Nolte 1966 Three Faces of Fascism: Action Francaise, Italian Fascism, National
Socialism. New York, International Thompson Publishing.
Fascism: Revolution as Blood Sacrifice.
The seeds of fascism were planted in Italy and they were a reaction to
the French Revolution. The previous Machiavellian order afforded rulers
unlimited power, ruthlessness and a total disregard for human well being.
The social theories that were crystallized in the writings of Rousseau
revoked the old system and brought forth the new Enlightenment. The
culmination of the Enlightenment theories is known as modernism, which
has been critiqued by Hegel [1967]; Marx [1887/1990]; Adorno [1941-
1984]; Nietzsche [1956]; Benjamin [1973]; Bauman [1989,1987]; J ameson
[1971,1991] and others. Fascists opposed the French revolutionary notion
of liberty, equality, fraternity, which put certain inalienable rights in the
hands of ordinary people, thus undermining the power, wealth and the
repressive regime of the elite. Fascists are opposed to any form of
participatory democracy. Fascism typically indulges in the system of
Othering. That is to say, by identifying themselves as righteous and
superior, everyone else is designated as wrong and inferior. This in turn,
becomes a process of dehumanizing and blaming particular groups for
society’s ills. Fascism was forged in the post World War I nationalist
climate in Europe. In Europe the J ewish community became the target for
twentieth century fascists. The J ews were viewed as interlopers because
they did not have a localized hereditary bloodline. The J ews were also
enterprising; they were merchants, traders, service providers, business
people, successful capitalists; a right, according to fascism reserved only
for the elite. Fascism and communism [totalitarianism] can be compared to
religious fundamentalism particularly that coming from Islam. The fascist
ideologies that impact on the Middle East are still largely rooted in racial
hierarchy and birthright; they oppose the Western version of the
Enlightenment and its assertions of freedom.
It was Marx who pointed to the contradictions in capitalism. Marx
noted that the competitive processes of capitalism would lead to a
concentration in capital ownership. This means the elimination of some
producers by others with oligopolies and monopolies. Within capitalism
the elite could not only benefit from capitalist expansion they could retain
what was dear to them. Hence, capitalism has always maintained elements
of conservatism. Every revolution has its elite. The poor who served as the
catalyst for the Communist Revolution did not want equality they wanted
to be rich. Bataille believes the Stalinist gulags were a modern form of
ancient blood sacrifice
. This is not to undermine the abominations that
took place but to suggest that we acknowledge the sacred/sacrificial
territory as dangerous and guard against it.
Post September 11
the guard against terrorizing individuals was well
and truly lost. As J ohn Hinkson in his [2004] editorial in Arena Magazine
‘Since September 11 the debate on whether to engage in
torture in order to save ‘citizens’ and ‘civilization’ has
been openly considered in the United States – within its
media and academic institutions, as well as its frontline

Bataille 1989
military intelligence and political institutions. There
have also been sufficient numbers of serious reports of
the practice of torture by elements of the US military
and intelligence to suggest that it was only a matter of
time before the largely hidden reality became accepted
Hinkson is referring to the reports of torture at Cape Delta in
Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These vivid reports of
torture against detainees shocked the world but only because the torture
was carried out by supposed civilized Westerners. Had these incidents
involved any one of the developing states, the African nations for example,
the reaction might have been quite different. Westerners would have been
appalled but not surprised. Why? Because many Westerners still see the
developing countries [especially the African nations] as primitive.
We are inherently racist, not just because we like to think of ourselves as
superior, but because we fail to see the animal traits in humanity as a
Capitalism carries with it certain expectations of morality and
civilization, ideas that go back to Kant. Yet, rarely has capitalism been
morally just or civilized.
Capitalism and the Emancipation of the J ews.
The J ewish historian Ellis Rivkin, states ‘capitalism and capitalism
alone emancipated the J ews’ [1971:159.] ‘The J ews had no single
medieval history’
. The J ews lived within the Islamic and Christian
worlds. Yet, rather than erode the J ewish identity, this helped to enrich it.
In the mercantile world the J ews became great entrepreneurs. The New
Testament records that after riding into the city of J erusalem on Palm
Sunday J esus enters the Temple to drive out the money-changers
Hence, the Christian faith designated money as the root of all evil.
Christian nuns and priests are expected to forfeit all worldly possessions.
Catholic priests and nuns live separated from society and away from all
temptation. Sanctity was marked by impoverishment and solitude.
J udaic-Christian History in the Work of Flavius
J osephus.
It is largely from the Christian Gospels that the non-J ews of the
Western world gain their understanding of J udaic-Christian history.
Marvin Harris [1974] suggests caution in the reading of these texts. There
are different interpretations of the Bible. Harris believes the history of
Christianity has had a very selective documentation. Harris refers the
reader to the detailed observations of the ancient historian Flavius
J osephus. Writing in The J ewish War J osephus said J esus was involved in a

J Hinkson 2004 The Culture of Torture in Arena Magazine 71 J une-J uly
2004 Melbourne p2.
E Rivkin 1971 Rivkin E [1971] The Shaping of J ewish History: A Radical New
Interpretation. New York, Charles Scribner and Sons pp84. and 159.
J ohn King J ames Bible 2:13-22.
long and intense J ewish liberation struggle against Roman occupation.
J osephus tells us that the ‘guerrilla’ warfare was led by a series of
‘vengeful military messiahs’ inspired by the triumph of David’s conquest
of Goliath and the ‘promise of Yahweh’s military messianic redemption’
The cult of the ‘peaceful’ messiah developed amidst these struggles but
Harris questions exactly how peaceful it really was. Harris asks us to
explore a more conceptual view than that offered by the Christian
The Roman occupation of Palestine exhibited all the traits of colonial
rule. The minority groups who gave their support to Rome were given
positions of power but they were thought of as ‘puppets’ by the rest of the
J ews. Most of the J ewish population were disenfranchised, impoverished
and the fodder for revolutions. According to Harris [1974] there was a deep
hatred between the Galilean peasantry and J erusalem aristocrats. The
proposed revolution in the Middle East was the result of deep class
divisions. Yet, as Harris suggests, the idea of a J ewish military overthrow
of Rome went far beyond the desire for a nationalist state and took on
mythical proportions. The people wanted to see the promise of the prophets
made real and David’s kingdom restored. They hoped the poor would gain
riches and the rich would be punished
In TheJ ewish Antiquities J osephus describes how he, as the Governor
of Galilee and a general in the J ewish liberation army waged war against
Rome. He describes how he and his followers were ‘wiped out in the siege
of J otapata’. After this disaster J osephus declared the Roman ruler
Vespasian was ‘the messiah the J ews had been awaiting’ and in 69AD.
When Vespasian became emperor J osephus was given Roman citizenship
and became a part of the emperor’s entourage. J osephus spent the rest of
his life writing books about why the J ews had revolted against Rome.
J osephus shows how the ‘J ewish messianic guerilla consciousness’ lived
on in the images of wandering holy men [the Essenes] speaking oracles and
parables promising paradise on earth
. It is a tradition that has remained
to this day.
According to J osephus the leaders in the J ewish struggle aimed to
reinstate their royalty unifying the relationship between gods and kings.
Ultimately, the J ewish messianic campaign failed, the Kingdom of David
was not restored. According to J osephus the J ews lost their state because
they allowed the myths to perpetuate to the extent that without any thought
of the consequences they took on the military might of Rome. It was a
campaign where belief and superstition overcame reason
. The
perpetuation of myths is very successful in bringing about such
mobilizations; this too has remained a constant. In his Discourse to the
Greeks Concerning Hades J osephus suggests that the struggle between
Rome and the J ews is for a kingdom [material and spiritual] and he

M Harris M 1974 Cows, Pigs, War and Witches: Riddles of Culture, London, Fontana
Collins pp116 –125.
See the Book of Enoch and Harris 1974, 116-118.
M Harris 1974 pp116-125..
expresses concern that the J ews will put royalty and wealth before God.
This sentiment has been embellished and turned upon the J ews ever since.
Today, Christians sing the praises of ‘Royal David’s City’ at
. The ‘city’ is Bethlehem the birthplace of J esus and his
ancestor David. Since 1919 Kings College Cambridge has opened its
Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols to celebrate the place and
events. The Lessons begin with the fall and the promise of the messiah;
they follow a specific order through readings and hymns, which replicate
the much earlier pagan festivals of Yuletide. The Yuletide marks the winter
solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The J ews translate it into Hanukkah,
the word means dedication. In the J ewish tradition Antiochus IV wanted
all the J ews to worship Greek gods and when the J ews refused they were
killed. In 165 BCE J udah the Maccabee recaptured J erusalem and the
Temple. J udah and his men wanted to light the Menorah candles [nine
branch candles] but found only enough oil for one day. A miracle happened
and the oil lasted for eight days. Since this event J ewish people light
candles for eight days to remember Hanukkah, the festival of lights, which
happens near Christmas. The pagan religion has this time as the great
darkness and the longest night of the year. The ‘darkness’ is also
. This harks back to the primal sacrifice;
otherwise called the sacred killing, which ‘is extended today to those who
watch it as a solemn rite’
. The ancient theatre/festival is where the
animal/human is killed and offered to the gods and then consumed in a
blood ritual linking gods and humans. These rituals have not been lost.
They remain in the psyche and extend through other symbolic orders,
rituals and festivals.
Capitalism and Persecution of the J ews.
That capitalism should assist the emancipation of the J ews is
paradoxical because the first ‘protocapitalists’ were not J ewish they were
the Florentine and Venetian merchants who excluded J ews from the higher
offices of their economic system. Rivkin tells us that ‘every capitalist
centre during the sixteenth century was a territory where J ews had been
forbidden to live’. This did not stop J ewish populations from developing
their own capital. Persecution taught the J ews how to overcome their
restrictions. In Spain the J ews became the ‘marranos’ or J ews who
converted to Christianity for purely entrepreneurial reasons. J ews survived
and traded this way until 1499. At the time of the Inquisition J ews had
their property confiscated and were labelled ‘infidels’. The Inquisition
determined that a J ewish convert to Christianity was still a ‘secret J ew’.
The Portuguese Inquisition saw many of the ‘marranos’ immigrate to
Turkey where they re-embraced J udaism. A new European spirit of
capitalism [Enlightenment] enabled J ews to resettle in places where they
had once been forbidden to live such as Holland, England, France and later
Germany [the J ews were not emancipated in Germany until the latter part
of the nineteenth century.] The J ewish entrepreneurs flourished under the

This Christmas Carol was written in 1848.
This was Bataille’s idea 1987 p22.
Ottoman dynasty [1299-1923] until it collapsed. By this time the J ews had
gained their freedom and built a strong civil society. By the 1850s Anglo-
J ewry prospered, ‘middle class elements were pre-dominant’ and J ews had
created an elite ‘comprised of wealthy families of merchants and
stockbrokers...banking, insurance and even heavy industry’
. Rivkin
suggests that in Europe and the American colonies the J ews enjoyed full
participation in the creation of the capitalist society. Rivkin believes that
where capitalism failed to take hold, the J ews were expelled or persecuted;
in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe. Rivkin states: ‘the crucial role of
capitalism has been obscured...the connection between the liberating ideas
and the new economic system was not obvious’. Rivkin believes the
J ewish Haskalah [Enlightenment] ‘can be called the ideological program of
those J ews saying ‘yes’ to developing capitalism’
. Not all historians paint
such a rosy picture. J ewish Enlightenment and internationalism greatly
enhanced J ewish capitalism making J udaism a revolutionary force that had
to be destroyed. J onathan Israel notes the European Enlightenment
heightened the scorn towards J ewish traditions and this was linked to the
dislike of ancient superstition and the power of priests
. Katznelson
[1995] tells us that ‘the European Enlightenment softened the animus of
European societies toward their J ews, it was also deeply hostile to
J udaism’. That is to say, assimilation could only take place if J ews gave up
their identity. Bauman, who has written extensively on the J ews, tells us
superstition was a condition that some J ews were happy to change. As
Bauman puts it, after Enlightenment ‘J ews now had exit visas by virtue of
their changed collective condition, even if their access to entry tickets as
individuals was hardly assured’
. During the Enlightenment attacks on
J ewish religion came from the most eminent secularists, Voltaire, Diderot,
Montesquieu, Dohm and Holbach. Brunstein believes that the
Enlightenment served to modernize and secularize anti-Semitism
. After
the Enlightenment J ews were no longer limited in their economic pursuits
but this in turn caused the aristocracy, the clergy and the newly established
guilds to organize and defend their powers. Further, recent literary theory

See A Gilman 1982 The Emancipation of the J ews in England 1830-1860 London,
Garland Press pp2, 58-59.
See Rivkin, 1971 pp140-147. Also MacDonald 1998 and J Israel 1989 European J ewry
in the Age of Mercantilism1550-1750. Oxford, Oxford Clarendon Press, pp 160,176,232.

J Israel 1989 European J ewry in the Age of Mercantilism. Oxford, Oxford Clarendon
press. p232.
In I Katznelson 1995 J ews on the Margins of American Liberalismin Paths of
Emancipation: J ews, States and Citizenship. P Birnbaum and I Katznelson I [Eds.] New
J ersey Princeton University Press pp 160-161. See also Bauman 1987/1995 The Fall of the
Legislator: Legislators and Interpreters Oxford, Basil Blackwell, pp110-26 and in
Docherty T Postmodernism: A Reader, London, Harvester Weatsheaf p128-129.
W I Brunstein 2003 Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitismin Europe: Before the
Holocaust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press pp77-78, 122.
suggests that the Enlightenment, far from being an assault on religion
actually reinforced it through a system of acclaimed values that included
colonization. This created a temper that was to further alienate the J ews
Myth and Monotheism.
The J ewish Enlightenment like its counter-part was a call to reason; it
also rationalized the differences between J ews and Gentiles. These
differences lie in the traditions of Western civilization, which were
originally created by J udaism
. Both Protestants and J ews practiced
monotheism but each reached their belief in one God with different aims
and priorities – Law or no Law. The breakaway J ewish sects amongst them
the Christians rejected the J ewish Laws that included strict dietary
regulations. The ‘monotheistic revolution’ of the Hebrew Bible represents
a radical break with the ‘polytheistic cultures’, which were a continual
threat to the religious order of ancient Israel. For the Christian church it
was not so much a break with polytheism but a continual struggle within
and against the old heresies. There are three important points in relation to
the transition to monotheism and how Protestantism differs from J udaism:
1. The Christian Holy Trinity does not represent the apex of successful
2. Polytheistic religions were not the embodiment of primitivism and
unethical behaviour as claimed by the Christians.
3. Monotheism did not make a real break with polytheistic superstitions; it
entered into a polemic
Within Christianity monotheism did not produce an ‘end-point’, but
one that is continuously in flux. J udaism is much more complex and
multifaceted than we might have imagined. For the Early Christian Fathers
the monotheistic impulse was perceived absolute while the J ews
maintained ‘a salient example of an intra-J ewish movement that does not
comply with the rules of a rigorous monotheism in J ewish mysticism...’
namely the ‘Kabbalah’. The Kabbalah began with learned elite and
represented one of the most vital movements in J udaism
. In the eyes of
Christians this made the J ews capable of magical powers [Devil/devilish.]
The Christians believed the J ews were seers of the past, present and the
future and the Christians were fearful. The Christians believed their past

J Phillips J 1998 Cannibalismqua capitalism: the metaphorics of
accumulation in Marx, Conrad, Shakespeare and Marlow in Cannibalismand the
Colonial World [Eds.] Barker F, Hulme P and Iversen M. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press pp183-4,193,197.
P Schafer P [1997] J udeophobia: Attitudes Towards the J ews in the Ancient World.
Cambridge MA. Harvard University Press.See also 2001/2 Mirror of His Beauty Feminine
Images of God fromthe Bible to the Early Kabbalah. New J ersey, Princeton University
Press, p1.
Ibid 2002 p3.
ibid pp2-4.
sins were open to exposure and this would be used against them by the
J ews. Thus the J ews were the formidable enemy.
Primal Signifiers in the Kabbalah.
In the Kabbalah God is revealed as having inner ‘realms’ that represent
ten ‘potencies’ [Hebrew Sefirot.] The Sefirot are given different
configurations, all of which have different names, one of these is female.
The female principle within God is Shekhinah [the Hebrew goddess.]
Shekhinah is highly revered
. This is a marked distinction from Christian
monotheism where the Early Christian Fathers clearly expressed the view
that women were amongst the worst abominations, the Devil incarnate. The
female in Christianity was cursed with the sins of Eve. The book of Enoch
taught that God had created death to punish humanity for Eve’s sins but
rather than turn hostility towards God for his wrath against humans the
Early Christian Father’s determined that the responsibility was solely with
Eve. Saint Paul blamed only Eve for eating the forbidden apple; Adam was
fully exonerated. According to Timothy [2:1] it was a heresy to say that
death was a natural occurrence rather than the result of Eve’s terrible sin.
Hence, for Christians women became the source of all evil, cunning and
The focus of paganism/polytheism has always been life and death; as
well as sex and reproduction, viewed as universally acquired and
[w]holistically applied across all life-forms. J udaism recognized the power
of women’s procreative role while the Christians feared it. The early
Christian priests emasculated themselves to become more like the pagan
women priestesses. They mutilated their genitals and wore womens’
clothes, first as part of their goddess worship then to emulate the
priestesses and seize their power
. GeorgeBataille tells us that the blood
escaping from the female is associated with an internal violence. Hence,
there is a continuing connection between death, violence and sexual
In modern society the wearing of womens’ clothes by men
[transvestism] has been regarded as an obsession but it is much more.
Transvestism has deep primal roots. It has a long history connected with
sacred ritual, theatre and political dissidence. Born in 1644 Francois
Timoleon de Choisy was dressed in girl’s clothes. His mother was a friend
of the infamous royal transvestite Duc d’Orleans. J oan of Arc made her
first request of the Dauphin dressed in men’s clothes. Monarchs and

S L Mathers MacGregor 1968 The Kabbalah New York, Samuel Weiser Chapter 1,
B Walker 1983 Women’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets New York, Harper and
Row p290. Also R Graves 1958, The White Goddess New York, Vintage Books pp11-27
and M Daly1973 Beyond God the Father: Toward aPhilosophy of Womens’ Liberation,
Boston, Beacon Press, p69.
P O Scholz [2001] Eunuchs and Castrati: A Cultural History. New York, Marku
Wierner Publishers and Brodwin S Frish pp 79-80. Also B Walker 1983p290.
GBataille 1987 p11.
entrepreneurs have frequently cross dressed as have writers, actors, artists
and other public figures. Buster Keaton, Micky Rooney, Marlene Dietrich.
William Powell, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope, Alec Guinness, Tony Curtis
and J ack Lemmon and J erry Lewis have all crossed dressed in movie roles.
Cross dressing has featured prominently in literature and music.
Historically, high fashions have included men wearing skirts, make-up and
powdered wigs and the church is well known for its clerical garb. Cross
dressing has been an indicator of someone significant in society or
someone who feels different. Here the links between entertainment, sex
and ritual can be extrapolated to reveal their origins in shamanism and the
sacred sacrificial feast. Cross dressing is thus equated with talismanic
magic. Let’s face it people who cross dress get noticed; that is magic!
Magic is the extraordinary event.
The original Kabbalah ‘deals with talismanic and ceremonial magic’
Christian Gnosticism tells much the same story as the Kabbalah, that the
female principle [Sophia] allowed God to fertilize her womb but this
knowledge within Christendom remained a secret known only to a select
few. The goddess/womb is represented by metaphors. In Hamlet it is
Ophelia’s grave. Hamlet plunges into the forbidden zone in much the same
way as imperialism rides roughshod into the wilderness with the aim of re-
developing it. Along with this sojourn into the depths of darkness and
alienation is the longing for the homecoming. The Motherland is cast in the
image of the goddess. The homecoming in modern literature turned
populations into patriots but it changes after Nietzsche into a reverse
formula, not a homecoming but an exile. The god [goddess] is dead and
humanity at large is alienated. What follows are the morbid narratives of
Samuel Beckett, Gunter Grass, Harold Pinter and J ean Genet all depicting
forms of human homelessness. The existential becomes political as well as
In Harold Pinter’s play titled The Homecoming published in London
in 1965 there is an obvious absence of the female in a working class
household. When a woman arrives from America, visiting with her
husband and brother, a plot is hatched to keep her there, sexually exploit
her and turn her into a prostitute [a harlot.] Hence, she becomes the
penultimate goddess restoring the balance of the household; sexually,
materially and spiritually. The sentiment is inherently Tantric where the
spirit of the female passes through all life-forms as sex. We experience
much the same scenario in modern advertising.
In the work of Günter Grass the approach to absence is slightly
different. In The Tin Drum[1959] the writer tells the story of
Oskar Matzerath who writes his autobiography while living in a sanatorium
during the 1952-1954. He has been falsely convicted of a murder to which
he confessed and remains in an insane asylum where he writes his work. It
starts with his birth when he discovers he has a piercing shriek that can
shatter glass. This leads him to believe he has special spiritual powers. At
age three he receives a tin drum for his birthday and decides to will himself
not to grow up. He becomes the spiritual child housed in the body of an
adult. Oskar retains this status while experiencing the start of World War

Mathers, 1968 pp5-6.
II and Hitler’s Holocaust. Through all his difficulties Oskar retains
ownership of the tin drum, it becomes his prized possession and he will kill
to retain it.
On reading this story one is immediately drawn to the Christmas song
called The Little Drummer Boy, written in 1941. The lyrics tell the story of
a little boy who is so poor he cannot afford to buy a gift for the baby J esus
so instead he plays his drum for the infant messiah. The story is similar to a
twelve century legend retold by Anatole France Le jongleur de Notre-
Dame [The J uggler of Notre-Dame], which was adapted into an opera in
1902 by J ules Massenet. In the French legend the juggler performs in front
of the statue of the Virgin Mary. Historically, performance has been used
as a tribute to royalty and was originally a procession to honour the
goddess. The notion then resided in the court jester who was both fortune
teller and entertainer. The jester was often dressed in a dual costume
marking both male and female characteristics and/or heaven and earth.
J ean Genet provides us with another revealing insight to the absence
of the goddess in Lady of Flowers [1944] [Notre Dame Des Fleurs]. His
first, largely autobiographical novel tells the story of a man’s journey
through the Parisian underworld, mostly occupied by fringe dwellers and
homosexuals. The novel describes the life of Divine a drag queen who,
after dying of tuberculosis is canonized. The narrator tells us his stories are
to amuse himself and aid his masturbation whilst he is serving out his
prison sentence. Divine lives in a drab attic room that overlooks the
Montmartre Cemetery in Paris. He shares the room with various lovers
the most important being a pimp called Darling Daintyfoot. One day
Darling brings home a youth and murderer dubbed Our Lady of Flowers.
The youth is eventually arrested, tried and executed. Before this happens
Genet has used this youth to flout all forms of conventional morality
making murder the ultimate act of sexual gratification. The work is
reminiscent of Sade’s pornography and sadism and like Sade, Genet spent
almost all of his life in prison. The absence of the female is interpreted as
the absence of God and hence, the absence of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or any valued
The radical transformation of moral and spiritual life is even more vivid
in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot [1952.] Here the gods fail to appear when
humanity calls them. The timeless sacred, which is lost reappears in
Kafka’s The Trial and is depicted as the door, a version of the heavenly
stairway in J acob’s dream. Kafka’s work depicts the darkness hinting of an
escape for those willing to pass through the door. There are risks involved
in this passing. The desire to explore the depths of the human psyche is still
with us but with this darkness comes a different kind of violence to that
expressed in the cosmos and ancient sacred rituals. With no god violence
becomes a terrible privatized and systemic violence with no heroes killing
the beasts. Instead, the beast is internalized and named the ‘unconscious’.
Here all the painful memories of terror and chaos, imagined and real, are
stored. This is the world of darkness that awaits a messiah and the
promised renewal; the paradise. The Greeks explored this darkness in
tragedy. Freud saw it as the repressed desires that lead to fantasies and
anxieties. Mircea Eliade explains it by telling us how humans live in two
time frames:
‘of which the more important sacred time, appears under the
paradoxical aspect of a circular time, reversible and
recoverable, a sort of eternal mythical present that is
periodically regenerated by means of rites’
We might view these time frames as the inside and outside worlds. The
inside draws on a primal ‘sovereignty’ [Nothingness] and the outside is
where [man] would be sovereign [materialism/capitalism] it translates into
heaven and hell
. On the one hand the J ews came to represent the
material/capitalist side of the equation but they also had first hand
knowledge of the other side; occultism, which put them in imminent
danger with those who had rejected it. We have a similar situation today.
The two pet hates of leftist supporters are capitalism and religion.
The Construction of Heroes in the Social Field.
It was Sade who said, ‘there is no better way to know death than to link
it with some licentious image’
. The power of words lies in the way in
which those words convey the vividness and strength of the image. For
instance, the Word of God invokes the Law of God; also the Law of the
Father; the Laws of patriarchy; colonialism, oppression, the domination of
nature, the subjugation of the individual and the false construction of the
Self. While ancient myth unified the Self with its Other, modern culture
locates a mythic Self in a visual spectacle that is technological, material
and culturally bound. The highest ranking individual in culture is the hero.
Take the following example:
From 1938 to the middle of the 1950s the most common reading for
European and American working class youths was the comic book. One of
the first stories to become popular was that of Superman created by J oe
Shuster and J erry Siegal, which first appeared in Action Comics [1938.] It
tells the story of Superman who is born on the planet Krypton as Kal-El.
Superman is rocketed to earth as an infant by his scientist father moments
before the planet self-destructs. The rocket lands near a farm and the
elderly owners find the baby and adopt him. When the boy grows to
adulthood he discovers he has extraordinary powers unlike any mortals. He
resolves to use his powers to help others but knows he must keep his
identity a secret. Superman lives amongst the mortals as the journalist on
the Daily Star [later changed to the Daily Planet.] He works alongside his
partner Lois Lane with whom he is romantically involved. Superman gives
credence to the dominant moral code, fight for the good and destroy the
evil. This in turn is underscored by the normalcy of a heterosexual
relationship. The story duplicates other mythical/cultural heroes such as
Gilgamesh, Samson, Moses, Oedipus, and J esus, who were abandoned as
infants and returned as saviours of the world. The saviour complex is a

M Eliade 1968 The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion New York,
Haravest Press p70.
Bataille 1987 p11.
recognized psychological condition that causes dependence and co-
dependence. Nonetheless, the saviour hero is someone we should all aspire
to [a double bind.] The saviour/hero translates into the moral upstanding
citizen, the mentor, ‘do-gooder’ or volunteer worker with covert
mythological links.
By 1941 the world is at War and the women of Europe are deeply
enmeshed into the workforce for the War effort. In 1941 along comes the
first female super hero/saviour, Wonder Woman. She is Princess Diana of
the Amazon warrior tribe who is recorded in Greek mythology. Diana is
the name of the Roman Goddess, the Greek equivalent is Artemis, the
moon goddess, hunter and protector of animals. The virgin Artemis was so
pure that no man had dared look upon her except Actaeon who caught her
bathing. Artemis turned him into a stag and he was hunted down and torn
to pieces in preparation for his transformation. Clearly, Actaeon must
experience his rights of passage, which are determined by the female.
Wonder Woman made her debut in the All Star Comic. Wonder
Woman started life as a strong, seductive feminist with a mind of her own.
The men are at war so women must assume more control over their lives.
By 1958, well after the war has ended and after the original creator has
passed away, Wonder Women is tamed. By the end of the 1960s when the
hippie revolution and flower power is reigned in to a more conservative
temper, Wonder Woman has thoroughly surrendered her powers to men.
The new format is greatly influenced by the Emma Peel character in the
British television spy-thriller The Avengers. Emma is the lethal, leather-
clad vamp, the slavish worker who can never complete a task without her
male superior/saviour coming to her aid. She is nonetheless, reminiscent of
the ancient goddess of death and destruction capable of discursive, strategic
and hegemonic powers. She is also a cross-dresser. In this sense Emma
straddles both worlds tempting us to partake of our own journey from one
world to the other; from the real to the fantastic. In the context of 1970s
feminism Wonder Woman became a euphemism for women who expected
to do everything from work, run a household, raise children and so on.
Feminism pushed Wonder Woman into becoming Mabel the Mechanic who
was duly scorned for daring to enter into the male domain. The notion of
Wonder Woman then entered the corporate sphere as women began to ease
into executive positions. The executive woman conjured up a picture of
steal capped breasts, chain-mail bracelets and a crown with a star in the
middle. Through all these transitions Wonder Woman carried some kind of
talisman/weapon. This is surely the wicked queen or thebeast of
Because the harsh world of realism must have its Other we turn to
entertainment to understand the possible enemy. In the Film Enchanted
[2007] a plot is hatched in the magical kingdom called Andalasia, a prince
plans to marry a beautiful princess. Her name is Giselle and she is really a
forest nymph with a beautiful singing voice. The Queen does not like the
princess or the idea of the marriage so she throws the delicate nymph down
a well. The princess nymph emerges in the middle of New York’s Times
Square where she is befriended by a lawyer and his daughter who are on a
mission to undermine the power of the wicked queen. After many
escapades the wicked queen is defeated and order is restored.
It becomes clear that language, myth and image are framed and re-
framed to suit changing landscapes and interests. Myths are formulated and
revived alongside human experience. Hollywood movie producers have
standard hero templates for almost every movie that reaches an audience.
The heroes hide behind the fear of exposure. Desire becomes disavowed,
whereby the primal erotic sex paradigm [sacred sacrifice] gets reproduced
in duty, good and service to humankind [discursive powers.]
The primal
experience is located in the simulacra and its techniques. In film for
example, the image of the sacred sacrifice is brought through the camera.
The camera teases us with entangled flesh and fake orgasm. The camera
hones in so skin and organs are magnified and detached from the whole
body [dismembering.] Frenetic sex/death is set against a contrived
landscape, which tells another story. Hence, the life/death landscape
becomes confused. We become transfixed in the vortex, a space/confusion
that is religion/capitalism/Self - or part thereof. This is the space where
fantasies are created. For the J ews there was no escaping the impacts of
these fantasies, the primal violence and dismembering became the life-
world experience.
The Law of God and a Book about Men.
In the book titled About Men [1978] Phillis Chesler shows how the
Law of God confines creativity to its own needs. God the father is really
god the mother, or more precisely the androgyny, which the ancient myths
had cast above all human dispositions [sovereignty.]
Androgyny is a
universal, it is the visible and invisible, two sides of the same coin, the
J anus face, the Cartesian logico, the Self and Other and/or the grammar of
a perceived correctness and control
. These correspondences are the basis
of religious, fundamentalist and elitist systems, which generally speaking,
contain elements of secret knowledge used as gradual rewards for devotion.
These religions are said to bring about the experience called
‘Enlightenment’ or a knowledge, truth, ecstasy and utopia and/or altered
states of consciousness. There is a place in heaven for those who are
miserable on earth. Without the vision of utopia there can be no dystopias.
However, we can no longer ignore the dissipation that works through these
religious institutions or with politics in general. We must affirm our own
finitude because in its denial we create the fantasies of heaven and the
after-life and/or the utopias and seek to find them through irreparable harm.
We enter wars and conflicts under the guise of ideals and myths. Denial of
the primal terror forces us to continually seek its duplicate in the real
J esus and Para-Suicide.
Over time J esus lost his J ewish identity even though according to
Mathew [5:18] he never intended to break with J ewish Laws. J esus never

P Chesler 1978 About Men London, The Womens’ Press.
M Blanchot 1993. The Infinite Conversation. [Trans.] S Hanson, Minneapolis,
University of Minnesota ppxii. 77.
wanted his movement to be for anyone other than J ews. Yet, the J ews
rejected it
. It was Paul who preached to the Gentiles and he had never
seen or heard of J esus before the crucifixion
. There is some controversy
over the existence of Paul. He was also known as Saul of Tarsus, the pagan
or the infamous magician Simon of Magus. The Christian Bible has him
mending his ways and converting to Christianity, but the question remains:
Was he really converted to Christianity? The odds are stacked against it.
Why would Paul embrace such a heresy as Christendom? We are told Paul
had a vision on the road to Damascus but this is not unusual in pagan
times. There is an uncanny resemblance between the persecution speech
spoken by the Christ to the blinded Paul [Saul] and the persecution of
Dionysus found in the works of Euripides’s Bacchae. Something else to
consider is J esus had a twin brother Thomas [Doubting Thomas.] Was this
also a Dionysian image of the conscious and the unconscious; the two
worlds, whereby the human can also slip back into being the pre-linguistic
animal? Many Christian illustrations show J esus Christ being kind to
animals. The only people genuinely kind to animals in ancient times were
the pagans and mystics. Otherwise animals were there to be used and
abused; tamed because they were generally feared.
Suffice to say, the life of J esus has been turned into a powerful myth
of the hero/messiah or the dying and resurrection of the god/hero. The
Christian cult even borrowed the pagan Yuletide festival as the Birth date
of their saviour. This is the very same myth that drives capitalism and its
boom and bust cycles. Today, the original gods must compete with the new
gods; where the primal decay and the reconstructed clay penis are now
simulated in a mass media with an extraordinary array of quasi-religious
and sacred sexual images. Hollywood movies and soap operas create the
space for a broader range of cultural practices to encapsulate the ancient
myths. Hollywood recreates visually the dying, decaying primal sacrifice
blurring the boundaries between the cosmic and the real violence. The
media death is a safe death, something to be viewed at a distance. Yet, it
grips us emotionally and holds us in its power. This is the power of the
archetype that can dictate what we should believe and how we should act
because the conscious mind does not know or filter the unconscious. These
are such powerful stories that nation states and the body politic are
organized around them

Mathew 5:18 King J ames Bible.
R Macklin 1990 The Secret Life of J esus London and New York, Pan books p7.
L Rofel 1997 Rethinking Modernity: Space and Factory Discipline in China, in A
Gupta and J Ferguson [Eds.] Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical
Anthropology Durham NC Duke University Press.
Chapt er Si x.
The Capitalism, Cannibalism Trope.
Oh Heavenly Father, if we praye,
Will help a suffering child;
Go take the holy sacrament
So shall their grief grow mild
I ntroduction:
What are the links between cannibalism and the religions of
Christianity and I slam?
In the previous chapters I made the link between the primal sacred
myths and rituals and the unconscious, sometimes called the primal/sacred
unconscious. The story of human creation is the story of consciousness.
The memory of the primal unconscious was celebrated by the ancient
civilizations in the sacred [pagan] feast, sometimes referred to as the
carnival feast or the marriage feast [the marriage of heaven and earth.]
This celebration of consciousness and its journey from the unconscious
was marked by a return to the unconscious, or a state of altered
consciousness and it was generally drug induced. The pagan rituals were
carried into monotheism and they were imbued into the spirit of capitalism
as the competitive force in Protestant capitalism and J ewish capitalism.
This chapter answers the question, what are the links between cannibalism,
capitalism and the religions of Christianity and Islam and how does this
impact on the J ews? Here I explore the journey into the wilderness to eke
out a ‘paradise’ as well as the notion of paradise as it is experienced by the
Other; those excluded from paradise and who are forced to create their own
paradise. In this chapter I use the Marxist notion of capitalismas
cannibalismto trace the ‘evil’ that has been designated to the J ews. I
contend that this ‘evil’ is linked to the creationist myths of dismembering
and transformation arising from an assumed pre-historic lawlessness
[sacred sacrifice/cannibalism.] I explore how these myths relate to the
early Christian practices and become the real events of cannibalism and
other bodily mutilations. Then I connect these events to anxieties
surrounding the Christian ritual that involves consuming the Host [taken by
the Christians to be the real body of J esus Christ.] I suggest that the
anxieties connected to this ritual [and the memories of cannibalism]
transform into fears of contamination/desecration of the Host. This in turn,

William Taylor 1765-1836 Ellenore.
is perceived as the second killing [as opposed to the Second Coming] of
J esus. These fears are mirrored in the presence and practices of the J ews
[who allegedly killed J esus] and give rise to ongoing acts of persecution
against the J ews.
Here I present a reverse formula to that of religious history, which
alleges that the J ews killed J esus. I contend that the J ews did not kill J esus
he died in the practice of pagan religious ritual and was then, as primal
pagan tradition demands, consumed by his followers [eaten.] The anxiety
brought about by this act was then offset in further violent ritual practices
[the killing and eating of children] and this became the symbolic Host.
What I want to show in this section is the way in which the emotions
engage with the original fantasy to recreate ongoing fantasies. Hence, the
lived experience is not the real experience but a phantasm. This section
points explicitly to religion as an expression of anxieties and fantasies that
have ongoing consequences for those who do not share the same fantasy.
Funerary Rites: The Devil and the Divine Comedy.
In nature the goddess was seen as nurturing her children, she gave
them life and retrieved it at the appropriate time. All of the goddess’s
children were an extension of her reproductive womb. After patriarchy
nature and death was something to be conquered and brought under
control. This desecration and cruelty was resisted in the visions of a better
world; that is the vision of utopia or the return to the goddess’s
womb/paradise. In Greek mythology it is the return to the grove/grotto. In
monotheism it is heaven, symbolized in the Covenant and the Ark. In
Freudian terms it is repression, a return to the womb and the resolution of
childhood conflicts. Psychiatry calls it dissociation. J ean Luc Nancy holds
it to be a state of hypnotism; the desired entry into the prohibited [sacred]
. In ritual this is where death beautifies life as in the journey of the
goddess Inanna to the underworld [death/martyrdom] to retrieve the lost
souls. We see a perfect example of this ritual in the death of the British
Princess Diana. Diana experienced an unhappy life of depression and
eating disorders. Diana’s tragic life culminated in a fatal car accident and
her death, which brought performance, purity, media, identity and global
politics together in the funeral procession that stretched for miles across
North London to where she was laid to rest in the magical grounds of the
family estate. What this procession reveals is the power of ritual to unify
groups of often diverse beliefs and backgrounds and that ritual practices are
wholly enmeshed in the everyday events. Diana still exists in the
posthumous life of the goddess. This view is supported by the suppression
of the alleged criminal activities surrounding her death and the ongoing
inquiries. In myth no goddess can truly be a victim of crime because she
has power to over everything. The death of Diana took on these mythical
proportions. Eventually, all the allegations were dismissed.

J -L Nancy J -L1993 The Birth of Presence California. Standford University Press p19.
See also 1998 The Experience of FreedomLondon and New York, Merdian Press, p33.
The funeral procession is an age-old ritual that honours Isis the
devouring goddess. The Pyramid Texts records a series of ancient
Egyptian rites and is one of the remnants of the funerary cults, which
includes the Cannibal Hymn. This is where dead kings eat the gods and
goddesses and assume their powers in the afterlife
. It only appears in the
pyramids of Unis and Teti, the last rulers of the fifth and sixth Egyptian
dynasties but it existed long before the pyramids were built. These texts
refer to tribal cannibalism. The powers of life and death that were with the
gods and goddess were assimilated into the dynasties of the Pharaohs via
the practices of cannibalism. According to modern theorists there is no
archaeological evidence of cannibalism in pre-dynastic times in Egypt.
Siculus Diodorus, on the other hand, in his [first century BC] history tells
us that Osiris forbade Egyptians to eat each other. This did not stop the
practice, it seems that even Osiris had not been buried whole; the parts of
his body had to be reconstructed. Even after Osiris supposedly stopped the
practice of cannibalism there was human sacrifice generally of those
conquered in battles, ‘foreigners or strangers’. Cannibalism also existed in
famines. Hassan [1993] writes:
‘in the terrible famine [‘al-Shiddat ull-Uzmma’,] literally
‘the greatest crisis’ of AH447 [AD 1059] which lasted
unbroken for seven years horses, asses, dogs and cats were
consumed before people at last began to eat each other.
Passers-by were caught in the streets by hooks let down
from windows, drawn up, killed and cooked. Human flesh
was sold in public
The significance of cannibalism is that its termination supposedly
formed the basis for the monotheist religious practices. Abraham is spared
his son and a pact is made with God for the practice of circumcision, or a
mini-death/sacrifice. The J ews banned all forms of ritual cannibalism and
instituted strict dietary laws. All animal products had to be kosher, drained
of blood and properly blessed. In this way the J ews made a break with the
thanatologies. After J esus was nailed to the cross he was pierced in the
side and drained of blood. This is a possible sign that he was destined for
the dining table.
The funerary cults or ‘thanatologies’ are the meaning of life as seen
through the experiences of death. Funerary cults dealt effectively with the
fear of death [as well as the fear of being eaten] by performing rituals that
taught people that death was natural and inevitable.
The Attic Drama.
The funerary cults of Egypt were relived in the Attic drama and
sacrifice. It was the Greeks who turned the mythic stories into everyday

In Utterances 273-4. See Pyramid Texts.
F Hassan 1993 Population, Civilization and Ecology in Ancient Egypt in Crumley C L
[Ed.] Historical Ecology: Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes School of
American Research Santa Fe 1993, pp155-181 and
http://www.maat.sofiatopia.org/cannibal.htm#2.1a Accessed on 5
August, 2006.
events most famously in the work of Euripides. Sophocles said Euripides
‘made men as they ought to be’ while Aristophanes and Aristotle implied
that Euripides stole the dignity of tragedy and undermined the moral
character of Athens
. In Euripides tragedy loses its organic [sacred]
character for an overt theology. In the plays [Iphigenia in Aulis, the
Phoenissae, the Heracles and the Bacche] we see how ritual is used to
affirm religious practice. At the same time Euripides takes drama into the
festival to honour Dionysus. Recorded here are the transitions between
paganism and monotheism. Euripides questions, Helen for example has
doubts that she is born from an egg
. Electra says the ‘terrible myths are a
gain for men and for the worship of the gods’
. Aristophanes explores such
questions and gives us satire, which exposes the follies [madness] of its
subject and offers them up for ridicule [benign sacrifice.] This comedy is
much more than mere entertainment. Satire became the role of the Court
J ester, not just a performer but a mediator between life and death. The
J ester knows everything! The J ester is the Fool whose other side is
wisdom [conscious/unconscious.] This motif is still vivid in theTarot
[fortune telling cards that originated in the 14
Medieval medicine consisted of four humours, sanguine, melancholia,
choleric and phlegmatic, the cure was laughter/hysteria or a childlike
madness aided by the in gestation of plants and herbs. The J ester is the
holder of infinite possibilities within the unconscious dreaming because he
has the knowledge of mind altering plants and herbs. The J ester is the
counterpart to the priest, the doctor and the drug dealer. In the modern
context the J ester or Fool is likely to be labelled a neurotic but in ancient
times such a neurosis was perceived as a supreme gift.
Aristophanes regularly made fun of the madness and regularly
identified these traits in his audience, sometimes by having them on stage
. Aristophanes [much like the postmodernists] toyed with the
fragility of the whole subject. In the Wasps, the Clouds and in the Birds a
blueprint for change is created but not one we anticipate. In the Birds we
see the ultimate paradise in the transformation of the subject into birds and
the creation of a city of birds where there is no sacrifice and the gods are
not permitted entry. However, in order to fulfill their dreams the two main
characters Makedo and Goodhope must call on the mythic king Tereus,
once a king of Thrace and married to the Athenian princess Procne. Tereus
raped Procne’s sister Philomena and cut out her tongue so she would not
tell anyone. Procne found out about the crime and killed her only son by
Tereus, Itys. Tereus then took an axe and pursued the sisters but the gods
intervened and turned Procne into a nightingale, Philomena into a swallow
and Tereus into a hoopoe [crow.] ‘On becoming a cannibal Tereus is
turned into a bird. Hence, ‘Tereus is the ambiguous forerunner to the New

H P Foley H P [1985] Ritual Irony: Poetry and Sacrifice in Euripides Ithaca, Cornell
University Press, pp17-19.
ibid pp412, 17-21.
ibid 420 –46, 19.
A M Bowie1993Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy, Cambridge Cambridge,
University Press, pp vii, 14-15.
World of Birds’. Then in a satiric treatment of Isis Aristophanes
transforms Tereus into Peisetaerus who is caught roasting birds that have
been accused of causing dissent in the community
[see a modern version
in Orwell’sAnimal Farm1996.] We cannot escape the evolutionary
overtones here. The journey from bird to human becomes a two way street
when the doors to the unconscious are always half open. We see this in the
language when people who take drugs describe themselves as ‘high’.
Indeed, the urge for flight has been present in the human psyche since the
beginning of time. Flight [the alternative to fight] is deeply embedded in
the instincts of survival. Birds take flight to prevent their predators from
catching and eating them. Humans do the same, they board aircraft.
These ideas are deeply imbedded in the evolution of language. A study
by Bob Murray of the US University of Iowa found that the early language
of birds is almost identical to the early language of human babies. The
human babies babble away trying to mimic adult speech while baby birds
babble away in the same way before they ‘master their adult song’.
Michale Fee and associates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
studied the brains of baby zebra finches as they learned their song. The
researchers found the sounds had to be practiced incessantly. The striking
similarities between the bird and the human babies indicates that there are
basic principles associated with language development, which might well
have been known to the ancient civilizations [my emphasis]
. We must
keep in mind that much of our language was learned through ancient ritual,
whereby violent language and ritual results in modern-day violent acts.
Bataille reminds us that the original frenzied rites of the Maenads
included devouring their own infants [the pagan Host]
. There are many
tribal cultures were infants have been ritually sacrificed [or aborted.] This
is not viewed as death [final] rather a change in consciousness and/or a
return to the pre-conscious state. In antiquity infants experiencing a
consciousness change [death] were thus portrayed as cupids or children
with wings. The gods/goddesses are generally surrounded with angels and
cupids [or the children they have devoured.] These cupids often carry
harps or other musical instruments which are also the tools of changing
consciousness. This is not a reflection of life and death as we know it but
one of all life being ongoing [reincarnation.]
Cannibalism and Animalism.
Levi-Strauss in his Elementary Structures of Kinship [1971] notes
that the consumption of enemies is not an unusual motif and it is associated
with preserving power. Levi-Strauss shows how the flow between the
natural and the cultural maintains its ‘meaningful essence’. Levi-Strauss
tells us how gifts and barter are used to maintain the blood ties [reciprocity]
and he highlights the importance of the feast in these processes; the

ibid p168.
Randolph Schmid Washington correspondent for the Age Babies and Birds all a-Twitter
in the Melbourne Age May 3
p3 [World.]
cooking up of revolutionaries
[My emphasis.] With respect to the Birds
we can trace the role of the hoopoe tothe Egyptian god Wepwawet. The
jackal has a dual role as god of war and of the funerary cult. Wepwawet
was said to ‘open the way’ both for the armies of the Pharaoh and for the
spirits of the dead. Wepwawet originated in Upper Egypt and is pictured as
a human with the head of a jackal. One of his tasks was to break open the
mouth of the deceased to ensure full enjoyment of all the faculties after
. This resonates with the jackal that breaks open the ears of grain,
sometimes the contaminated ergot that causes hallucinations [the stoned
crow of medieval European myth.] The mouths of Christians continue to
be symbolically broken open by the priest for the Holy Sacraments.
Bataille believes that the inception of religion is the moving force
behind the breaking of the primal [cannibal] taboos
. The Host serves as a
reminder of past cannibalism. The term ‘jackal’ is still used to describe
people of clever but dubious character. J ackels are usually accused of mad
acts like assassination. We might recall the book The Day of theJ ackal by
Frederick Forsyth [1971] and the movie by the same name [1973.] The
movie is set in 1963 and depicts a plot to assassinate the French President
Charles de Gaulle when he plans to give independence to the French
Colony of Algeria. A militant French underground movement believes that
by killing the President they will restore France to its former historical
glory. The assassin, played by Edward Fox, is called ‘the J ackal’. It is no
coincidence that names like ‘J ackal’ become associated with revolutions or
change. The original revolution was born in the heavens and has been the
subject of myths, stories and political action ever since the beginning of life
on earth.
Bataille [1987] tells us that gods were often depicted as animals
because they are immune to the limits put on humans. The medieval
witches were accompanied by crows and/or jackals. The witches could be
seen stirring pots and mixing up their life/death concoctions and/or their
potions for altered consciousness. Witches could fly like the birds on
broomsticks. There are many stories about the origins of witches on
broomsticks the one that seems the most plausible is that reiterated by J ohn
Mann in his book Murder, Magic and Medicine and who hosted a BBC
series by the same name. Mann tells us that some hallucinogenic
compounds [drugs] can be easily absorbed through the sweat glands
especially in the arm pit or around the mucus membranes of the rectum or
the vagina. These routes bypassed rapid metabolism by the liver and thus
the intestinal discomfort that often occurred when drugs were taken orally.
Witches made a number of these substances into ointments, which could
then be rubbed on a staff. The object was put in the appropriate place and
the substance was massaged into the body whereby the witch was said to
be riding on her broomstick. This explains why many witches of the
Middle Ages are portrayed semi-clad or naked while riding broomsticks.

C Levi-Strauss 1971 Elementary Structures of Kinship Boston Beacon Press p30. See
also 1975 Anthropologie Histoire, Ideologie in L’Homme Vol XV [3-4] pp 22, 177- 188.
Paris, Plon.

Bataille 1987pp69-70.
The Tropane alkaloid hallucinogens tended to cause sleep but they also
caused dreams that involved flying, wild rides and frenzied dancing. A
description of Tropane alkaloid intoxication was given by Gustav Schenk

‘My teeth were clenched, and a dizzied rage took
possession of me…but I also knew that I was
permeated by a peculiar sense of well-
being connected with the crazy sensation that my
feet were growing lighter, expanding and breaking
loose from my own body. Each part of my own
body seemed to be going off on its own, and I was
seized with the fear that I was falling apart. At the
same time I experienced an intoxicating sensation
of flying… I soared where my hallucinations –
the clouds, the lowering sky, herds of beasts,
falling leaves…billowing streamers of streams
and rivers of molten metal – were swirling
Shamans dressed in animal skins and feathers believing it gave them
powers to fly but it was most certainly the drugs they took in the
accompanying rituals. The imagination is strong and willing. Bataille links
these acts to the original sacrifice [sacred feast/cannibalism] and claims
this to be the original eroticism; consuming mouths and consuming
vaginas. Bataille believes the Catholic Mass is the reification of this blood
sacrifice. It translates into the animal/human feeding, copulating and being
cooked for food. Hence, the term, ‘we are all part of the food chain’. This
was the province of the religious adepts and the mad, which is why the care
of the insane fell immediately to the religious institutions or the insane
caring for the insane.
Pagan Ritual in Modern Myths.
Pagan ritual is transported to the modern idiom in mass consumerism
where the primal signifiers are filtered through texts such as the movie The
Wicker Man [1973.] A policeman, Sergeant Neil Howie is investigating
the murder of a young girl and is sent to a Hebridean Island that consists
solely of a neo-pagan cult. After making some inquiries Howie decides the
girl is a victim of human sacrifice. Howie then disguises himself as Punch
the main character of the May Day festival in order to uncover the details
of the alleged events but he finds the girl is not dead. Rather, he is part of a
plot to bring him to the island so he can be sacrificed. The inhabitants of
the island believe the sacrifice will restore fertility to their orchards. Howie
is forced into the traditional wicker statue and burned. The inhabitants of
the island sing their pagan song while Howie sings Psalm 23. The Lord is
My Shepherd. The music background to this movie is a mixture of folk

Gustav Schenk 1996 Posted by J ohn Mann at Science blogs.com
www.scienceblogs.com Access 22
J une 2007.
songs and nursery rhymes. Rhymes include Baa, Baa Black Sheep and
Oranges and Lemons; Ba is an ancient pagan god and Oranges and
Lemons with its threats to ‘chop off your head’ is a song sung by the
processions of prisoners going from death row at Newgate Prison to the
gallows at Tyburn. The names of the churches along the route appear in the
rhyme as a symbol of Law/penance. Oranges and Lemons became a game
played by children. In the game a line of players must run the gauntlet
passing through outstretched arms until one victim is caught by the ‘chop’
or closed arms around someone’s head at the end of the rhyme. The fear of
the gallows for pagan crimes [folly/madness] was passed on by acting-out
these replays of ritual murder and hanging. Terror is frequently made into
a game or covered by humour, whereby Aristophanes’s comedy addresses
itself to the audience in a kind of Dionysian disruption and liberation with
the satyr [half-human/half-animal] representing the unconscious desires for
a return to savagery where there is no crime
. Zielinski [1885] related the
old comedies to Marchen. Cornford [1914] explored The Origins of Attic
Comedy to reveal the survival of the ritual plot in modern times. For Fraser
this was the nature of the dualism heaven and earth fertility/death,
good/evil, summer/winter. Comedy was generally associated with fertility
rites; that is the death of the old, the birth of the new, and laughter to cure
the pain of transition. Each is enmeshed in a conflict where the good spirit
is killed, dismembered, cooked and eaten in a communal feast, then
deposited in the earth to be brought back to life by the goddess. Cornford
explained this in the phallic ceremonies, which Aristotle had labelled
comedy. Levi-Strauss [1964] shows how the empirical categories such as
‘raw and cooked...fresh and decayed...moistened and the burned’ come
from the myths and stories of tribal survival but also how they are relevant
to current ideas and practices
. Indeed, ‘raw art’ is the name given to
works created by the mentally ill [otherwise called ‘outsider art’ or ‘art
brut’.] Today, we can look to these works and see the unrestrained
emotions. They reveal not just ‘insanity’ but the most basic, primal
experiences contained in everyone.
The Civilizing Experience and the Desire for the
Freud [1929] attempted to understand the civilizing processes by
speculating on its Other. For Freud the human begins life as a narrative of
terrible punishments, of split mental structures, which create neurotic
anxieties. Freud saw a link between childhood anxieties and repression that
caused a form of wish-fulfillment or an escape into the hallucinatory state.
We have extended Freud’s theories into a sophisticated psychophysiology
of memory, which maps the way beliefs and desires are formed against a

F Fontisi-Ducroux 1989] In the Mirror of the Mask in Berand C, Bron C, Durand J -L
Fontisi-Ducroux F Lissarrague F, Schapp, A & Verant J P A City of Images: Iconography
and Society in Ancient Greece [Trans.] D Lyons Lausanne, New J ersey, Princeton
University Press, pp156-65.See also Bowie 1993 p17.
C Levi-Strauss 1964 The Raw and the Cooked Introduction to a Science of Mythology
Paris, Plon p1.
background of experience, we now know that anxieties can be learned. We
know how defencive habits are formulated from these early experiences
and how they create fantasies to avoid what is not acknowledged. In this
way memory, myth and experience become encoded in the scripts of
everyday life. Heidegger wrote eloquently about how we avoid certain
memories; time and death. In the modern world this becomes much more
of a temporal experience. In revolutionary/utopian time death is absorbed
into the excitement and illusion of creating change. Having to
acknowledge that we do not really have control over the world is a
frightening, alienating experience. This realization is the confrontation with
the primal violence. Bataille calls it ‘being beside oneself’. Bataille
believes the human is composed of two heterogeneous parts. One part is
purposeful and conscious, the other is primary and unconscious, the latter
only comes into play when the conscious part is out of focus
. This story
is told by Euripides in Cyclops.
In Greek mythology Cyclops is a member of a primordial race of
giants where each person has a single eye in the middle of their forehead.
Hesiod and Homer both refer to the Cyclopes but in different contexts. In
Hesiod’s Theogony[700BC] the Cyclopes live in the dark pit of Tartarus
and they are guarded by the goddess Campe. In Greek mythology Tartarus
is both a deity and a place deep in the earth below the home of Hades/Devil
[hell.] In the orphic and mystery schools Tartaros is where life begins. In
Theogony the deity Tartarus is the third force to manifest from the Chaos.
Along with Tartarus both Gaia and Eros emerge into the universe. In
Theogony Zeus releases three Cyclopes; Arges, Brontes and Steropes.
They are three sons of Uranus and Gaia who provide the weapons that will
defeat the Titans. The weapons are Zeus’s thunderbolt, Hades’s helmet and
Poseidon’s trident. Arges, Brontes and Steropes are also the brothers of the
Hecatonchires, the three giants said to have one hundred hands.
In Homer’s Oydessy the Cyclopes were one eyed monsters that resided
on an Island with the same name. The best known of the Cyclopes were
Polyphemus the son of Poseidon and Thoosa, and Telemus the seer. Homer
tells the story of Odysseus who leads a party across the island and finds a
cave where there is food. The cave belongs to Polyphemus who returns to
catch the party stealing his meal. Odysseus and his party try to make
friends with Polyphemus but he is very angry and traps several of the party
and proceeds to eat them. Odysseus and those who were not trapped
escape. When Polyphemus has calmed down Odysseus gives him a
container of strong wine [drugs.] In a state of semi-consciousness
Polyphemus asks the name of the man who has given him the wine.
Odysseus answers ‘Outis’ which means ‘Nobody’ in Greek. When the
Giant has fallen into a deep sleep Odysseus takes the rod from the spit and
drives it into the single eye of the giant but having secured his victory over
the giant Odysseus calls back to him saying’ ‘Cyclops when your father
asks who took your eye say it was Odysseus, Sacker of Cities, Destroyer of
Troy…King of Ithaca’. Having been told his attacker’s name Polyphemus
asks his father to stop Odysseus from returning to his city

Bataille 1987p192
Homer 8BC/2003 The Odyssey Book IX line 335. Harmondsworth, Penguin Classics.
Cyclopia is a rare form of holoprosencephaly, a congenital disorder
characterized by the failure of the embryonic procephalon to divide the
orbits of the eye into two cavities. The embryo’s forebrain and face begins
to develop between five and six weeks whereby the forebrain divides into
its bilateral cerebral hemispheres [left and right side of the brain.] When
this fails to take place the face can be badly deformed and the brain does
not function properly. Symptoms range from mild to severe. In the most
severe cases the fetus is usually still born or aborted. In mild cases
deformities might include incorrect location of the eyes, nose and upper lip
[cleft pallet.] In mild cases the brain can be near normal showing only
signs of manageable seizures or retardation. Holoprosencephaly in all its
variations is the most common brain deformity in humans affecting
approximately 1 in 16,000 live born children and 1 in 200 miscarried
fetuses. The condition sometimes overlaps with Downs Syndrome. We
name the abnormality after the myth but in fact it appears to predate the
Euripides’s Cyclops shows how the Greeks have tended to take the
human condition lightly believing, as in all of nature, everything is
transmutable. With this in mind, conscious humans and animals display an
ongoing desire to experience this transmutation. Or, put differently, to
know the unconscious. In its most rudimentary mode we can call it an
attention deficit. Many humans seek out the unconscious as a form of
freedom. The Christian followers believed J esus suffered for them so they
might have unconscious freedom in the Kingdom of God/heaven. Many
who believed it inflicted suffering upon their own bodies [bodily
transmutation] thinking this was the assured pathway to heaven. They
invoked the pre-Euripidean tragedy of honouring the god through painful
personal sacrifice. To this end, self-flagellation and mutilation was a
symbol of loyalty around which the structures of early religious belief
gained credence and it never lost its appeal. Self-mutilation included
emasculation, perceived as a form of martyrdom. Here the sacred sacrifice
and cannibalism was compromised. Castration was the ultimate gateway
into the Kingdom of Heaven, promising riches and happiness. In a bizarre
twist of history these links between sex, money and freedom still prevail
and there are still those who desire a change in their sex/gender or become
Bataille seeks to understand the sex/violence mix by reading Sade.
What Sade creates is a direct relation between the pursuit of pleasure and
freedom and the destruction of life. As Bataille tells us Sade denies the
reality of the Other and in doing so enters a process of self-denial that
causes the ‘Self’ to perish. This makes death the ultimate freedom
procured, not in anger or frustration, but as a gift where death is a kind of
paternalism and murder is altruism. This is the world of the psychotic.
Bataille tells us that violence for self-profit cannot reach the heights of
frenzy and eroticism because the perpetrator is preoccupied with the

material rewards
. Primal violence is a denial of the Self and Other as well
as a denial of the material world. In evolutionary terms we might say that
materialism [capitalism] keeps us from the primal psychosis but it is also a
double edged sword, whereby the seed of psychosis is also contained in
capitalism and materialism.
I mproving Human Relations: The Limits of Dialectics, Self
and Other.
Bakhtin [1990] and others believe improving human relations is
bound up with the creative expression of the Self in relation to the Other,
but this can only be imagined. Dialogue is never neutral. In The Infinite
Conversation [1993] Blanchot examines the writings of Kafka, Pascal and
Nietzsche to determine the limits of dialectics [Self and Other.] Blanchot
says these relationships are fragile, they create infinity between humans
and it is the interruption of language, the pauses and the silence that
becomes meaningful. Blanchot gives specific focus to interruption of the
word as a continuing process and states, ‘the power of speech interrupts
itself...’ This means it ‘doubles the force of locution’. Blanchot compares
the monologue of the Dictator to the fragmented speech that demands
pause for understanding. The silence, states Blanchot, ‘constitutes a part
that moves discourse...without it one would not speak’. It is the
‘discontinuity that assures the continuity of understanding
. We might
understand this as the need for sleep if our daily activities are to reach
In this same way it is the silence [sacred space] that precipitates the
narrative of anti-Semitism. It translates into the unconscious question of,
‘where are the J ews why are they not being punished?’ The silence was at
its most powerful during the European Holocaust. Where were those who
could have condemned the slaughter?
Certain Himalayan yogis believe that speaking is wasting prana- life
. Speaking closes off the thought processes, we cannot think or
imagine and speak simultaneously. Early religious visionaries did not
speak until they heard voices, then they would reply to the voices and
reiterate the conversations. Today, we call this schizophrenia. There are
few lines demarcating mysticism, eroticism, religion and madness and the
topic is controversial. Bataille believes that all eroticism has a sacramental
character. Sade thought murder to be the pinnacle of erotic excitement.
Every Christian marriage is blessed with the crucifix, a symbol of death.
Every vow spoken is a vow to the death. Macabre religion has led to the
desire for macabre literature. There has always been an overwhelming
desire for macabre literature. It reached its pinnacle during the Victorian
period of colonization. There are different levels of eroticism grounded in
different fantasies. Hair, for instance is closely associated with eroticism,
dressing, styling and cutting hair has significant sexual value. Hair is a

Blanchot 1993 pp 75-76.
C Heinrich C [2002] Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Rochester Vermont,
Park Street Press pp5-6.
primal link to our evolutionary origins; our animal instincts. We were once
covered in hair. Hence, in some religions the cutting of hair indicates a loss
of sexual prowess, for example in the story of Samson.
Cannibalism qua Capitalism and Castration.
The Enlightenment was meant to separate subjects from their myths,
but the Enlightenment created its own myths. One of the most powerful of
these myths is that the world is divided into two portions, the West and the
rest. The discourse for this was colonialism and trade. The missionaries
provided a panacea for the perceived primitive barbarism on the part of
indigenous people, ‘Cannibalismqua Capitalism’
. J erry Phillips calls it
the ‘trope of cannibalism’ and ‘a mix that includes the economics of
capitalism and the poetics of the literary text’
[prayer and sacrifice.]
Phillips tells us that it is in the metaphors that racism and anti-Semitism
becomes an integral part of materialism and accumulation. Cannibalism is
a very powerful metaphor. Phillips states:
'the motif of cannibalism imprisons the J ew or the
colonized native in an exotic mythology of the dangers
proffered to the universal subject – dismemberment,
ingestion, castration, the measures of bestial appetite’
From this perspective capitalism becomes categorized as ‘moral and
amoral, the civilized and the savage; the human and the subhuman’. Here
the J ew becomes ‘the moral scapegoat for the debasement of the
. Violence is organized as the transgression of taboos and
belongs to the order of things that are available to be consumed.
Racism acted as a civilizing process that was carried out in the
interests of Western domination. The states were able to appropriate the
discourse of race as a way of limiting membership of the state. There were
some exceptions to this regime. One of the earliest writers to struggle
against exclusion is Gotthold Lessing who advocated religious tolerance in
his play Nathan the Wise [1779.] Here the main character is a J ew
modeled on Moses Mendelssohn. Nathan the Wise is an old J ewish
merchant living at the time of the Crusades in J erusalem. His family had
been killed by the Christians many years ago. For some time he wandered
the country in grief and despair until he found a baby orphan girl who was
from a Christian background. He raised the girl as his own daughter never
revealing her origins. One day his house burns down and the girl is rescued
by a Knights Templar. Nathan tries to contact the Templar to thank him for
saving the girl but he is rejected. The Templar is full of bitterness since all

K Marx 1990 Capital Vol 1 [Trans.] Fowkes B. Harmondsworth Penguin
p342 and J Phillips 1998 Cannibalismqua capitalism: the metaphorics of
accumulation in Marx, Conrad, Shakespeare and Marlow in Cannibalismand the
Colonial World [Eds.] Barker F, Hulme P and Iversen M. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press pp183.

ibid Phillips p183.
ibid p184.
the Crusaders have been killed by the Sultan Saladin. Finally, Nathan wins
the man’s trust. Then Nathan is asked to visit the Sultan Saladin and give
him a loan because the war has caused him financial trouble. Nathan is
asked by Saladin which is the true religion. Nathan then tells the parable of
the ring.
A magic ring that has traditionally been passed from a father to the
most beloved son must now be passed on again but this time the father has
three sons. Not wanting to single out a favourite son he has two replicas
made of the ring and gives one to each of them. The replicas are
indistinguishable from each other so the sons quarrel over who has the
original ring. Nathan compares this situation to religion. At the end of the
story we find that each of the characters are actually related, which is
Lessing’s way of saying that J ews, Muslims and Christians share common
ground in their deeper relationship to God. It is worth noting that it is only
very recently that Lessing’s work has been recognized
According to Stratton [2000] J ewish racial difference became anti-
Semitism because the J ews are seen as problematizing the representations
of the nation state
. Yet, anti-Semitism pre-dates the nation state. Anti-
Semitism appears in the city/polis. Robert Wistrich [1999] argues that
there are factors in anti-Semitism that clearly transcend the hatred of
difference. He notes there are parallels between ‘J ew-hatred’ and the hatred
of ‘heretics, witches, homosexuals, gypsies, blacks and many other
minorities’ where the ‘sacral quasi-metaphysical quality of anti-Semitism
is singularly absent’
. Freud’s argument is that J ewish monotheism
represents a return to the repressed. In Moses and MonotheismFreud
maintains that society is founded on the son’s killing of the primal Father
of the horde. This for Freud forms the basis of exogamy
. Another way of
thinking about Freud’s slaying of the primal father is to substitute the male
figure with that of the primal mother. Here we have a traceable situation of
social change from a gynocratic world to patriarchy and/or from
paganism/cannibalism to monotheism/war and its remains in the frenetic
orgy/festival/ritual that we call religion.

G Lessing G 1779 Nathan the Wisewww.gutenberg.org/etext/3820 Accessed 29
April 2006.
Stratton J [2000] Coming Out J ewish, London Routledge pp123-129.
R Wistrich R [1999] Demonizing the Other: Anti-Semitism, Racismand Xenophobia
Amsterdam, Harwood Academic Publishers p2. See also 1992 Anti-Semitism: The Longest
Hatred. London, Thames Mandarin, Publishing, pp30-31.
S Freud, 1958 Moses and Monotheismin J ames Strachy [Ed.] The Standard Edition of
the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. London Hogarth Press. p133. See
also J -F Lyotard, 1990 Heidegger and the J ews [Trans.] A and M and M Roberts
Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press pp 21-2 and S Zizek 1989 The Sublime
Object of Ideology London Verso p11 and Stratton 2000 p123.
The Civilizing Processes and the Social Contract.
Stratton [2000] draws our attention to the exclusion of groups in the
social contract. The contract theory is the claim where all interactions
within a society are subject to contract and all contracts can be traced back
to the original mythical contract, which gave birth to society. Carol
Pateman points to two main versions of the foundation story. The first
comes from Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau where there is an exchange of
‘insecurities of natural freedom for equal, civil freedom’; this is the
. The second comes from Freud and is taken up by Levi-
Strauss ‘that freedom is won by sons who cast off their natural subjection
of their fathers and replace paternal rule by civil government’
Both these accounts exclude women and J ews from the governing state. In
this way, the J ews were feminized by the state and they would become
victims of Eve’s dilemma, or the original sin; [the original sin having been
the original ecstasy.] The J ews were also accused of conspiracy against
the state. The J ews were said to be plotting for world domination. Cohn
[1970] finds the modern conspiracy myth attributed to the J ews in Abbe
Barruel’s book Memoire pour servir a’ l’histoire du jacobinsime, which
identifies the French Revolution as the model for the Western State.
According to Barruel the first conspiracy did not involve the J ews but the
Knights Templar, the Illuminati and the Freemasons, whose practices
[coincidentally] include the secret worship of the Egyptian pagan goddess
Isis. These groups are thought to have destroyed the old order in the French
. We can trace the Illuminati back to Robert Flood and his
alchemic pursuits, which involved not only the study of consciousness but
also the aim to create human life and make it immortal. Science has been
continuing this project ever since.
Marx and Religion.
For Marx religion was not as important as the J ews and Christians
recognizing their alienated position and/or their vulnerability within the
new capitalist order. Capitalism for Marx is the system that sucks the life
force from the labouring victims. Marx shows how the labouring subject
struggles for freedom in a counter-capitalist, anti-bourgeois movement. In
Capital [1887, 1974] Marx explored the capitalist characteristics:
1. The exploitation of many by a few.
2. Contradictions strains and tensions within the system,
which in turn are created by the system

C Pateman 1988 The Sexual Contract Cambridge Polity Press p2, and in Stratton 2000
ibid p2.
N Cohn 1970 The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenians and Mystical
Anarchists of the Middle Ages, Oxford, Oxford University Press, p156.
also Stratton 2000p131.
3. And would result in drastic [violent] change of the system
– conflict
4. Marx also believed that the mechanisms of capitalism
would create consistent forms of crisis.
5. A falling rate of profit.
6. Cycles of boom and bust.
7. Increasing monopoly
Marx argues that history is not a process of continuity it has incurred
various forms of transformation. Marx gives the examples of the ancient
mode of production, then a feudal mode of production and a capitalist
mode of production, each requiring a different form of material schemata
and a different social ordering. According to Marx, capitalism released the
worker from serfdom and enabled the sale of labour on the free market.
Capitalism also allowed for exploitation by extracting a surplus value from
workers; this means, the value of the product is more than the worker
receives. The surplus value comes about by the selling of goods but as
Marx explains, the surface appearance of the goods sold obscures their
origins. This in turn allows for the exploitative relationship which Marx
called ‘commodity fetishism’. The workers, who are separated from their
products, are alienated from the mass production processes of society and
from themselves while the bourgeoisie gain the profits and are enabled to
move ahead into positions of power.
Today, the cultural practices have become commodified by the large
corporate, cultural industries. Cultural and critical theorists produced a
critique of Marxism for its teleology but they have also built upon Marxism
to pursue issues of language, power, ideology and hegemony, especially
within the post-colonial discourse that conjures up images of the colonial
cauldron that stirs up primitivism and creates its civilization. The image
. Take for example the story of Tarzan [1912] still popular with
children and reproduced in animation by Disney [1999.]
The character Tarzan was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the
early twentieth century pulp magazines. It is the story of a man who has
been raised by gorillas. He loves adventure and the challenge of the jungle
but he must decide where he really belongs. Tarzan is a metaphor for the
primal unconscious and a move away from cannibalism. The book is
influenced by the early studies on the mind especially in the works of Le
Bon 1895; Tarde 1903 and Freud 1929/1945. The civilizing processes are
almost exclusively linked to Christianity as the bedrock of Western culture
and imperialism. The social codes endorsing the civilized Christian view
are filtered through the various texts. In Beethoven’s Fidelio Leonore

Marx 1987, 1974, [1]: 174-75 and in E c Cuff and G C F Payne [Eds.] Perspectives in
Sociology, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd., p58,
1979:58 and P H Vigor 1966 Guide to MarxismLondon, Faber p79.
C Barker, 2003Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice, Second Edition,
London, Sage, p,13.
disguised as a prison guard goes to the prison cell late at night to rescue her
husband who is a political prisoner. Leonore hears that her husband is to be
murdered in a plot hatched by the tyrant Pizarro so she goes with Rocco, a
guard who has been asked to carry out the murderous deed, to visit her
spouse. Before the killing bread and wine is shared in the manner of the
Last Supper. Then Leonore announces the plot to everyone. Pizarro is led
away and the prisoners are released. The prisoners sing The Ode to
Freedomand the opera reveals the devilish role of Pizarro as a replicate of
Pilatus and his role in the killing of J esus.
Cannibalism and the Mutability of I dentities.
Phillips points to the power of narrative in attempts to ‘extract the trope
of cannibalism from racism’ and to dislocate it from its political counter-
part where capitalism is not juxtaposed to the Other but is the ‘cornucopia
of materialism’ Phillips tells us how:
‘Bernal Diaz had claimed that the Tascalans kept ‘men and
women’ imprisoned in wooden cages until they were fat
enough to be sacrificed and eaten’... man eating in the
visceral sense of ingesting human flesh could be made to
obscure man eating as a morally instructing trope, who’s real
world referent is the colonialist extermination of peoples
envisaged as brutes’
The ‘anti-Semitism, capitalism, cannibalism triptych’ is, as Phillips
tells us, characterized in Christopher Marlowe’s The J ew of Malta [1966
c1591-2] and William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice [1970-
1600.] There is also the popular [cannibalistic] witches chant in Macbeth:
Double, Double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Liver of blaspheming J ew
Gall of goat and slips of Yew
Silvered in the moon’s eclipse
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips
All that is foreign is designated to the cosmic cauldron to be cooked,
consumed and transformed so the earth can be fertilized and enriched. In
each of the works there are tensions between the community and capital
and/or between the spiritual centre and the urge for profit. The community
seeking sacred ritual transcendence fails when there is a profit motive. The
concentration of energy needed for success is elsewhere. Hence, the church
and the state must appear separate. Aristophanes saw this in terms of the
‘just’ and ‘unjust’ city
. Later it became a Darwinian debate and it was
rekindled again in the 1950s when William Golding wrote his novel The

Diaz 1963 in Phillips 1998p193.
Shakespeare Macbeth
in Bowie 1993 pp18-20.
Lord of the Flies, which depicted barbarism and self-interest as the natural
instinct in humans. In the novel a group of schoolboys are removed from
civilization to an isolated spot where they revert to homicidal savagery.
The Freudian framework of this novel is a reflection of Golding’s own
World War II experiences. David North has written about this kind of
despair stating that in the 1930s, in the period after the First World War,
there was a ‘direct response by capitalist society to the revolutionary
dangers posed by mass socialist workers’ movements’ [Marxism]
Well before this time, Le Bon [1895] Tarde [1903] Trotter [1919] and
others were experimenting with rudimentary methods of crowd control.
Trotsky predicted the anti-Semitism that accompanied the social discontent
in 1940. The socialist’s warned that the world capitalist economic crisis,
which had ‘ruined the middle classes’ would ‘threaten the J ews with
physical annihilation’
. The sacred sacrifice/cannibalism became
modernized, rationalized and genocidal.
Cannibalism creates a mutability of identities, the [consumed] J ew as
problematic citizen is symbolically transposed by the notion of a perceived
opposite, an Adonis and the perfect race. This resonates with the post-
Freudian theorist Lacan and his ‘mirror stage’ a critical phase in the
development of the ego. Lacan argued that the child passes through a stage
where the external image in the mirror [or the mother] reproduces a
psychic response. This creates the representation of the ‘I’, but the image
of a complete body does not correspond to the infant’s physical reality, the
image is a fantasy towards which the subject will continue to strive. The
consumed J ew as imago/Gestalt layin the idealized Adonis who was
imported from Lebanese to Greek mythology and who always retained his
Semitic origins. This is better explained by postmodernism. In The
Postmodern Condition Lyotard says we have to learn the lessons from
literature, as in Proust and J oyce who describe something which is not
present or presentable
. Our tendency is to search for new presentations,
not to enjoy them but to imagine the unpresentable. As we view the
possibilities, allusions that are conceivable, we also imagine the
inconceivable. Hitherto, the killing, eating, rebirthing of the good spirit
takes place in the vision of the desired transformation of the Self for the
Other. In modern terms man slaughters and eats the animal because he is
the lost animal. This is quite clear in myth in the notion that the king aims
to become the god by eating him. As Lacan [1977] puts it, the subject
wants what the Other has. Hence, the flesh of the hero is consumed for its
strength. Today, the eating of meat is still associated with strength,
stereotypically to build muscle in men and iron [for good reproduction] in
women. The eating of the body [of the animal/human] is the ultimate
colonization of the body eaten.

D North 1997 Anti-Semitism, Fascismand the Holocaust: A
Critical Review of Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners SEP Pamphlet
Series:17: 3. www.wsws.org Accessed 15
September, 2006.
J -F Lyotard, 1985:80-81. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge [Trans.]
G Bennington and B Massumi, Manchester, Manchester University Press pp 66-7, 80-81.
Phillips shows how Conrad’s Heart of Darkness [1967] sets in place a
picture of colonial villainy or possession of what the Other has. This is
later transported to the ‘J ewish villainy’ imagined and acted out by German
National Socialism and the Final Solution that is ‘communitarianism or the
civilized critique of cannibalism as an inhuman process’
Consuming the Flesh in the Symbol of the Host.
The Malleus Maleficarum[Hammer of Witches] [1487] is concerned
with the details of copulation with demons. Scholz [2001] suggests that
many of the witches who were tortured and burnt were in fact eunuchs and
castratis, not all women but many emasculated males. Castratis were
wealthy kings and priests who were regarded with awe by the earliest
Christians, but later fell into disrepute. Scholz tells us that castration
prevailed in the early Christian world. Scholz uses a number of illustrations
and case studies to demonstrate these claims including a [1791] engraving
of Origen castrating himself
. Origen was one of the early Christian
fathers who had visited Petra and the Gnostics. In 202 AD Origen’s father
was killed in a wave of persecutions and Origen wanted to be a martyr
[castration is mini-martyrdom.] The testicles were involved in swearing a
binding oath and some societies believed there was great power acquired
from eating them. Scholz tells us that castration and the eating of genitals
were outlawed by the J ews
. This put the J ews in a position of being the
Other, whereby the J ews were perceived to have supernatural powers and
did not need to consume human flesh in order to gain power. The J ews
therefore aroused great fear in the Christians. Bataille suggests that
castration and the eating of the testicles is reminiscent of the puerile
sacrifice where killing redresses the wrong done to the animal/human in
life. The eating of the testicles redeems the killing of the saviour/god and
constitutes the primary Host
. This connection between cannibalism and
the consuming of the Host is a contentious one.
The Killing and Eating of J esus.
Writers like Arthur Miller in The Crucible show us how historical
situations become revived in the modern setting. He wrote his story about
Salem when McCarthyism was rife in America. The persecution of
communists was not a lot different to the persecution of witches or J ews.
We see how the power and ritual becomes reflexive. Almost all the
burnings of non-Christians were the result of blood accusations,
blaspheming the sacraments and handling the sacred Host. There were also
accusations of wild, sexual orgies that replicated those of the Dionysus
cults. J ews and pagans share a great liking for celebrations [parties.] The
J ews were accused of the sacrificial killing of infants and it was said that
the remains were made into bread, which was then consumed in ritual

Phillips, 1998 p197.
Scholz 2001 pp257-297.
Scholz 2001: 79.-80 also Deuteronomy 23:1 King J ames Bible.
Bataille 1989 p45.
. Anyone who knows anything about J ewish dietary habits
would find these stories ridiculous. There is however the resemblance
between these stories and the Christian practices, especially in the symbolic
consumption of the ‘Body of Christ’ the Christian Host; viewed here as the
reification of the sacrificial killing and eating of J esus. The early Christians
were known to have practiced cannibalism
Cannibalism originates in the mythologies of the early tribes and the
creationist stories. Cannibalism tells of the goddess devouring and
transforming all and was practiced in reality by the shamanic hordes and
pagan fertility cults. Here the first fruits or animals from the harvest are
sacrificed in order to remove the plant and animal from the world of things.
In these same sentiments we can fairly assume that J esus was sacrificed
and consumed to remove him from the world of things. This is the ultimate
transcendence to which the hero/god aspires. It is also the best kept secret!
Further, acts of cannibalism were carried out by the early Christians in the
memory of the J esus murder.
Still today, the guilt is offset by the consumption of the ritual Host.
Fears about the contamination of the ritual Host can be explained by the
ancient J ewish belief that the spirit of the body hovers over the dead person
long enough to relate the circumstances of death. The new J ewish
Christians feared the old J ews because they believed the old J ews knew the
details of the J esus murder - that J esus was in fact killed and eaten by a
group of crazed J ewish outsider/Christian/cannibals - J ews who had broken
the most pious of J ewish Laws. The fear of having their crimes discovered
invoked a further fear in the Christian J ews of a second killing as opposed
to the Second Coming of J esus. Every carnivore experiences the fear of
being consumed. Eat of be eaten.
Cannibalistic fantasies feature in various forms of mental illness and
this is generally linked with being ‘emotionally and psychologically
immature’. Psychoanalysis teaches that when a child is weaned there is a
feeling of something being taken away. The suckling on the breast is akin
to cannibalism. The same craving that exists in the suckling child also
exists in other forms of craving. The unconscious cannibalism is not lost.
Peter Hulme has noted how ‘the boundaries of community are often created
by accusing those outside the boundary of the very practice on which the
integrity of the community is founded’
. The notion that the Christian
Eucharist as symbolic cannibalism has been debated since Christianity was
first established but these debates have always been quashed. Calvin was
forced to argue that the Host was about love not violence. He won his
argument on peoples’ ignorance and trust. The Greek and Roman
narratives are furbished with numerous descriptions of humans eating

J Trachtenberg J 1943The Devil and the J ews: The Medieval Conceptions of the J ew
and Its Relation to Modern Anti-Semitism New Haven, Yale University p205.

P Hulme 1986 Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean 1492-1797
London Methuen p 84 and M L Price 2003 Consuming Passions: The Use of Cannibalism
in Late Medieval andEarly Modern Europe [Ed.] Francis G Gentry, London, Routledge
human flesh. Norman Cohn [1970] believes cannibalism became the
psychological history of the First Crusade, it continued well into the
Middle Ages and possibly beyond. Pontius Pilatus washed his hands
before the killing of J esus and this was taken as a sign that he wanted no
part of the killing. This is hard to imagine given Pilatus’s unpopularity with
the J ews. It is more likely the washing of hands was an affirmation of the
killing and the feast that would follow the crucifixion. Pilatus did enjoy
the festivals and feasts and would have engaged in the custom of washing
the hands before eating. Most myths place water as the life giving
substance with its celebration in the Shabbat/Sabbath/ sacrifice and the
cannibal feast.
At the J ewish Shabbat the table is set with two candles representing the
dual commandments to remember and observe the Shabbat. The candles
are always lit by the female of the household and after lighting them she
waves her hands over the candles to welcome in the Shabbat/spirit. Then
she covers her eyes and recites a blessing. The practice originates from
ancient pagan rituals. The covering of the eyes is related to not looking
back to the primal scene, the obsessive, destructive impulses. Lot’s wife
was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back onto the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah and the goddess/pagan rituals. Salt is the mineral
equated with death. No bacteria can live in a heavy salt solution. Hence,
salt was used for embalming bodies, preserving meat and other foods. It is
very likely that a ‘pillar of salt’ refers to the body prepared with salt and
awaiting the cooking pot.
Ritual Massacre and the Feminized J ews.
Rituals make palatable the relation between the natural and the
supernatural worlds. In other words ritual placates the possibility of angry
ghosts. The spirits of the ancestors dominated the lives of ancient
individuals. When events happened that the people did not understand they
made up stories to explain them and they often put the blame on ghosts.
This is how the brain works - it is called imagination - duly bestowed by
the processes of evolution it keeps us alive and thriving at times of
confusion and chaos but it can also create the chaos. Rubin [1999] writes
vividly about how the alleged desecration of the Christian Host by J ews led
to the ritual massacre of J ews by Christians. Not one J ew killed and
consumed but a frenzy of bloody sacrifices. Such frenzied killing generally
involved acts of cannibalism
Price describes how in the practice of cannibalism the Calvinist
missionary J ean de Lery stresses the role of women in preparing the
victim[s] for ritual sacrifice
. Even in Christianity women were the
protectors, they kept the hearth, gathered the food, dressed the wounds of
fallen warriors and laid out the dead. From this Christianity firmly
established the foundation myth of the negative female principle, which
was to impact on the J ews in ongoing violence. The Calvinists feared
women. They held the female to be the devouring mother, devouring of

M Rubin 1999 Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval
J ews, New Haven, Yale University Press pp 5 -160.
Price 2003 p96.
everything. Price says there is a conflation of the womb and stomach, the
mouth and vagina connoted by ‘that which devours, seduces and poisons,
that which is terrifying and inescapable’. The foundation discourse leads
to the devouring women who emasculate their husbands with their
insatiable lust; ‘the women who secrete deadly snakes from inside their
. In evolutionary terms we can liken this to the isopods,
crusteans that are amongst the most morphologically diverse creatures.
They rarely look alike and are thus difficult to allocate to pre-determined
categories. Similarly, the J ews could not be categorized; they were
outsiders, perceived androgynous and occultists, roles only allocated to
gods or mad people. In this sense the feminized/androgynous J ews
retained the power of the primal goddess who knows everything and who
can devour and transform it. J ews were not perceived as ordinary men and
women they were androgynous gods and spirits [ghosts.]
The eating of the Host gels with Bakhtin’s [1968] analyses of
Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel and the medieval carnival as the site
of anarchistic play. [Bataille’s claimed transgression against taboos.]
Bakhtin tells us how this play becomes a cathartic experience, which
offsets religious piety. The consumption of the body/feast is for preserving
. It forms part of the funerary procession that originates in the
pagan fertility rites where people consumed the fruits of the harvest as the
real body of the goddess understood in the same terms as the female spider
who consumes the male after he has fertilized the egg. The spider
eliminates a potential enemy. With this in mind we can say Aristophanes
indulges in a satirical fantasy to warn against the irrational [unnatural]
religious illusions that lead to violence, massacre and cognitive closure.
Only the gods and mad men live outside the polis. The polis becomes a
euphemism for consciousness in the same way as history is said to be the
result of human consciousness. The end of history marks a return to the
primal behaviour.
In the Carribian Islands [home of the Carrib Indians] young captives
were castrated and then fed well so the flesh would be fattier and smoother
for eating. This resonates with the fairytale Hansel and Gretel and is
associated with the fear of being eaten; or punished some other way. As
Menninger [1938] suggested devouring one’s enemies ‘is an essentially
infantile fantasy [phylogenetically and ontogentically]’
. We must not
forget that the infantile fantasy does not change in the unconscious, the
brain is built upon the original model and does not replace it. All
aggression is rooted in a history of cannibalism; eat or be eaten.
Anthropology offers many stories of cannibalism. Some of these incidents
are conveyed in fairytales as a warning to children not to continue their
[cannibalistic] fantasies into adulthood; andbeware of biting wolves!
Social theorists prefer not to include the monotheist religions in the
cannibal practices. Rather, they focus on cannibalism as a theme in the

M Bakhtin’s 1968 Rabelais and His World [Trans.] H Iswolsky,
Cambridge, MIT Press.
K Menninger 1938 Man Against Himself NY Harvest p108.
relationship between spirits and humans, heaven and hell or the exchange
of power within the community, not gustatory sensitivities. Yet, we cannot
escape the threads and memories of past events. We cannot escape the
unconscious material. Our emotional experience of hell [hard times] is the
cannibalistic ritual. It is the overwhelming feeling of being consumed. In
Dante’s cannibalistic hell we see the triple mouths of Satan [Canto XIII
and XXI.] Price tells us the most common image of the hell is the large
cast iron cooking pot
. Rubin shows how the Christians depicted the J ews
boiling the Host in a large pot, cutting it up and causing blood to escape
from it
For the aesthetic J ains eating itself is problematic. The consuming of
any food is dangerous because it is the cause of attachment between the
soul and the body. For the J ains fasting is central to religious practice and
death by starvation is one of the highest spiritual ideals [Sallekhana]
Today, not eating is generally associated with deep feelings of guilt.

Price 2003 pp15 –19.
Rubin 1999.
L A Babb 1996 Absent Lord: Aesthetics and Kings in a J ain Ritual Culture, Berkeley,
University of California Press, pp 58.
Chapt er Seven.
Drugs, Sex and Wandering: The ‘Carnival’
and the Grotesque.
It’s coming – the postponeless Creature –
It gains the Block – and now – it gains the Door –
Chooses its latch, from all the other fastenings –
Enters – with a ‘You know Me – Sir?’
Simple salute – a Certain Recognition –
Bold –were it Enemy – Brief –were it friend –
Dresses each House in Crepe, and Icicle –
And Carries one – out of it – to God –
I ntroduction:
Why did the derogatory myth of the Wandering J ew

In this chapter I reiterate an important point; humans experience an
overwhelming desire to return to the pre-conscious state where there is no
law. In the following chapter I will focus on the mind/body split in the
idea of a wandering consciousness. It links the anti-Semitic myth of the
‘Wandering J ew’ to that of OedipusAt Colonus by Sophocles, which
places the wanderer in the afterlife having ventured into the grove of the
goddess or the space of altered consciousness/death. Here the use of
hallucinatory substances as a means of altered consciousness is
highlighted. This is compared to other methods of altered consciousness
including the religious/political acts of anti-Semitic terrorists. I argue that
the state of altered consciousness compromises the whole person/the
subject. This is discussed as a problem of the lost primal sacred space, the
unconscious, whereby the ultimate pleasure becomes the ultimate pain. I
highlight the role of the utopian myths in relation to the wandering as a
mind/body split and an expression of the transcendental imagination. This
section works to bring us closer to the union between the inner and the
outer worlds and how these worlds depend on particular conceptual
outlooks. Also how an anti-Semitic worldview is constructed.
Religion occupied the domain of philosophy. The task for the
philosophy of language was to formulate ‘speculative truths’ or ‘first
principles’ that could later be given scientific specification.
Traditionally, the emergence of religions followed the path of a two
class archaic system, which gradually developed into a four class modern

Emily Dickinson in Voices 1969 p102.
system. These systems consisted of ‘a political-military elite, a cultural
religious elite, a lower status group [peasantry] and an urban lower status
group [merchants and artisans]’
. Each of these groups had connections
with religious beliefs but as Max Weber [1946] pointed out it was the
merchants and artisans who were particularly devout
Over time religion has formed an important function in the
legitimization of social order and language has played an important role in
making this order effective. With the rise of the middle classes and early
capitalism functionalist order became more overtly connected to language,
thanks to the printing press. One of the key elements of religion, salvation
- perceived as the ultimate freedom - was then linked to the accumulation
of wealth. Indeed, today freedom is linked to neo-liberalism and capitalist
wealth creation. Those who fall by the wayside – the Other – are
considered to be social misfits, outcasts, dysfunctional and/or mad. They
occupy the fringe cultures, the prisons and mental asylums. They are
generally the homeless, the impoverished and the disadvantaged. Yet,
through religion many can be redeemed. J ust like capitalism modern
religion has its roots in reforming the individual.
Aristotle took it for granted that religion created a homogeneous
society and therefore political stability. This theory remains in tact for all
dictatorships but it does not empower all individuals. In fact it creates
envy, greed, contempt, corruption and domination. In other words, when
the individual is empowered s/he becomes strong enough not to need envy,
greed, hatred or power over others. This kind of empowerment requires
mindfulness and/or the ability to control the various levels of
consciousness. So far, for many, this has proved to be an impossible task.
The Myths and Elixirs.
In ancient Indian mythologies the wars between the Vedic gods and
the demons were said to have had a negative effect on humanity so the god
Vishnu suggested a remedy in a ‘precious drink’ symbolized in the ocean.
As the story goes the gods and demons placed a large mountain in the
middle of the seas and using the serpent [the eternal mother] rotated the
mountain to churn up the ocean waters. Eventually the sea brought forth
the new deities Varuni/Varuna the goddess/god of wine, Lakshmi, goddess
of good fortune and Soma, the precious drink or the elixir of life.
Soma is
made from a herbal plant mix that includes the juices of the Amanita
Muscaria mushroom commonly known as the fly agaric. This is the

R N Bellah R N [1969] Religious Evolution in R. Robertson [Ed.] Sociology of Religion
Harmondsworth p279.

Max Weber 1946 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
New York Scribner’s Sons, p49.
4 Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology 1968 Hamlyn Publishing p328.
mushroom that features in the illustrations of fairytales with its bright red
top and white spots. The fairies are generally pictured as living inside the
mushroom. From this depiction people who are not fully cognitive are said
to be ‘away with the fairies’. There are many psychotropic plants and
fungi, which serve as a substitute for Amanita and they have been at the
centre of shamanic ritual practices and the pagan religious cults for a long
time. The chemical enlightenment associated with the Greek Dionysus cult
was known long before European civilization or the shamanic rites of the
Middle East. These cults mixed the unlimited flow of wine, drugs and sex
to unleash an extraordinary imaginary field. We can now ascertain that it
was drug induced hallucinations that gave birth to the religious cults and
the mystical experience we call utopia
The religious drug experience was explored in the 1932 novel Brave
New World. Aldous Huxley experimented with mind-altering drugs and
then wrote about his experiences. Huxley’s ideas are contained in a
fictional society where all the inhabitants are induced with the drug
‘Soma’. Huxley believed people could reach a state of happiness by living
in a state of total intoxication. Huxley elaborates on his ideas in The Doors
of Perception published after his own experiences of taking mescaline. The
book is based on William Blake’s poem Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In
another of his works, Island, Huxley explores the death of Lakshmi as a
drug experience and a self-induced psychosis and/or near death experience.
Island spawned a number of drug oriented [utopian] communes, especially
in America. The Huxley cults became an alternative to conventional
religious movements that were already on shaky ground amidst the battles
for Civil Rights and a profane Sexual Revolution.
After Huxley came the infamous drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary.
Leary was a senior Harvard University lecturer who carried out
experiments involving the use of psychedelic drugs with his students and
was expelled for it
. Leary was said to be responsible for the Drug
Revolution or the recreational use of drugs to alter consciousness. It goes
without saying the science on drugs and their impacts on the brain was not
as advanced as it is today. Many drug users in the 1960s ended up dead or
in psychiatric care. Over time there has been a lot of publicity on the
dangers of taking drugs but the overdose rate in the world’s major cities
continues to rise. The attraction to drugs is overwhelming.
Since the 1960s the market for illicit [and prescribed] drugs has grown
exponentially. There has also been a rise in schizophrenia. Heinrich [2000]
makes the connection between religious drug use and schizophrenia by
tracking its course from the Vedic Indian use of ‘soma-amrita’ to modern
day substitutes. Heinrich tells us today’s wandering Sadhus [mystics] use

J M Allegro 1970. The Sacred Mushroomand the Cross: A Study of the
Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East.
London, Hodder and Stoughton, pp xiii, xiv, 6,11, 102,106,108-111.156, 171.

See T Leary 1970 J ail Notes Los Angeles, California, Douglas Book Corp p 69. Also A Huxley
1975. Huxley A [1932/1975/1998] Brave New World, London, Harper Perennial Modern Classic
and 1954/2004 Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell. London Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
And 1962/2002 Island. London, Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
hashish/marijuana, tobacco and sometimes datura to alter consciousness
There is a continuous, historical link between religions, drugs and the
mental disposition of the members of the various charismatic, utopian and
messianic groups.
Murder, Fascism, I slam and the New Age.
One of the most notorious groups to emerge from the Huxley/Leary
era was the cult of Charles Manson. Manson and his group, who were
known as The Family, lived in a commune in Death Valley, California.
Manson united his followers with the drug LSD. Manson, who believed he
heard messages in the songs of the Beatles was regarded as the genuine
messiah by his followers. In 1969 in a drug induced schizophrenic state
Manson led his group to commit nine ritualistic murders. One of those
murdered was the wife of film director Roman Polanski. After the incident
it was revealed that the occultist movement Golden Dawn, whose leader,
was the infamous Satanist magician and occultist practitioner Aleister
Crowley had strongly influenced Manson, possibly leading him to the
crimes. The Gnostic/theosophist Crowley took his inspiration from the
Marquise de Sade who in turn had called upon Rabelias as his mentor.
Sade attempted to set up a community named Thelme after Rabelais’s
fictional Abby. Sade’s descriptions of sexual ritual and defilement are
partially duplicated by Crowley. Sade spent most of his life in jail;
Crowley managed to keep on the right side of the law or at least remain
A number of Crowley’s mystical dreams come to life in the Third
Reich. These are magnanimously depicted in Leni Riefenstahl’s [1935]
movie The Triumph of the Will. The Third Reich set up its Ministry for
Propaganda, which included a film studio under the direction of Goebbels.
The Triumph of the Will filmed the 1934 Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg
for a feature length film. The film can be likened to a séance. The grand
overture is accompanied by the Wagnerian operas. As the sound penetrates
the darkness of the cinema the audience is lulled into an experience that
will gradually crescendo in the silhouette of the Fuhrer’s aircraft as it
hovers over the German landscape. The camera follows the marching
columns of people, the thousands who have come to pay homage to their
god/hero. The visual re-enactment of this saviour myth is juxtaposed to
daily events, a cat washing its paws on the street; it stops to watch the
parade. The camera moves to the historical artifacts of the city. Germans
are reminded of their ancestral past. There are swastika flags and people
cheering. The propaganda machine is laid out to appeal, seduce and move a
population already emotional and in crisis

Heinrich 2000 See also R G Wasson 1957. Seeking The Magic Mushroomin Life
Magazine J une 10
[1957] and www.imaginaria.org/wasson/life.html Accessed 29
November, 2006.
A Crowley A [1938/2004] The Book of the Law, New York, Weiser Books. Also C
Manson 1988 www.2violent.com Accessed 12
November, 2006
R Taylor 1998 FilmPropaganda: FilmPropaganda Soviet Russia and
Nazi Germany New York. I B Tauris pp 10, 157.
The likeness that can be drawn between The Triumph of the Will and
the more recent New Age rituals is startling. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
attracted thousands to his meditations and the movement took over whole
towns. Student of the Upanishads Chinmayananda drew large crowds to
his lessons on the Gita. When the feminist/ theosophist Annie Besant came
across the young J iddu Krishnamurti she was convinced she had found a
divine link between earth and paradise. Krishnamurti was accredited with
divine powers and secret knowledge. He gained the support of Nehru, the
first Prime Minister of India and Mahatma Gandhi who combined his
studies of the Bhagavad Gita with English Law while living in London. It
led to the spiritual awakening in the 1960s in Europe and the US, an
awakening that had already been pre-empted by Yeates and the anti-
Enlightenment romantics. A similar awakening is taking place today
within Christian fundamentalism [the New Right] and the rise of Islam
supported by the political left. It is a profound shift from political ideology
to metaphysics.
Ironically, Islam has a number of links with the Third Reich that go
back to the Second World War but what is really striking is the similarity
between the public spectacles. J ust as Hitler stood before the thousands of
adoring followers, so too does Osama bin Laden stand before the cameras,
a giant against the distant hills. The hypnotic power is that of the mythical
hero, the serpent [the gun] reaching to the gods. The Paleolithic myths
speak of the struggle with death, so too does bin Laden speak from the
alter- ego that yearns for the sacred Golden Calf and/or the rebirth of
sovereignty. Like J esus bin Laden lost his kingdom. The revenge festers in
a funeral banquet around a fire like that of Anat when she finds the remains
of Baal. When bin Laden threatens there is another picture in the shadows,
that of the Assassin [Mot] who is murdered and ground in a mill the parts
to be scattered on the land to bring a new harvest. The story is reminiscent
of every martyr.
Religious Myths and Conspiracies.
The rhetorical discourses contained in the infamous bin Laden posts on
the Internet are a retelling of the ancient myths. What we are confronted
with is the sacred theatre and old conspiracies, all derived from a
hallucinatory state. J ohn Allegro [1970] puts the origins of religion into
the language of conspiracy when he writes:
‘Somehow man had to establish communications with the
world’s fertility...the heavenly penis... was not only the
source of life-giving semen, it was the origin of knowledge.
The seed of God was the Word of God. The dream of
man is to become God’
The search for the heavenly semen, the god/heaven/paradise took place
through the use of plants/drugs in fertility cults. The Dionysian
worshippers headed their processions with a symbol of an erect penis while
the Christians headed their processions with a fish and a cross, which are

Allegro 1970 pxii.
both fertility symbols, ‘those who had the secret wisdom of the plants were
the chosen of their God’
. In a drug induced state people heard voices and
believed God was speaking to them. They believed they were chosen to
conquer the world in God’s name. One such occasion was the AD 66
J ewish Revolt, which provoked the Roman angst and caused the
destruction of the Temple at J erusalem
. Allegro believes that because the
drugs were the privilege of a select few and it was not general knowledge it
became necessary to contain the information about drugs in folktales and
myths based on the personification of plants and trees. One story was that
of the Rabbi called J esus. J esus represented the powers and the plant
names, which made up the magic drug Soma. This is the drug depicted in
the cross and the cup of libations. Allegro tells us that the Biblical stories
are full of verses, which link Christianity with information on drugs.
Allegro believes that to have J esus preach love and forgiveness was meant
to divert attention away from the mystery cults. The plot failed to protect
the cults. J esus was crucified and another cult was started
The details of the Apocrypha go back to the Sumerian mythical texts.
When people had no concept of spores the mushroom represented the
virgin birth. The rain was God’s sperm fertilizing the earth. The
mushrooms always appeared after it rained. They were harvested and
celebrated with feasts and orgies. Sin for J ews and Christians had to do
with the emission; to waste human sperm was a blasphemy against the god.
Allegro examines the religious terminology and casts grave doubts about
the historiography of J esus and the entire notion of a sojourn in Egypt to
free the Chosen People. The real journey, according to Allegro, was the
one taken between earth and heaven in a state of altered consciousness. The
journey referred to as the ‘Vine of David’, comes, according to Allegro, in
the imagery of the ‘vine-mushroom’ not the ‘vine grape’
. Allegro’s work
is controversial. Allegro was one of the team of researchers hired by the
State of Israel and the British Government to examine the ‘Dead Sea
Scrolls’ when they were discovered in the 1950s. Allegro was a renowned
Biblical scholar and familiar with all the relevant languages, Sumerian,
Egyptian, Hebrew, Cuneiform. His book is an alternative interpretation of
these languages. Allegro came to the conclusion that J esus was a
mushroom consumed by the Essenes and the knowledge was hidden from
the Roman authorities to protect the fertility cults. Allegro lost his job
because of his highly controversial views. Allegro’s work undermines the
validity of all religions and raises issues about mental illnesses, which are
today managed by psychedelic drugs. Allegro’s work provides the first
definition of the ‘Wandering J ew’ as one who suffers from a wandering
Dionysus and the Fertility Cults.
Zeus gave birth to Athene so it was a natural progression for men to
become the religious priests but the new wombless priests were not

ibid p6.
ibid p xiii.
ibid. See also Wasson 1957.
ibid p156.
convincing. The change from matriarchy to patriarchy did not run as
planned despite great efforts to incorporate the changes into the culture.
The original story of Zeus the great head of the Olympians comes from
the Middle East. Zeus or Zu emerges from the Sanskrit Dyaus Pitar or
Father Heaven. The Babylonian myth sees Zu as the storm bird or the one
who throws thunderbolts. The Romans called him J upiter or J ove and the
J ews and Christians called him J ehovah. Unlike the Biblical replica Zeus
was not a Creator this role was attributed to his wife Rhea, Gaea or Hera.
All creation is marked with the cross, which is also the symbol of the vine
Dionysus is the son of Zeus. Zeus had a mistress called Semele.
Semele who is said to have come from Thebes is the mother of Dionysus.
Dionysus has two brothers Apollo and Hermes and two sisters Athene and
Artimis. Dionysus differed from his other family members who were
immortals on Mount Olympus. Dionysus was not a resident of Olympus.
Rather, Dionysus lived between two worlds, half beast, half human a
symbol of having one half in consciousness and the other in the abyss.
Dionysus is best known as the god of wine and madness. He is also
the god of vegetation and the theatre. The theatre is closely associated with
the temple of the goddess and began as a precession to celebrate the gifts of
nature. This happened at the appropriate season. Dionysus’s role as the
vegetation god sees him as the god of the vine and wine. There is likely
some conflation between the wine and the vine mushrooms that grew
abundantly in the cool moist air of the hills surrounding Greece. The vine
mushroom is very potent, much more potent than wine and was consumed
in large quantities to alter consciousness; it also causes sickness [vomiting]
and in some cases death.
We read about the cult of Dionysus in the work of Euripides in his tale
The Bacchae. This work describes how initiates entering into the cult of
Dionysus would drink the wine, dance the dance [the theatre] and run to
the mountains intoxicated. What follows are the wild orgies for which
Dionysus gains his reputation. The precious drink used in the fertility cult
rituals is called Soma. The recipe for this drink has never been accurately
identified but we can fairly assume it was made from hallucinogenic plants
and fungi possibly dispersed in wine. Soma is an integral part of the pagan
religious rituals, which spread from the Middle East, Europe and other
parts of the world such as Asia and the Americas. The transportation of the
Dionysus cult followed the great conquests of Greece as well as the
Spanish conquests of the Americas. Carl Ruck [2001] offers a masterful
description of Dionysus as The Green Man:

‘He is the sudden disruptive incursion of the spirit of
the wilderness in our midst, an alluring apparition
from the pagan past. Like Velazquex’ deceptively
erotic god among the leering drunken peasants,
los borrachos, suggesting another world of greater
freedom, of song and dance, of inspiration, just beyond
the borders of rationality, but also posing the danger of
madness, escapism and addiction to his drink, and the
simple joys of the wilderness. Ignore him at your loss,
reject him at your peril, befriend him if you dare. And
dare you must, for whether you like it or not, he is in
our midst
Dionysus is our link to the unconscious but he is also the link to the
sisterhood, the matriarchal pagan past. Dionysus is often paired with
Demeter the goddess of grain - the grain that becomes contaminated with a
fungus - and also has hallucinogenic properties. Dionysus is our connection
to cannibalism and blood ritual. The maenads, who served their half man,
half beast god, lived for the state of frenzied ecstasy, whereby they
regularly slaughtered and ate their children.
Preparation of the Wine.
Ruck tells us how the wine is prepared, stating that after the wine is
ready, the god who has triumphed over death, is invited back to the Feast
of Flowers – the god often taking the form of the ghost. Ruck goes on to
tell us how the Feast brought together the family and all the dead relatives.
‘When the wine vat was unsealed it allowed for a
pathway so the spirits of all the departed could rise
up from their graves and join with the resurrected
Clearly, this is the same resurrection taught in Christendom. J esus the
saviour is modelled on Dionysus, which means he must die and be brought
back to life again. J esus is placed on a cross until death. His body is then
taken and placed in a cave, but was it J esus who emerged from the cave?
Or was his twin brother Thomas? [The spirit.] Ascension into heaven
usually marks the ritual feast. The spirit of the sacrifice goes to heaven and
the consumed body is excreted into the earth. Heaven and earth are united.
There are many similarities between the story of Dionysus and the
story of J esus. Dionysus is a sailor he takes refuge in the sea [Soma.] J esus
produces loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes. Psychedelic drugs can
cause multiple vision. There is one story told by W. F Otto where
Dionysus is kidnapped by pirates and taken aboard a ship. The god then
turns the pirates into dolphins. J esus turned water into wine at a wedding
feast. Was this a conventional marriage of man and wife or the occultist
alchemical marriage and the journey taken from the conscious to the pre-
conscious state?
The ship or vessel of life replicates the womb. It became the ark in the
Old Testament story of Noah. The ship also features in the myth of J ason
and the Argonauts. In Greek mythology it is the hero J ason who sails the
ship Argo on a treacherous journey to the Black Sea to bring back the
Golden Fleece. It is worth recounting this story for its similarities to the
Biblical parable of Moses.
In a period before the Trojan War [1194-1184 BC] the ancient
Kingship of Iolkos in Thessaly was usurped by Pelias from his older half

C Ruck 2001 Apples for Apollo Rochester, Vermont. Park Street Press p 1.
ibid pp2-4.
brother Aison. The wife of Aison was fearful of what would happen to her
newly born son J ason so she pretended he was still born and secretly sent
him away to Mount Pelion the place of the centaur Cheiron. Meanwhile the
new king was fearful of his throne being lost so he consulted the Delphic
oracle and was told to beware of a one footed man. When J ason was grown
he returned to his homeland to reclaim his heritage but on his journey he
encountered an old witch who demanded that he carry her across the
swollen river. The woman was the goddess Hera. As J ason carried the
woman across the river he lost a sandal and his injury was revealed. J ason
then met with Pelias to discuss his claim to the kingdom. In order to get rid
of J ason Pelias devised a plot. Pelias told J ason he could have his kingdom
provided he searched and brought back the Golden Fleece in order to rid
the royal palace of the ghost of an ancestor Phrixos, a cousin to J ason’s
father. In a family struggle for power Phrixos and his sister Athamas
escaped being slaughtered by jumping on a ram with a Golden Fleece.
Phrixos slaughtered the ram and placed it in a sacred grove that was
guarded by a serpent. With a collective of gods and other important people
J ason set out on the voyage to find the Golden Fleece.
The symbol of the ram represents a distinct change from matriarchy to
patriarchy. The placement of the dead ram in the grove is the signifier of
death or altered consciousness. The grove is always the place of the
goddess, the universal womb. It would appear the story of J ason is about
the threatened loss of the drug cults, the Golden Fleece being a euphemism
for the magic mushroom.
There are many adventures on this journey but finally J ason arrives at
the destination of Kolchis. Here he is seduced by Medea who helps him to
conquer the serpent and secure the Fleece. Medea then flees with J ason and
the Argonauts back home. When they arrive back they discover that
J ason’s father Aison has been killed. Medea then kills Pelias cuts him into
pieces and places him in a cauldron so J ason can reclaim his heritage. The
crime is so abhorrent to J ason that he escapes with Medea to Corinth. J ason
then reclaims his heritage by taking the king’s daughter as his wife. Medea
is so outraged she murders her two sons by J ason and she escapes in a
chariot driven by serpents.
Carl Ruck [2001] rewrites the myth of J ason to suggest that J ason is an
ancient shaman and drug man. The one-foot is a metaphor, which means
the shaman has a foot in two worlds. This is modified from the half man
half animal image of Dionysus. Ruck says this also could mean that
‘something is missing’ - consciousness; but as Ruck tells us, ‘nothing is
ever totally lost – it resides in another realm’. Further, Ruck believes that
one foot also has botanic meaning. Although most plants grow from a
single stem the Amanitae have a bulbous base, have no roots and are
suggestive of a swollen foot
Wandering Gods.
Dionysus is a god that wanders between the dyads. We see him
sipping nectar and listening to the music of Muses but we also see the
darker side, where he makes offerings that will result in human tragedy.

ibid p9.
There are some important lessons here. Dionysus has had a difficult
childhood. He was kidnapped by the Titans and while gazing in a mirror
they slit his throat with a sacrificial knife. The child is then cut into pieces
first boiled in a pot then roasted. When Zeus finds out about the tragedy he
kills the Titans with a thunderbolt and brings Dionysus back to life.
Notably, Dionysus has no clear sexual identity but rather he appears to
sit between male and female; another clear indication of the struggle
between matriarchy and patriarchy and the androgyny of pre-conscious
humans. Dionysus marries a mortal Ariadne, whereby he also sits
between gods and morals. Dionysus exists between heaven and earth, the
conscious and the pre-conscious and/or unconsciousness.
Most of the Olympian gods have moved away from murder and
cannibalism but Dionysus revels in human sacrifice. Dionysus is the rebel
god who objects to the way society is changing. He kills, cooks and eats
his victim, real or imagined. In this sense, Dionysus represents the primal
spirit that lies beyond the human façade. He has his own Bacchic costume
the fawnskin and thrysus. Death forms an integral part of the worship of
Dionysus and this can be seen as a legacy in the dynasties of Egyptian gods
and goddesses who lived life through the notion of death. In this belief life
is a struggle and death is a blessing; the ultimate freedom. We think about
the Dionysian cults when we encounter groups [or individuals] who self-
sacrifice, self-mutilate or suicide.
Both the Egyptian and the Orphic theologies separated the soul from
the body and believed it was the soul that was the higher Self. The soul
connected to all the ancestors, who having passed on became gods in their
own right. On top of this pyramid is the female principle or the goddess
who is the all- giver and all- taker of all life. Given the religious struggles
of the times we cannot escape the possibility that Dionysus is the stand in
for the goddess. In this role Dionysus must carry the burden of the
goddess as the taker of life whereby Dionysus must suffer not one self-
inflicted death but multiple deaths manifest in a terrible persecution
In the works of Euripides we see a distinct shift towards tragedy and
madness although the two are seldom equated in the literature. Tragedy has
its roots in the primal/spiritual rituals that enact a belief in death and
rebirth. Through these rituals the alienated individual gains psychological
comfort and offsets the fears of death as finality. Medea kills her children
to avenge J ason; as told by Euripides. The daughters of Minyas refuse to
take part in the Dionysian festivals and in revenge the gods send them into
madness. They developed a craving for human flesh and drew lots to see
whose child they would devour. Hermes later turns them into owls and
bats. There are attempts in these stories to reveal what it is like to be in a
state of altered consciousness.
The Wandering J ew.
The Wandering [Eternal] J ew is the most enduring of myths that posits
the notion of a J ewish evil. There are similarities in the persecution of J ews
and the persecuting madness of the Dionysian myths. The Wandering J ew
myth featured prominently in the German Verjudung [J ewification] as an
allegory of German redemption from what was perceived as ‘corrosion’ of
the Germanic character by the J ewish people
. It coincided with
Germany’s moral and economic failure. German idealism drew on the
ancient Roman myths of empire and the mystical Swastika of the Essenes
for its symbolism, method and prospectus. The German aim was for a pure
[Aryan] race. The Third Reich used conceptual metaphors or metonymies
with local appeal, these were rooted in nation and domination conceived in
a utopian dream of a mythic re-birthing. The Verjudung took place by way
of turning a German pathos into a mass social movement [a feast]
expressed in the flesh that equals strength and the blood that equals life.
This was in accordance with Goethe’s Mephisto. It was to be realized in
Hitler’s messianic delusions of blood and race. It resonates with
cannibalism and/or the existence of the unaccepted just beyond the borders.
The Wandering J ew forms part of the cannibalism trope, which marks the
difference between the perceived irrational, uncivilized, savages who ate
their enemies in order to appropriate their strengths, while the Europeans
tortured and killed in the name of religion, righteousness, civilization and
declarations of love and morality.
The term ‘Wandering J ew’ has a certain linguistic performance. In
Hitler’s regime the Wandering J ew served two purposes. It created a
necessary negative stereotype to point up the connection between blood
and soil that can be seen in such films as The Eternal Forest [1936] and
The Degenhardts [1944]; it also reminded the German people of the evils
of communism believed to be the creation of J ews and a plot to take over
the world. Both these purposes served to bolster the idealism of the Third
. The Wandering J ew is an overwhelming motif. It substitutes the
notion of a Chosen People with that of villainy and dysfunction. The
narrative of the Chosen People is one of the most successful dualistic
myths of all time. It joins the notion of paradise with its chosen elite. Only
‘special’ people get to paradise. Feeling special is so emotionally linked to
having an identity. I am special because of who and what I am –Cogito.
The myths of dualism split the entire world into villains and heroes. This is
the prototype of the modern emancipatory discourse and it is present in all
the apocalyptic literature, which sees the saviour/hero return after the world
has fallen into chaos. In this discourse the saviour wins and all the villains
are exterminated. Countless fascist leaders have used these ideas.
The Wandering J ew became the subject of the film The Eternal J ew
[1940] directed by Fritz Hippler. The film was taken from Veit Harlan’s
anti-Semitic play The J ude Suss. The Eternal J ew is the most horrible of all
the Nazi propaganda. Stig Hornshoj Moller has written a scene by scene
analysis of the film. He states it was specifically designed to show the J ews
of Poland as ‘corrupt, filthy, lazy, ugly and perverse...an alien people’ who
‘have taken over the world through their control of banking and
commerce’, yet ‘they still live like animals’. The movie is transparent
propaganda and racial hatred and its danger is reflected in the fact that it is
banned in Germany today and only shown in the United States under strict
legal conditions. It is nonetheless, still favoured by the neo-Nazis and other

P Rose 1990 The German Question/J ewish Question: Revolutionary Anti- Semitism
FromKant to Wagner. New J ersey, Princeton University Press, p44.
Taylor: 1998 p157.
anti-Semites. There are shocking scenes of rats crawling from sewers and
a cow being slaughtered in bloody detail with a Rabbi standing by
laughing. It ends with Hitler’s prophecy of the coming annihilation of the
J ews. Moller highlights the importance of this film in the events that led to
the Holocaust
. This film inspired the Al-Shatat series, made by
Hezbollah’s satellite television station Al-Manar, which also had shocking
scenes that lied about J ews.

The Wandering J ew and the Medieval Migrations.
Paul Rose suggests, ‘the Wandering J ew is a late medieval invention’
[1543.] The name Ahasverus came via a Lutheran cleric Paulus von Eitzen
who encountered a vagrant of this name in a Hamburg church. Ahasverus
was the name of a J ew who jeered at Christ on his way to the crucifixion
and was cursed by God as the ‘eternal, hapless wanderer’
. The
proliferation of the tale in the Middle Ages coincides with the mass
movement of various people across continents and the many pilgrims of all
faiths seeking religious experience. In the 1500s the massive empire built
by the Christians across Europe and Asia was diminishing. At this time
history records the rise of Islam. This meant the strong possibility of
extinction for Christianity. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries most of
Asia turned away from Christianity as did most of the south eastern sector
of Europe as it fell under Islamic rule
. Added to this were the impacts of
the Copernican revolution that altered the view of the solar system. The
earth was no longer viewed as the centre of the universe. Thomas Hobbes
[1588-1679] revolted against the scholastic philosophy and Descartes
[1596-1650] struggled to marry his rational thought with his religious
conviction. It is against this backdrop that the myth of the Wandering J ew
is moved from an oral mythology to a written narrative with dissemination
later made easier by the invention of the printing press.
Wandering spirits appear in the J ewish Kabbalah. The wandering
spirits placated the situation of J ews who ‘hovered between expulsion and
redemption’ many having been forced to convert to Christianity. They
turned to the mystical practices as a form of ‘boundless transcendence’
The Kabbalah is based on the journey of energy through the body, which
travels from its base of the torso to the higher spirit and feelings of
euphoria. It is a state induced by prayer or meditation, sometimes involving
a shallow rhythmic breathing much like that which follows the shaman’s
drum. It shares techniques with other eastern religions. It can also be drug
induced or brought about by the extremes of pain or pleasure. Silberman
explains how the connection between the wandering towards the higher
spirit to bring down the Shekhinah [goddess] is reminiscent of the
pilgrimages of earlier mystics to festivals ‘forging a link between country

See Holocaust History Org. Online, Accessed 26
March 2006.
Rose 1990 pp23 -24. Also Taylor 1998.
See K Latourette 1975 A History of Christianity: Reformation to the Present Vol 2
[Revised Edition] New York, Harper and Row, p 689-690.
N A Silberman 1998 Silberman N A 1998Heavenly Powers: Unraveling the Secret
History of the Kabbalah. New York, Grosset/Putnam and Penguin Putnam pp155,159.
and city, between past and present, between individual and community’
When the sense of the Self or ego is lost or it is quashed by the ranks of an
elite there is the urge to set about creating ones own destiny with beliefs,
ideologies and fantasies. The exclusion from paradise pushes the
imagination to create its own paradise. All acts are ‘potential texts,
hybrids and translinguistics that find their meaning in the social’. They
speak of the homogenizing power of myth over language
. The myth of
the Wandering J ew was separated from the wandering of a general
population and became instead a conceptual language of persecution.
The Wandering J ew and Blood Libel.
Although the Christian legend of the Wandering J ew was directed at
one person an entire race has been marked and punished. In the first
accounts of Roger of Wendover [1228] even though the J ewish person
chooses Christian baptism they are still doomed to wander the earth, a view
endorsed by Mathew Paris’s Chronica Majorca [1240]
. In 1600 Purim
Plays were called Ahasverus Plays
. Coupled with the myths of blood
libel, desecration of the Host and secret unions with the Devil this provides
an absolute personification of the J ewish people as the evil Other.
Culture changes with struggle and definition. Nations formulate value
systems and instil them in their populations; they also take steps to
delegitimize any opposition using material from myth or the traditions
The wandering consciousness of ascetics and mystics was turned on the
J ews. It defined both the Diaspora and the assumed mystical powers that
had been attributed to the J ewish evil; that is the J ews as the Devil’s agent
and the link back to paganism. The notion of the Wandering J ew
impregnated the literature, culture and myth. It proliferated in the Christian
arts that were later mass produced to influence whole communities. This
way the notion of the ascending hero [the Christian] is juxtaposed to the
underworld of the [demon J ew]; otherwise heaven and hell. This
mythological trope of marginality has its facsimile in Plato. Here the

ibid p159.
Bakhtin 1968:119. See also R Stam R 1992 Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural
Criticismand Film. Baltimore, J ohn Hopkins University pp 18 and D Patterson 1988
Literature and Spirit: Essays On Bakhtin and His Contemporaries Kentucky, University
Press of Kentucky p8.
D Wolfthal, 1985 The Wandering J ew: Some Medieval and Renaissance Depictions in
Tribute to Lottee Brand Phillip New York, Abaris Books 1985 pp220-221, and Hasan
Rokem 1986:46. Hasan-Rokem G and Dundes A [1986] [Eds.] The Wandering J ew:
Essays in theInterpretation of a Christian Legend. Bloomington, Indiana University
G K Anderson 1965 Legend of the Wandering J ew Providence, Brown
University Press.

F Halliday, 2006 The Middle East in International Relations. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press p 196 and www.pbs.org Accessed 23th September, 2006.
primitive behaviours are weighted against with the notion of civilization in
the Polis.
The Wandering Oedipus.
In Oedipus At Colonus the state of altered consciousness is told in the
blind man who takes his two daughters to the grove of the goddesses. He
calls to the goddesses ‘Queens of dread aspect’ and ‘Awful Goddesses’ and
on entry into the grove he dies. Then the chorus:
A wanderer that old man must have been
a wanderer, not a dweller in the land; else
never would he have advanced into this un-
trodden grove of the maidens with whom
none may strive, whose name we tremble to
speak, by whom we pass with eyes turned
away, moving our lips, without sound or word,
still in devotion
Sophocles understood cognitive closure as the wandering mind. Both
Freud and Bachofen [1861] agree that elements appearing in myth belong
to an earlier period of development and they do not necessarily belong to a
conscious frame of reference. For Freud it was a problem of the primal
unconsciousness, for Bachofen a problem of law. Bachofen’s Mother Right
[1861] belongs to the progressive idealist European tradition, which was to
follow Condorcet’s Sketch for a Historical Pictureof the Progress of the
Human Mind [1795] and Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit [1807.]
Oedipus experiences a dread of primal women, the same dreadexpressed
in a number of works; in Goethe it is Faust who fears the Mothers. In the
third part of the Sophocles trilogy, in Antigone there is an obvious struggle
between matriarchal and patriarchal principles but this struggle is beyond
gender; it is the struggle between heaven and earth and the search for a
complete harmony represented in the Sabbath [Shabbat] the day of rest and
originally the sacred ritual/festival/feast. It is also the androgyny that
comes when the mind is not in focus. Freud never did justice to
Sophocles’s stories with his Oedipus complex. This is where the young
man has primal urges to completely posses his mother. The Oedipus myth
is a myth of cognitive closure. It resonates with the jihadist’s search for the
lost sacred/death. The human is doomed to tragedy through unavoidable
situations because the mind is separated from reality, a mind/body split.

The All-Powerful Devil.
The picture of the J ews as the Devil was intended as harmful but the
personification of the Devil in the goat has ancient and liberating
significance. It was the goat that was later sacrificed by the pagans on the
altar of the goddess. Goats were highly valued. Goats are natural survivors
in harsh climates, goats milk could be given to babies. The Wandering J ew

Sophocles in E Fromm, 1951: Fromm E Escape FromFreedom, New York, Falmer and
Reinhart, pp 215-221.
is pictured as a goat, which suggests J ews represent the powerful elements
required for survival, they are the eternal spirit. To this end the J ew is
simultaneously demonized and elevated or given transcendence. This
version of the Wandering J ew is alluded to in The Wandering J ew’s
Soliloquy contained in the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley [1828]; in a
manuscript by Henry Neele [1846] called The Magician’s Visitor; in a
piece by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1184] called A Virtuoso’s Collection; and
by George MacDonald [1876] in Passages Froman Autobiography of the
WanderingJ ew; also in the Holy Cross by Eugene Field who wrote a
number of children’s poems Wynken, Blynkenand Nod and more
In Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale the old man sends three wanderers to the
treasure that would be their death. Chaucer did not name this character.
Lily Haydn makes reference to the Wandering J ew in the song called Real ,
‘I wanted out of my skin. My colours I tried to hide. I’m a Wandering J ew
I’ve yet to want what is mine’
The 1980s movie with Demi More called The Seventh Sign is about
the Wandering J ew and the Apocalypse. Abby Quinn and her husband
lawyer Michael accept a border David, a teacher of ancient languages into
their home. Abby is about to give birth but she starts to have dreams in
which David appears asking if she is prepared to die for him. She finds a
series of scrolls in his room tied to global events, radioactive flashes in
Haiti, rivers of blood in Nicaragua, snow in the deserts of Israel. They all
appear to have the seven signs that warn of the end of the world. Abby
comes to believe the seventh of these signs will be the birth of her own
child without a soul and that David is trying to kill her child. These same
incidents occur in The Omen [1976] Rosemary’s Baby [1968] and The
Seventh Seal [1957] which directly ties the Wandering J ew to the Anti-
The Wandering J ew myths, like those of the Devil are linked to the
notions of immortality. There are many accounts of messianic immortality
in the Hebrew texts. For example in the story of the prophet Elijah who is
taken by God in a descending fire
. Elijah never dies, he is invited to
every Passover. Monotheism is lived through the parables and their
recitation. Because the journey into the unconscious is beyond language it
became necessary to explain these experiences in myths and images and to
re-enact them in the mythical/theatrical settings. The wandering is not
paradigmatic to J udaism or Christianity. The Greek legends tell of stones
moving through the skies. The Venus goddess emerges from the sea and
Astarte pops out of the head Zeus. These images remain in the modern
symbolism and everyday life. Isaac Asimov tells a story called Unto the
Fourth Generation [1974] in which his central character a young executive
Samuel Marten is on his way to a business meeting when he sees a truck
with the name Lewkowitz & Sons Wholesale Clothiers on the side of it,
without thinking Marten reads the name as Levokich then wonders why he

See B Stableford 1993 Tales of the Wandering J ew: A collection of Contemporary and
Classic Stories Sawtry, Dedalus Limited.
L Haydn L 2004 Song ‘Real’ www.artistdirect.com Accessed 2
August, 2006.
Kings 2 1-11. The King J ames Bible.
would make such a mistake. Marten’s business meeting does not go well
and he wanders the streets trying to work out what is happening to him. He
feels as though he is failing. He follows the trail of Lewkowitz thinking
maybe it will furnish him with some answers. In Central Park he meets up
with an old man and discovers the old man is his great-great grandfather.
The two have been caught in a time warp. Lekovich is on his death bed in
Czarist Russia. His wife and sons have died and his daughter Leah has
settled in America. The old man has longed to meet the son of Leah’s
bloodline. Marten is the son of Leah’s daughter’s daughter. Marten asks for
the old man’s blessing and receives it. The blessing is a symbol of
Marten’s worth. Marten is now confident that all his business dealing will
go well.
In Mythologies [1964] Barthes shows us some of the ways subjects
interact with the symbolic. He depicted some of the icons of the Paris
bourgeoisie for an examination of their multiple meanings. Barthes brings
together the semiology of Saussure and the Marxist conception of ideology
for the analysis of the visual text, which he believes becomes transformed
into myth as a semiological system; what Barthes calls a ‘science of
forms’. Barthes examines the ways various objects can be signified. He
notes the importance of distinguishing the sign from the signifier. Barthes
offers the example taken from the cover of a popular French magazine,
which showed a young black person saluting the national flag – the
signified and identifying another hidden signifier, ‘that France is a great
Empire. Barthes compares these hidden meanings to Freud’s analysis of
The Wandering J ew is reduced to a dream state in the Hebrew
Haggadah of Pessach, which requires all J ews to pass on the knowledge of
the liberation from slavery in Egypt to their offspring. It is described in the
book of Exodus in the Torah. Every Passover Seder rekindles the memory
of the Eternal City of J erusalem. For the Gnostics J erusalem is the city of
the Mother Goddess and fertility. Allegro [1970] links the Passover with
fertility via another Semitic root s-p-kh ‘appease quieten’. Allegro states,
‘it signifies the peace, which comes after the agony of parturition, when
pain is forgotten and the newly born child or animal rests at its mother’s

R Barthes 1972Mythologies [Trans.] A Lavers, London, Cape and New York, Hill and
Wang, pp17-109 also J B Thompson 1990/1991 [Ed.] Introduction to Language and
Symbolic Power P Bourdieu. [Trans.] G Raymond and M Adamson, Cambridge, Polity
Press p287.
Allegro 1970:171.
Chapt er Ei ght .
Flagellation: Violence in the Religious Sects.
‘Into what understanding all have grown!
[Setting aside a few things, the still faces,
Climbing the phosphorous tide, that none will own]
What paradise and watering places,
What hurts appeased by the sea’s handsomeness!’
I ntroduction:
What are the links between religion, violence and mental
In the previous chapter I showed how Allegro came to the conclusion
that J esus was a mushroom consumed by the Essenes and how the
knowledge was hidden from the Roman authorities to protect the fertility
cults. All secrecy involves a degree of personal guilt. The usual result of
guilty feelings is self-punishment. The personal endurance, self-
punishment and pain experienced by the early Christians raises a number
of issues about religious practice and its possible links with mental illness.
While the religious groups were designated as the healing professions;
healing the possessed of melancholy, mania and what was generally
regarded as an imbalance of the humours, it would appear that it was the
possessed healing the possessed with promises of everlasting life and
utopia. In this chapter I begin by outlining and the practices of the
flagellants, which includes some of the wandering sects that gave birth to
the current religious groups. I focus on the use of self-induced pain as a
means of altering consciousness to fulfill the fantasies and promises of
utopia and to placate the fear of death.
Flagellation and the Brotherhoods.
The Essenes having originally arisen from the Indian sect called the
J ains were wandering miracle makers. The J ains and Essenes relinquished
all material comforts. The Essenes, according to Allegro [1970] are a
mystic cult, worshippers of the goddess and consumers of the magic
mushroom [fly agaric.] The Essenes rejected all property rights and
opposed any material development. They lived a life of extreme
deprivation that included acts of self-flagellation. This meant applying
various instruments of torture to their own bodies. The radical thirteenth

Geoffrey Hill 1956 in Voices p108.
and fourteenth century Christian movement took on these practices but
they were declared heretical and pushed underground.
Flagellation means literally ‘to whip’. Various pre-Christian groups
practiced it; the cult of Isis in Egypt and the Dionysian cult in Greece, also
the Shiite Muslims who still practice it. In the Catholic Church flagellation
and mortification became a form of penance. The practice peaked around
the time of the Black Death and went underground thereafter. It then
became associated with the European movement called the Brothers of the
Cross [also the Brothers of the Holy Cross, the Brethren of the Free Spirit
and/or the Beghards.] The Brothers dressed themselves in white robes and
hoods with slits cut in the material so only the eyes are showing. The
Brothers of the Cross wandered the landscape and established their camps
near the towns where they practiced their flagellation rituals. Twice a day
they could be seen whipping themselves to the rhythm of chants. The blood
flowed and was then soaked up with rags and kept as a holy relic. The
Brothers taught that people who gain perfection in this life are unable to
commit a sin. Therefore they cannot be blamed for their actions. The
Brothers thought it possible to have first hand knowledge of God and they
set themselves apart from all other rules and social expectations. The
Brothers had direct connections to the Gnostic Cathars, students of the
Kabbalah. Catherine de Medici and Henry III of France both gave their
support to the flagellants. Processions of hooded flagellants are still a part
of the Mediterranean culture. The modern version of this regime is
depicted in movies like Miami Vice [2006] where the Aryan Brothers are
associated with Colombian drug trafficking cartels, international arms
deals, money laundering and prostitution. There is a strong mythical power
evoked by the notion of brotherhoods, which continues to exist.
In the US the followers of the Free Spirit or the Brothers evolved into a
sect known as the Ku Klux Klan. This group justified their persecution of
J ewish and black Americans on the basis of a perceived white Aryan
superiority. The Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1886 by veterans of the US
Confederate army was a movement that resisted the Anti-Slavery Laws. In
1915 they gained impetus through the film Birth of a Nation and produced
a newspaper with anti-Semitic text. They were particularly vocal during
the trial and lynching of Leo Frank
. Not surprisingly, the head of the Klan
is called the Imperial Wizard.
Towards the close of the twelfth century as the Islamic Empire took
hold the Muslim brotherhoods came into view. The Islamic Sufis were the
holy beggars who wandered through the streets dressed in patched clothes
Sufis are still a secret organization no one knows exactly how many Sufis
there are because they can be Shiite Muslims or Sunnis. Sufism states that
external actions do not matter only internal ones count. Sufis speak of not
just experiencing God but becoming God. A famous Sufi saying is ‘praise
be to me’. The most widely read Sufi author is the thirteenth century poet

LDinnerstein 1991 The Leo Frank Case. New J ersey. The Notable Trials Library. Also S
Oney 2004 And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of
Leo Frank New York, Vintage.
J Markale 2003 Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars Inner Traditions.
Rumi who, in light of the New Age, has gathered a huge following in the
United States and elsewhere. Rumi’s influences stems from three main
countries, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. He teaches mystical truth by
telling stories that relate to his own life drama.
As a wealthy nobleman Rumi met a wandering mystic by the name of
Shams. The two men became great friends and stayed together for about
two years until Shams was murdered by Rumi’s youngest son. Out of his
immense grief Rumi wrote his poetry. Nearly 70,000 verses are contained
in two major works Divan-e Shams and e Tabrizi and Massnavi/
Mathnawi. For Rumi the love of a mystic is a gathering of lovers and his
works tell of these exploits. In one example Rumi tells of two women who
have sex with a donkey
. This is accepted as a demonstration of love of all
life-forms. Zoophilia or bestiality was not unusual in ancient times and the
practice still existed in the Middle Ages. Indeed, it still exists today.
Michaelangelo’s sixteenth century painting of Leda and the Swan is a
perfect example of human/animal eroticism and sex. [The painting now
only exists in a copy as the original was lost.] In 2001 philosopher and
animal liberationist Peter Singer reviewed Midas Dekkers’s Dearest Pet:
On Bestiality and says he sees nothing intrinsically wrong with bestiality if
there is no harm or cruelty. If this sounds bizarre a quick search of the
Internet will reveal the popularity of sex with animals, especially with the
dog, pig, cow and donkey. It happens often in rural areas. Sex with
animals has a mythical and religious significance and is linked to a state of
immaturity. The donkey is yet another representation of the unconscious
where the primary focus is death and/or the loss of the sacred. The dog was
sacred to the Egyptians.

Power, Sex and Violence.
The Brotherhoods are a way of consolidating power, especially sexual
power. By the eighteenth century a number of the Brotherhoods followed
the drug inspired Indian [Tantric] belief that sex was the path to paradise as
described in the ancient Karma Sutra. The more people indulged in sex the
more spiritual they became. The Armenian mystic Gurdjief experimented
with ritual sex to try to recreate the perfect existence in the Garden of
Eden. One of Gurdjief’s interests was dancing, particularly that of the Sufi
Whirling Dervishes who spiral themselves into a trance. This group has
renewed its popularity with New Age devotees and while it appears as a
peace-loving movement, it is patriarchal, authoritarian and adheres to
extreme Islamic doctrines. Gurdjief believed life is a state of ‘waking
sleep’ and transcending this sleep requires ‘inner work’
. Norman Cohn
tells us in The Pursuit of the Millennium[1970] that these ideas stemmed
from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries when Christian Gnostics
regularly pursued sex through rape and violence as a form of spiritual

In the Mathnawi, Rumi 5:1333-1405; also at Muslim Hope Org.
http://www.muslimhope.com/SectsOfIslam.htm Accessed 21
August, 2006.
See Gurdjief Org. www.gurdjief.org Accessed 13
August, 2006.
N Cohn 1970 p156.
A number of occultists have developed ideas of sex-magic; these
include Crowley, Sade, Manson, the Unification Church or Moonies [after
Rev. Sun Myung Moon.] Also Gestalt, a therapy devised by Fritz Perls
[1893-1970] which took the form of shocking clients out of their lethargy
with verbal [often sexual] abuse. Today, in Iran these practices are turned
on women who are regularly hanged for rapes committed against them.
Following Sade’s dictum hanging can be viewed as a form of eroticism.
The British Broadcasting Company [BBC] documented the case of a
sixteen year old girl [described as twenty-two] who was executed on the
15th August 2004. Atefah Sahaaleh was hanged in public from a crane in
the city of Neka for ‘Crimes Against Chastity’. In the same year an
estimated 159 people were executed in accordance with Sharia Law, which
puts sex outside of marriage as a capital offence
. Clearly, religious
doctrine has not lost touch with its primal blood rituals. These kinds of acts
have mass ramifications. The punishment of one person often makes
Others feel guilty. Feelings of guilt en mass can lead to mass depression
and self-harm.
Towards the end of the 1990s the topic of self-harm became the focus
of a number of books and films. There seemed to be a growing epidemic of
self-harm amongst young people. Here addictions were linked to direct
self-mutilation, which meant destroying the body tissue without actually
considering death as a consequence or the taking of one’s own life. In the
context of 1960s and 1970s studies by the psychiatric profession the term
‘cutter’ appeared. Cutters were people who slashed their wrists or cut
wounds into parts of their body. However, the profile of the ‘cutter’ was
not limited to the severely disturbed psychiatric patient. Cutters were
present in popular articles, television series and literature. As time went by
a number of public confessions relating to self-harm and self-mutilation
began to emerge. There was the reported self-harm of Princess Diana on
the BBC and the episodes of Beverly Hills 90210. There was also J ames
Mangold’s [1999] film adapted from novel by Susanna Kaysen called Girl
Interrupted. This story tells of a young woman Winona Ryder who self-
mutilates. We first see Winona in the emergency room of a hospital having
her stomach pumped. Then someone in the distance shouts ‘we got a wrist-
banger’. The hospital discovered that prior to attempting suicide this
woman has been self-mutilating. The film set in 1967 gives us a glimpse of
the prejudices of that period. Winona’s parents are conservative and
patriarchal. Winona is lost in the contradictions. She is seeking to find
herself by inflicting pain. Next we see Winona entering a mental institution
where she discovers she is not alone in her self-harming practices. Three
other white teenage girls are there because they self-harm. Kaysen’s
memoir is an attempt to get more understanding of the reasons for self-
harm. She includes her own diagnosis in the work. Her hospital chart reads:
‘Borderline Personality Disorder’, as it appears in the Diagnositic and

BBC 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5217424.stm
Accessed 14
August, 2006 and 2
October, 2006.
Statisitcal Manual of Mental Disorders. Kaysen tries to demonstrate that
every aspect of the diagnosis is biased against women or it is so vague that
it can be manipulated. She laughs off the diagnosis and this puts her at odds
with the staff, her parents and society in general.
Mental illness is extraordinarily common. It is estimated that roughly
one third of the world’s population suffer from mental illness. The types of
mental illness can vary but there are specific categories listed in the
diagnostic manuals, which are generally accepted by metal health
professionals. These include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic
disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders.
One of the major problems with diagnosing mental illness is there is never
one single category that indicates a particular mental dysfunction; this
makes psychiatry and psychology contested fields and adds to the stigma
and discrimination people experience when they suffer with mental
The history of mental illness goes back to the Egyptians. The Stone
Age people treated mental illness as magic. The Sufi movement taught that
mysticism and spirituality brought the individual closer to god. People used
triggers to alter consciousness, such as dance, chant and narcotics.
With the first civilizations there came a more rational view of mental
dysfunction. Melancholy, hysteria and phobias were recorded in ancient
Greece and were commented on by Aristotle and Plato. Psychiatric theories
and treatment developed in Islamic psychology and medicine around the 8
century when the first mental asylums were built. Most medieval societies
believed that mental illness was caused by demons and was some kind of
punishment for wrong doing. Islam had a slightly more sympathetic view
set down in the ethics and theology exemplified in Sura 4-5 of the Koran.
In the context of the Islamic Golden Age the mentally ill were seen as unfit
to manage their property but they should none the less be treated humanely.
This led to the establishment of facilities for the mentally ill and physicians
who then discovered that mental illness was a dysfunction of the brain.
An Explanation for Self-Harm, Flagellation and
Modern science informs us that the extreme acts of flagellation and
mortification causes a release of endorphins, which can lead to an addiction
to pain as well as to the altered states of consciousness. Monty Python
made light of the practice of flagellation in the movie Monty Python and
the Holy Grail. Ingmar made reference to the practice in The Seventh Seal.
The albino monk Silas practices several forms of self-flagellation in Dan
Brown’s [2004] The Da Vinci Code. In 1994 the German band Ramstein
produced a video clip with flagellating monks for their album Rosenrot
[German for rose-red, released in 2005.] J esus made his way to the
crucifixion along the Via Delorosa. Ramstein’s lyrics are an adaptation of
Goethe’s poem Heidenroslein and the story of Snow-White and Red-Rose
by the Bross Grimm [not to be confused with Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs.] The story goes like this:
There was once a poor old widow who lived in a small cottage and in
the front garden there were two rose trees, one was called Snow-white and
the other was called Rose-red. The woman had two children who were like
the rose trees. Snow-white was quiet and happy while Rose-red was more
adventurous. The children were very close to each other and vowed that
throughout their lives they would not leave each other. What one child has
she will always share with the other.
Being together gave the children a sense of security. They went into
the forest, mixed with the animals and nothing harmed them. Once they
had spent a night in the forest and woke to find a beautiful child in a white
dress sitting near their bed. He got up but said nothing. When they looked
they found they had been sleeping on a precipice and could have been
killed. Their mother told them an angel was looking over them. This angel
watches over all good children. The children were indeed, good children,
perfect housekeepers, they always displayed their affection for their mother
and they were good company for her.
One day, when they were all sitting quietly in the little cottage a
stranger knocked at the door. Rose-red opened the door thinking it was a
poor traveler but it was a bear who would push his way in. Everyone in the
cottage was scared but the bear said ‘don’t worry I will not harm you I am
just frozen and want to warm myself against you’.
The bear slept by the fire and gradually the mother and children
befriended the bear, playing and beating him and then allowing him to
sleep by the fire every night throughout the winter. Every night in winter
the bear came to sleep by the hearth. When spring came the bear went back
to the forest to guard his treasures believing the dwarfs might steal them.
Snow white missed the bear very much. Every night the door was left
unbolted in case he came back.
A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the forest to
gather firewood. There they stumbled over a big tree which had been cut
down. Something was jumping in the grass and moments later they saw it
was a dwarf. The dwarf asked the girls for help as while he was trying to
cut some wood his beard had got stuck and he was unable to remove it. The
children tried to help but they could not remove the stuck beard. Red-rose
said she would fetch help but the dwarf objected to this. Snow-white then
pulled a pair of scissors from her pocket and cut loose the beard. As soon
as the dwarf was free the children saw that he had a sack of treasure, which
he held with a tight grip and dragged behind him. As he moved off the
dwarf grumbled at the girls and wished them ‘bad luck’ for cutting off his
Some time after Snow-white and Red-rose went to do some fishing
and once again they came across the dwarf with his beard tangled. They
got out the scissors and cut the beard free from a fishing line that had
tangled it. The dwarf was lucky because being trapped the way he was
meant he was almost dragged into the water and swallowed by a big fish
but still the dwarf was not grateful to the girls who had now cut off the best
part of his beard. In fact, the dwarf felt ashamed and did not want to show
his face to people.
Soon afterwards the mother sent the girls to buy needles and thread and
on their way they saw the dwarf who had been struck down by an eagle
who was about to carry him off. Again the girls took pity on the dwarf and
pulled against the eagle’s grip until the dwarf dropped his bundle of
treasures and was free. Again the girls received no thanks the dwarf
retrieved his treasures and ran off. On their way back the girls would
encounter the dwarf again and this time he had spread his treasures out on
the ground believing that no one would come and see them but in the
distance the bear was walking towards the dwarf. The dwarf was taken
back and asked the bear not to hurt him; to spare him and to take these
young girls instead. The bear hit the dwarf with his large paw and the girls
were so frightened they ran off. The bear called after them saying, ‘do you
not remember me? At this point the bear lost his skin and a handsome
young man appeared. He was the son of a king. Snow-white married the
son of the king and Rose-red married his brother and they divided the
treasure the dwarf had stolen between them. In the garden of the small
cottage the mother watched her two roses bloom every year and they
reminded the mother of her beautiful children. This is a story about racial
heterogeneity. Here the notion of contaminating the bloodline is linked to
In Ramstein’s video Rosenrot a man is asked to commit a murder by
his lover. He enters the girl’s house and murders her parents. The villagers
are seen dancing and drinking and engaging in acts of self-flagellation but
then in a moment of calm they turn on the man and burn him at the stake,
the woman goes free. In another single Ich Will [2001] the same band are
engaged in a bank robbery. The members are wearing stockings over their
heads except one; he has a bomb strapped to his chest. On leaving the bank
they meet some reporters who join in a celebration of what they have done
but at the end of the celebration the bomb explodes. Only the bomb carrier
is killed the rest of the bank robbers emerge from a bus cheered by the
reporters and admirers, then they win an award
. Both are depictions of
ancient blood sacrifice where the victim is blessed and the soul is sent to an
assumed paradisiacal after-life while the rest feast on the body of the
hero/victim. Note how cultural mores have re-shaped these rituals from the
original primal violence into a benign marriage between a saviour/hero and
an innocent damsel in distress and back again to the primal violence scene.
It is worth comparing this situation to Mel Gibson’s film The Passion
of the Christ [2004] which drew a lot of controversy for its
flagellation/violence, its misogyny and anti-Semitism. This is one of the
best examples of how violent popular culture intersects with religion,
ideology and language. What is of particular interest is how the
appropriation of the body of Christ [the hero] becomes a symbol and
extension of power – cannibalism qua capitalism. Also how this relates to
narrative and prayer [talk/silence/shifting consciousness.] The Passion
highlights the interface between mortification and sexuality - prayer, space,
pain, death, fantasy and delusion - all interchangeable. It starts with the
visual image; the sword that is thrust into the side of J esus as he hangs on
the cross is symbolic of the penis being thrust into the womb, the open
gaping flesh resembling the entry to the uterus. Symbolically, the draining
of blood from the animal is the same as draining the blood from the womb
it denotes power over reproduction [heterogeneity.] The tearing of flesh is
loss of wholeness; also manifest in the loss of virginity /innocence or the

See Mortificationwww.en.wikipedia/wiki/mortification Accessed 12
September, 2006.
fall. The crucifixion is the symbol of bondage with the promise of escape
to paradise, the purification. This dire pain is shared with the audience. So
too does the eroticism of the near naked body become a shared eroticism.
Screen and audience merge for a heightened emotional fixation and the
promise of ascension/orgasm. The impact lasts way beyond the
religious/theatrical experience, it becomes the mediated lifestyle; sex,
passion, transcendence, power.
The Passion raises doubts about gender as it evokes the absence of the
female principle or that, which represents the Kali/hell/unconscious
elements. Instead J esus is the archetypal resistance fighter who disavows
evil by forgiving his assailants. In the subordination of the body for the
service of the [elusive] soul there can be no evil, no self-interest.
Moreover, The Passion highlights the ongoing human desire for altered
consciousness and it shows us that the journey to heaven or hell depends on
the prior disposition of the participant. This resembles Game Theory and
the ‘save me and take the Other’ motif, which is inherent in all of us as a
fundamental principle in evolutionary human survival. Religion does not
work to oppose this but to enforce it. The psychotic self-harms [self-
mutilates] to save himself while the Other is visibly sacrificed [usually in
the public arena.] Here guilt is exchanged for liberation. This motif appears
in every religion and revolution.
The ancient Greeks provided the explanation for self-flagellation,
calling it ‘Algolagnia’ – lagnia meaning lust and the love of deriving
sexual pleasure from pain. This is not the same as sadism, which derives
sexual pleasure from domination. Algolagnia requires no form of
domination. The practice was prevalent in Catholic monastic life. More
recently it has become buried in the Catholic organizations such as Opus
Dei [Latin for the Work of God.] This organization was founded in 1928. It
was comprised originally of celibates. Opus Dei believes that certain
people will advance towards sainthood in their lifetime. Opus Dei is
renowned for its extreme right wing politics, its cult-like existence and for
its practice of self-mortification. Members use an instrument called a cilice
to inflict severe pain upon their bodies. The cilice is worn like a bracelet
under clothing. It is made up of a series of metal circles with protruding
spikes. The bracelet is tightened around a limb until the spikes sink into the
flesh. Dan Brown depicted this practice in his book The Da Vinci Code
[2004] and the film by the same name. The Catholic Church regards
Brown’s depiction as an exaggeration. However, The Opus Dei Awareness
Network website posts the following information:
‘Cilice: a spiked chain worn around the upper thigh for two
hours each day, except for church feast days, Sundays and
certain times of the year. This is perhaps the most shocking
of corporal mortifications and generally Opus Dei
members are extremely hesitant to admit that they use
them. It is a painful mortification, which leaves prick holes
in the flesh and makes the Opus Dei members tentative
about wearing swimsuits wherever non-Opus Dei members
may be’
The Opus Dei Awareness Network lists other self-flagellation practices.
These include whipping on the back and buttocks once a week. Cold
showers every day as well as restrictions on food; also kissing the floor
with the words ‘I will serve’ as soon as the devotee leaps from bed in the
morning. This same site includes the following quotes:
‘Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain.
Glorified be pain ‘You have come to apostolate to submit, to
annihilate yourself...
These words are recited repeatedly in the same way the Muslim
recites the Koran or the Christian recites a prayer as a form of meditation to
shift consciousness.
Opus Dei was founded about the same time as the Muslim reformation
that reignited the jihad as its primary objective. Many Muslims engage in
these same practices of inflicting pain. In fact, flagellation is as much
cultural as it is religious and it is irredeemably sexual. Today, the most
common form of flagellation is manifest in sado-masochistic sexual
bondage. One of the main features of sado-masochism is its dress and
scripted scenes. In terms of what happens in consciousness there are
profound correspondences between sado-masochism, prayer and
meditation. One area of correlation we cannot escape is the notion of
surrender; sacrifice and martyrdom.
The ideas of flagellation and bondage that stemmed from Manichaeism
found their way into a Universal White Brotherhood, which still exists
today and registers its main organization in Switzerland. The teachings of
the Master Beinsa Douno [Petar Danov] are the equivalent of the Angelic
Hierarchy. The colour white signifies the celestial light. The group claim
there is no racial reference the ‘white’ connects only to the Ascended
Masters and the notion of ascension bloodlines. According to the Gnostic
tradition ascension happens after a number of ‘dedicated lifetimes’ or lives
of service to the supreme Master. This process is moved forward along a
genetic line for several generations whereby the women who have
ascended are said to be able to give birth without sexual relations. The role
of the male priests is to guard them. Christians interpret this as the
Immaculate Conception. Dan Brown’s [2004] The Da Vinci Code calls it
The Holy Grail. In the original work Holy Blood, Holy Grail by journalists
Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln [1982] the writers put forward a hypothesis
that J esus married Mary Magdalene and escaped to France where they had
children and gave birth to the royal Merovingian dynasty. These three
writers believe there are those who still claim rights to the throne of France
and who hide in secret organizations, for example the Priory of Sion [an
organization allegedly connected to Opus Dei].

www.odan.org/corporal_mortification.html Accessed 29
September, 2006.
Ascension is understood as an etheral/astral spirit body that ascends
after death or during meditation. The bodies are related to the seven
chakras, which correspond with the endocrine glands. Two books detail
these processes, The Urantia Book [1955] and A Course in Miracles [1976]
the latter is said to be dedicated by J esus himself. Each places J erusalem as
the sacred centre of the earth and the place of ascension. The Islamic
prophet Mohammed is believed to have ascended at the site of the Dome of
the Rock in J erusalem. Ascension is also understood as superiority;
power/knowledge/bloodline. For example, were the aristocratic culture of
the J erusalem palace existed in the ninth century BCE under the Davidic
dynasty and was afforded the protection of the God of Israel
The epic story that is told of David and Solomon in the Book of
Deuteronomy to the First Book of Kings is a replication of the fall. It is a
sobering reminder that those who turn away from the Master/God will pay
for their sins. The narrative devices used to tell this tale have served as a
model for Western political thinking and especially for Islam. Finkelstein
[2006] tells us the Bible’s narrative of David and Solomon ‘bears the
indelible stamp of the aggressive and uncompromising ideology’. The
‘Deuteronomistic doctrine...under the auspices of David’ is ‘advanced
through the zealotry of a Holy War’. These are the clashes between the
J erusalem Temple cult and the Philistines. It was the young shepherd boy
David who quelled the uprising after killing the Philistine giant Goliath
with a single slingshot. As Finkelstein suggests, the modern world of
competing nationalism and global empires makes the story of David and
Solomon important for understanding the current wars. ‘The story is
uniquely modern’
Spheres of Pain and Pleasure.
Ariel Glucklick [2001] awakens us to the different spheres of pain. He
introduces the idea of models of pain and attempts to explain why the pain
is important and what function it serves. Glucklick believes that it is
through the examination of different models that disintegrative pain
becomes integrative. He outlines different categories but what these
categories have in common is that the pain can be communicated in ways
that make it eternal. Pain involves reflexive processes that are both erotic
and traumatic
. Hence, J esus and his devotees share a continuing
erotic/painful space in the memory of the crucifixion/blood
sacrifice/cannibalism. This is given expression in the Brides of Christ
[nuns] where satisfaction in the glorification of the deity is both
mental/physical and emotional/sexual. There is emotional/sexual
stimulation in the clutching of the crucifix visible in numerous religious

I Finklestein I and N a Silberman 2006 David and Solomon New York Free Press,
pp134, 256. See also Finklestein N G 2005 Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-
Semitismand theAbuse of History. Los Angeles, University of California Press, p79,
134, 256.
Finkelstein 2006 p256; see also Halliday 2005:192.

A Glucklich 2001Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul, Oxford,
Oxford University Press.
paintings that depict both pain and ecstasy. The Passion is indeed, a
passion. The cardinal pleasure is made into a cardinal sin at the level of
language and law but it remains a cardinal ecstasy at the level of fantasy,
pain and martyrdom. This is probably why the crucifix became a common
weapon against Satan. Who needs the Devil when one is already so
Religious language and imagery is the highest form of eroticism. If
we compare the texts of religious art and writing to those of pornography
there is difference only at the level of cultural acceptability or low and high
culture, the raw and the cooked, the sane and insane. Each involves the
trilogy of fantasy, pain, pleasure as well as body and blood. Each involves
the seductive talk of love, sex, touch, smell; hand to hand, mouth to mouth,
heart to heart and other physical/mental references. Then there is the total
immersion in fluid/water reminiscent of the womb or the symbolic
annihilation in mikvah/ baptism/martyrdom or the washing of the hands
before the cannibal feast.
Chapt er Ni ne.
Blood Rituals: The Crucifixion, the Crusades
and the Search for the Sacred.
‘Throughout the millennium a wonderful miracle
will be taking place….J ehovah will direct his Son to
apply the benefits of the ransom sacrifice to each and
every faithful and obedient man and woman. By that
means all sin will be removed and mankind will be
raised to perfection’
I ntroduction:
What are the mythical/occultist/counter-capitalist
connections with the Holy City of J erusalem?
Most religions are expected to provide evidence of their beliefs.
Generally speaking, this evidence is contained in the religious scriptures.
The Christians use the Holy Bible as evidence that J esus was the Messiah
and the evidence is based largely upon a genealogy. God told his servant
Abraham that the promised Messiah would come from his lineage. Isaac,
J acob and J udah each received this promise. Later the Messiah was said to
come from the House of King David
. In the New Testament the house of
King David is confirmed as the lineage of the coming Messiah. No one
appears to have challenged this lineage and in 70 C E all the family records
were destroyed in the Roman siege against J erusalem. The evidence of
J esus as the Messiah is thus circumspect but it has prevailed because it
appears to fulfill the prophecies told by the Hebrews. In other words the
desire for liberation came largely from a self-fulfilling prophecy, or what
we might call auto-suggestion. Almost all religions can be said to be built
upon auto-suggestion. Two things are highlighted in this chapter, the
importance of fantasy in the human condition and the power of auto-
suggestion. This chapter addresses the issues of religious ritual and
symbolic communications as an ongoing dreaming frame. I argue that we
never fully wake up from the dream.
The City of J erusalem has magical/spiritual connotations; it is the
symbol of the pagan all-consuming goddess or life and death. It represents
the interaction between the dream state, otherwise called heaven, utopia or
paradise and the daily life experience. The J ews were expelled from
ownership of the Holy City of J erusalem but it is still an important icon
representing the spiritual and material home of the J ewish people [the
mythical homecoming] and it signifies what it means to be J ewish. To
stand on the soil of Israel is to know [and feel] the spirit of the ancestors

1J ohn 2:2 Revelation 21:1-4. King J ames Bible.
Genesis 22:18;26:2-5;28:12-15. King J ames Bible. Psalm 132:11.
and to personally experience the place were the ancestors lived, worked
and practiced their religious rituals. To walk the path of Moses or to look
out from where Abraham stood is an important connection for J ews that
reiterates the J ewish identity and/or the materialist emergent Self. In this
chapter I will show that altered consciousness is a move against
materialism and the system that organizes it, capitalism. Religion and
altered consciousness is a return to the unconscious state or cognitive
closure. In this sense, we might call the temple at J erusalem the primary
headquarters for the global occultist movement. There are a number of
paradoxes; one is that furthering this occultist counter-capitalist movement
requires a lot of material [capital] resources. Counter-capitalism is
unavoidably capitalist. Another paradox lies in the fact that this place of
assumed peace [the unconscious] has been at the centre of centuries of war
and violence. It comes as a warning that appearances can be deceptive.
J erusalem is the reminder that fantasy is the doorway to the ultimate
primal scene; madness. The Hindu religions depict this in the Kali goddess
who stands on the bloodied bodies she has ritually dismembered. In this
chapter I argue that the Golden City of J erusalem is more than a place it is
a utopian fantasy that signifies the unification of heaven and earth and the
ultimate victory over death, indeed it has come to represent death itself.
In this chapter I highlight the crucifixion as a sacrificial blood
ritual/cannibalism. I connect this event vertically to the practice of
castration and circumcision as the remnants of the sacred/cannibalistic past
and horizontally to the Crusades [and the missing body parts] embodied in
the iconic City of J erusalem, the place of ascension and the spiritual and
material home of the J ews. What this chapter demonstrates is that rituals
and symbols are important forms of communication but they escape the
rational discourse. Rituals and symbols are far more powerful than words.
Myths of Succession.
Ancient myth tells of a Golden Age. The ancients feared sin and
sought forgiveness in blood sacrifice. The Babylonians and the Persians
anticipated a king-redeemer who would re-establish the perfect world
[paradise] after the fall. The redeemer would suffer so everything could be
put back the way it was with no pain and no blood sacrifice. This promise
was called the ‘Everlasting Covenant’, a covenant of blood
. It is the
language of a religious experience that disavows transgressions through a
decentering of the subject. Since Descartes the individual has been
associated with the runaway ego the [‘I’] or the subject/object model of
consciousness. This formed into a self-conscious materialism and rapid
consumerism. Here the conscious mind must recognize itself by what it has
consumed [capitalism/cannibalism.] The world of objects is reflected back
to it. Yet, the world of objects can not be fully obtained. We must always
fantasize the lack [Kant’s transcendent ego.]
The homogeneous group and ideal dialogue are conceived in
mythology generally around the saviour/hero. The pattern of the hero is a
familiar one. The hero comes from a high class parentage, he is abandoned

Hebrews 13-20; Romans 8-42 Corinthians 5-17; Colossians 1-27 Revelation 14:12. King
J ames Bible.
as an infant, adopted by lower class parents, explores life’s adventures,
finds a princess whom he saves from a terrible fate, marries her, and
eventually encounters death or martyrdom. This is the story of J esus but
instead of liberating the J ewish son [in the J ewish tradition after Abraham]
J esus is sacrificed to affirm a powerful, primal God [an appropriate match
for the primal mother/goddess.] J esus is the fulfillment of the pagan ritual,
the symbol of polytheism, not one god but three - father, Son and Holy
Spirit – the triad/triangle of altered consciousness – life, death, rebirth. The
monotheist religions did not relinquish the practice of cannibalism, they
only transformed it through symbolism and emotional sacrifice. The
narrative of killing the savior/hero is consistent with all state
administrations - bureaucracies, old and new. In the myth the warrior/hero
must always confront an adversary in order to maintain supremacy,
eventually s/he loses the struggle. This is the shift from consciousness to
the unconscious where death completes the circle; the snake swallowing its
tail. The killing of the savior/hero appears in medieval stories like the
Iliad, Odyssey and Gilgamesh these scenes include specific elements that
retrace the accepted meaning life, the birth, journey, initiation, marriage,
fertility and sacrificial death. They have changed slightly into the
Epiphany of God, ethical culture and its opposite; that is death by combat
and a state that absorbs the violence through its administration
The myths of birth and life are also the myths of succession generally
representing three generations of grandfather, father and son. The
Theogony of Hesiod stands at one end of this spectrum with the daily dose
of television soaps as the reflexive other; theses include Neighbors, Home
and Away, Days of Our Lives, Desperate Housewives and so on. Each is
hierarchical and each reifies the power of succession enforcing it in our
daily lives. The succession stories usually contain the hero/savior’s birth,
the aims to consolidate power and the need to hide the infant [abandon]
from older members of the family who might feel threatened. When the
hero returns to visibility s/he has invariably transformed his world and sets
out to transform the world of others to the pattern of his or her making. In
modern terms the hero is the revolutionary/rebel, the terrorist and/or the
The Banquet of Atreus and the Theatre of Artaud.
The mythic narrative does not portray the human consciousness as
being passive or humane. The Greek god Kronos castrates his father,
swallows his children and then vomits them back into life. Atreus kills and
mutilates his brother’s children and serves them up on a platter to their
father at a banquet. These stories are told in the real in the sixteenth century
Decameron. Human sacrifice is depicted in Andre Masson’s drawing The
Hanging, created for Sade’s J ustine [1928.] The drawing depicts a woman
hanging while the male figure is masturbating, his right hand reaches to the
heavens to God, a death/life/sex/transcendence mix. Bataille compares
Masson’s work to the crucifixion claiming they display the same kind of

E Levinas 1987 Martin Bauber’s Thought and Contemporary J udaism,
California, Athlone Press and Stanford University Press p16.
creationist eroticism
. There are a number of contemporary versions of the
creationist myths. Odyssey became OBrother Where Art Thou and The
Godfather and also Phantomof the Opera. The most powerful
interpretation of this culture of violence is given in Artaud’s Theatre of
Cruelty and the ideas he expresses in his book Theatre and Its Double
[1958.] Artaud’s work is an attack on almost all aspects of Western culture
but principally it advocates the idea that the ‘theatre’ is similar to the
J ungian ‘shadow’, the unacknowledged, unconscious element that both
creates and creates its opposite. Artaud believes the theatre draws the
artistic impulses into the realms of safety where the repressed irrational
urges are cleansed. In this way Artaud puts voice to an ancient idea and
identifies language as one of the major factors in the ills of society. To
speak is to engage in agreement or conflict; there is no neutrality in
language. Only in silence do we transcend the ego.
Artaud understands the transcendent ego as a religious experience
through his own drug addiction and schizophrenia. While this condition
inflicted extreme low periods his creative epochs were highly sensitive to
the boundaries of pain and pleasure. Artaud deals with what he calls the
‘forbidden zones’ [the unconscious.] In the same sentiments as Aristotle,
Artaud believes theatre is a kind of ‘organized anarchy’ that frees the
unconscious in revolt and liberation. Hence, Artaud’s passion on stage does
not stop at the kiss; he gives his audience the full orgasmic experience. He
does stop short of any relief. Rather than relief Artaud evokes a kind of
delirium. For Artaud the theatre is a necessary part of life in which to
experience this delirium
There is no mention of cognitive closure in Artaud’s writings but his
penchant for experimenting with mental states, that includes raising the
emotions to the highest level then attempting to alter this state to its
opposite, is very similar to many religions and New Age incantations that
aim for cognitive closure. Artaud sees hysteria as a normal threshold for
dealing with pain and pleasure; they are two sides of the same coin. Pain
and/or seizure bring both fear and ecstasy. This is the same experience
sought by the flagellants and castrati and it is still being sought by zealots
and martyrs today. Sade expressed it by trying to bring the hidden violence
to consciousness. Bernini depicted the violence as ecstasy in his religious
sculpture of The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa [Rome.] Artaud achieved the
pathos of his own martyrdom and gave credence to a visible culture of self-
harm. This is duplicated today in the Internet cults such as Emo’s and
Cutters [gothic cults] whose members sometimes practice self-mutilation.
The 1960s Cultural Revolution made Artaud the guru of theatre where
passions were unleashed and actors explored the boundaries and the
extremes. Artaud problematized reason and saw madness as the ultimate
challenge to the whole subject
. A revelation to be further explored in the
works of Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Deleuze and Bataille. For Artaud the

Bataille 1987 p50.
A Artaud, 1958 Theatre and Its Double, New York, Grove Press. Also A Bermel A 1977
Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, New York, Taplinger Publishing Co. p7 –19.
J Goodall 1994 Artaud and the Gnostic Drama, Oxford, Clarendon Press p1.
decentering of the subject leads automatically to themes of Gnosticism and
The Crucifixion and the Magic Mushroom.
The crucifixion symbolizes the primal violence. In ancient times an
effigy of a man hanging from a cross was put in the fields to protect the
. Crucifixion links with cannibalism and was modified into
castration and circumcision as a way to heaven. The crucifixion is the
major event that would be felt by J ews in the molding of a perceived
J ewish character. The crucifixion was used against the J ews in the
construction of myths and the proliferation of anti-Semitism. The myth is
essentially created around the belief that the J ews killed J esus. The
narrative speaks of a ‘J ewish’ evil said to be taking place through forms of
cunning and demonic behaviour. It describes the perceived self-centering
portrayed in the mythological devils, Moloch the Semitic god of human
sacrifice and Mammon the god of money and Ahasverus the Wandering
[Eternal] J ew. Allegro [1970] posits the crucifix as symbolic of the phallus
supporting the open legs of the woman, coitus/rape/ecstasy. It is also like
the shape of the magic mushroom with its long stem penetrating the cap;
the two symbolize Gemini the ‘Heavenly Twins’. Allegro believes this is a
myth that comes from the division of the mushroom [vulva] into two
halves. He tells us the oyster shells that gape open also resembles these
mushrooms. Hence, the goddess Venus is seen birthing from the shell’s
core in the Renaissance paintings
. Allegro tells us the idea of the
crucifixion was already present before the events of the New Testament.
Dabbling in mushroom poisons is a risky business and this death by
mushroom came to be recognized as dying by ‘The Little Cross’
The links between mushrooms/plants and medicines are well
documented. Plants secrete curative substances once regarded as plant
blood. Ritual sacrifice involved drinking copious amounts of liquid called
blood. Heinrich [2002] conflates blood and the juices of the magic
mushroom and affirms that the juice from the magic mushroom was used
to alter consciousness. Heinrich also states that the juice does not
metabolize in the body so the shaman’s followers would drink his urine.
Hence, the Indian goddess Agni is depicted drinking Soma from Shiva’s
. The works of art depicting these scenes have been largely banned
from the eyes of Westerners. Mouth to penis contact has a direct
correlation to cannibalism.

M Esslin M 1976 Artaud London, Fontana. Also F Bonardel 1987 Antonin Artaud: ou
la fidelite a l’infini Paris, Balland and
J -M Rey 1991 La Naissance de las poesie Paris Editions Metailles.
Walker 1983 p188.
Allegro 1970 pp108 and 11.
ibid p160.
Heinrich 2002 p50.
Altered Consciousness as a Remedy for Fear.
Altered consciousness provided an extraordinary confidence in a world
of wild beasts and carnivores. Levi-Strauss maintained that carnivorous
tribal humans believed themselves to be the same as carnivorous animals,
whereby the animals became both totem and rival so the killing of one’s
brother/sister/totem was made a taboo for the sake of survival. These
taboos were marked with the rituals of castration and circumcision, a
reminder not to eat one’s own species
. We cannot explain the extinction
of Neanderthal man. There are no signs he bred with Cro-Magnon/homo-
sapiens. That he was eaten into extinction is the story told in Marduk who
created the first man by mixing the blood of a defeated god with a handful
of dust. Marduk’s story is recounted in the Enuma Elish and it reflects the
founding of Babylon and the birth of Adam.
From the earliest times men regarded the menstrual blood that
appeared in harmony with the moon as magic, they feared it and tried to
copy it. The Arab words for ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ both applied to menstrual
blood. The story of Adam was lifted from the older female oriented story
of Al-Lat who made man out of the flowing blood. ‘Pliny called menstrual
blood ‘the material substance of generation’… capable of forming a curd,
which afterwards in process of time quickeneth and groweth to the form of
a body’. This idea was still taught in the European medical schools up to
the eighteenth century
. Drugs were used to ease the pain associated with
childbirth and menstruation, the authentic blood rituals. Blood rituals
became significant in fertility and death and have been an ongoing event in
the ritual of the Host as well as in wars/murder/martyrdom. In classical
Arab tradition ‘blood vengeance restores balance, closes the circle of
shame, and restores honour’ it ‘links the individual with the group’
The most well known blood ritual to this day is the crucifixion.
Symbols and Signifiers of Natural Order.
The unification between the individual and the collective mirrors that
between heaven and earth. Its symbol is in the temple at J erusalem and its
relevance is told in the works of Holderlin. In Holderlin’s epistolary novel
Hyperionnature and the political are fused into a possible political order.
In Archipelagos, the rise and fall of the Greek civilization are depicted in a
long poem. In this work life languishes without music, festivals, feasts and
collective memories, the links to the past are gone but they become revived
again when the ‘spirit of nature’ is returned
. The spirit of nature belongs

C Levi Strauss 1969 Totemism[Trans.] R Needham and R Poole,
Harmondsworth, Penguin and Merlin Library of Congress p71.
In Walker 1983: 487,635.
J Renard, 1993 Islamand the Heroic Image, Columbia, University of South Carolina,
pp 12, 213, 201, 203. See also J Renard 1996 Seven Doors to Islam, Spirituality and the
Religious Life of Muslims, Berkeley, California University Press p12.
F Holderlin 1794/1968 Hyperion, Thalia Fragment, Berlin Holderlin Society and
University of Tubigen. See also 1990 Hyperion and Selected Poems. German Library,
London and New York Continuum International Publishing Group. See also Bakhtin
to paganism and another level of consciousness. Blanchot describes
Holderlin’s work as having the mood of expectation and promise but it also
implies a withdrawal from the real world. For Blanchot this is also the
world of the writer. Blanchot calls it ‘writing outside language’
Allegro calls it hallucination and the world of the cult. In religion it is
prayer, meditation, euphoria. Psychiatry calls it delusion, personality
disorder and loss of the Self. The individual looks forward to the idyll s/he
imagines but it never happens there is always the void. Lacan [1977] refers
to this as a ‘lack’ .
Lacan asks the question, ‘Who am I?’ and proceeds to challenge
Descartes’ account of the ‘I’ as the Cogito [‘I think therefore I am’] which
holds that being and identity are at one. Lacan argues that identity is
dependent on what is ‘Other’ and that the ‘I’ is only a social construction.
For Lacan the human originates not in an identity but in its absence, a lack.
This means we define ourselves by way of a fantasy believing ourselves to
be complete and desiring what will make up for the lack. For Lacan
identity is the likeness reflected back from everyone else, the ‘Other’ or the
mirror effect. Identity is therefore not recognition but a mis-recognition
. According to Lacan this facilitates a continual search
for the cult/group/experience [relationship] that will fill the lack
. For
Strassman [2001] the ‘lack’ precipitates the state of searching for the
perceived wholeness that is the unity of heaven and earth or the lost sacred
space. It is a search that continually undermines the stability of the
individual and/or society.
J erusalem and the Mind/Body Split.
Following Allegro’s and Strassman’s theories we live with perpetual
flashbacks of the original myth, the dream-state and the separation between
mind and body. Monotheism posits J erusalem as the Holy City and catalyst
for the imagined wholeness or the soul/body, heaven/earth union. In the
work by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail [1986]
J erusalem suggests a secret, first thought to be a treasure, then a bloodline.
A careful reading of the alchemy texts suggests that J erusalem serves as a
link for all the world’s occultists. J erusalem is the heavenly city alluded to
by most of the Hebrew prophets. The J ews living in J erusalem believed it
to be the place of eternal wisdom and they were protected by its spiritual
. Walker tells us J erusalem’s great King Solomon’s wisdom is

M Blanchot 1981The Gaze of Orpheus and Other Literary Essays [Trans.] L Davis.
New York, Station Hill pp 51, 75-76,142, 151.
ibid. See also J Rose 1997 Sexuality in the Field of Vision, London, Verso and
J Mitchell and J Rose J 1982 [Eds.] J acques Lacan and the Ecole Freudienne: Feminine
Sexuality, London, Macmillan Press, p25. Also J Mitchell 1974 Psychoanalysis and
Feminism. London, Allen Lane.
B Knapp 1995Manna Mystery: A J ungian Approach to Hebrew Myth and Legend
Illinois, Chiron p121.
embodied in Thoth-Hermes Trismegistus, the god of magic. The Key of
Solomon was a popular symbol along with the pentagram and hexagram
[hex meaning magic spell] also referred to as Solomon’s seal [now the Star
of David.] Walker holds J erusalem to be symbolic of the womb/heaven
The Dome of the Temple with its gold top also resembles the mushroom,
the rock a mushroom bulb. Alchemy links gold with the wisdom goddess,
Sophia, Sapientia, Anima, Mundi, Athene, Luna [moon.] The struggle for
J erusalem was the desire to be inside the womb/mushroom, the state of
altered consciousness or the full moon madness. All the witches and
werewolves come out on a full moon.
The Meaning of Metaphysical Space.
How do we relate J erusalem as the symbol of altered consciousness to
modern living? Blanchot is one writer who has explored the meaning of
metaphysical space. Blanchot’s work on space, solitude, anonymity,
madness and death resonates with our times. He deconstructs the utopian
motif and states ‘all these marvels belong to the occurrence of
. We live in multiple worlds that involve shifts in
consciousness. A shift off-centre is perceived as the sublime and euphoric
state, a shift too far is the road to insanity. There are no clear lines of
demarcation, there is only flux. This notion is taken up in the postmodern
framework by Gilles Deleuze [1987] and Brian Massumi [1992] in relation
to capitalism, which is said to create a harmony of the faculties because it
resides in the sublime [materialism as euphoria.] Massumi follows the
same line of thinking in Parables for a Virtual Movement: Affect,
Sensation and Post-Contemporary Interventions [2002.] Here, in the
sentiments of Foucault [1977] Massumi focuses on the body as the site of
cultural expression noting that movement, affect and sensation are missing
from the concepts derived from modern linguistic theory. In other words
language theory does not account for shifting consciousness. Some people
live beyond/outside language and cognitive understanding. Massumi
examines television, film and the Internet to reveal the existence of the
multiple registers
. Television/film provides the unconscious with
simulated sacred space and/or death at a distance. The text is inscribed in
the psyche as reification of the blood ritual but without the finality. Finality
denied creates conflict/anxiety/chaos and the desire for what has been
The Body, the Media; Mediated Violence and Terrorism.
Terrorist violence harks back to the primal sacrifice. The Babylonian
god Marduk slices the body of the goddess in half to create heaven and
earth. This primal image lives on in the modern day body politics as the
mind/body split. For example, in advertising we do not see the body as

Walker 1983 p950.
Blanchot 1995p76.
B Massumi 2002 Parables for a Virtual Movement: Affect, Sensation and Post-
Contemporary Interventions. Durham NC. Duke University Press. See also 1992A Users
Guide to CapitalismCambridge Mass. MIT
whole. Rather, we are asked to focus on breasts, legs, buttocks, lips, eyes,
biceps, or whatever. Various parts of the body are dressed to highlight the
merchandise [the disappearing body], hats, shoes, skirts, pants and so on
are the heavenly veil. Cosmetic surgery is performed to improve/remove
certain parts of the body. Medicine addresses the poverty of particular
organs not the whole bodily function. The blood/body rituals are re-enacted
in the absence of the [whole] body; that is consuming bodies and bodies
consumed. What is left is the simulated body. The body is cut-up and
dispersed across departments/institutions. In medicine it is obstetrics,
oncology, geriatrics and more. In merchandise; clothes, perfumes,
accessories and the rest, in newspapers, magazines television images,
everywhere there are segmented/ transforming bodies. Like the science of
nature everything is separated and controlled.
Roy Porter [1991] notes the extraordinary controls put upon the body.
Porter suggests that there has been a great emphasis on the masculine and
feminine but a ‘tendency to deny the realities of hermaphrodites’. The
hermaphrodite represents the sacred mix, the dangerous zone of altered
consciousness, a free floating identity/no identity. Porter [1995] uses the
same framework for the examination of drugs emphasizing the anomalies
of controls. Porter notes how drug use has been inscribed with a morality
based language of ‘misuse’ and ‘abuse’, which in turn has become medical
diagnoses. No longer do we have the beast/demon of the [uncontrollable]
unconscious but a chemical control for a biochemical dysfunction
The Case for Metaphysics.
E J Lowe [2001] argues for the restoration of metaphysics. Lowe
believes metaphysics helps to chart the categories of Being and the spaces
in between them without being fixed into systems of absolutes. For
Bakhtin metaphysics and aesthetics are already built into relationships and
lead automatically to transcendence
. There are two contrasting traditions
in Western metaphysics. They are both part of the Geist. The first is the
Kantian that separates the emotions from reason. The second comes from
the Austrian-German philosophers influenced by Franz Brentano where
rationality of the emotions is taken alongside philosophy, politics and
ethics and follows an historical path
. Peter Burke takes the concept of
Hegel’s Zeitgeist back to Herder which, he argues is built on the internal
development of literary genres, such as tragedy in the Poetics of Aristotle
Here there is no separation between art and transcendence. Burke compares
Vasari’s early interactions with artists to those of the twentieth century
writers and artists to suggest, as Bahktin does that aesthetics [myth] and

R Porter 2001] The Enlightenment New York and London, Palgrave
and M Teich 1996 Drugs and Narcotics in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University
Press. and M Mulvey Roberts 1991Pleasure in the Eighteenth Century. New York, New
York University Press p99.
Bakhtin 1990 p231.
A Feenberg 2004 Heidegger and Marcuse, NewYork, Routledge Ch.1.
metaphysics finds a continuum at all levels of human interaction and
The Killing of the Beast.
In myth the beasts and humans are one and/or the whole creature. The
modern rationalist world separates humans from beasts. The beast is
associated with evil, the beast is the enemy. The beast/demon governs the
dark insane world. This sees humans killing the real beast and devouring
humans. The Islamic poet Rumi speaks of Moses overcoming the dragon.
The hero overcomes the unconscious urges and gains power by conquering
the evil/beast, eating it and stealing its powers
. Having gained his
reputation the hero [who has reached perfection] uses this power in the
community. The progenitors are those heroes who begin a dynasty of
heroes such as Shahnama in Islam [Arthurian legends.] Power then
functions in the hero/saviour as an extension of these legends. This puts
power in the community to be the product of a psychotic fantasy.
In The History of Sexuality Foucault examines power. He poses the
hypothesis that power functions more effectively through
friendly/pleasurable forms [the saviour/hero.] Power does not operate by
prohibition, rather by the circulation of discourses of ‘truths’ that
underscore a particular vision, what Foucault calls ‘scientia sexualis’.
Foucault suggests this will produce not just power but freedom through a
binary system [good/evil.] Hence, Foucault argues against the structuralist
theories of an autonomous language. The subject, for Foucault, is
constructed in history and a specific regime of truth claims that become
socially inscribed
. Halliday applies this notion to Islam. Halliday
quoting J ohn Berger 1979 writes:
‘How much does the future now being constructed
correspond to the popular hopes of the past? Any serious
discussion of ‘alternative development’ – i e one that
seeks to go beyond technocratic social engineering - must
attempt a meaningful answer to this question’

These social inscriptions of power present as an ‘ideal type’. Renard
tells us that power in the lineage becomes obvious when the warrior fights
‘everyone knows that he is the line of his grandfather’. From here the
struggle towards perfection becomes incorporated with the wider ideal, the
war/ jihad and proving one’s worth
. This in turn fixes the identity of the

P Burke, 1991 Reflections on the Origins of Cultural History in
Interpretation and Cultural History [Eds.] Pittock J and Wear A New York, St. Martins
Press pp7-19.
In Renard, 1993p213.
M Foucault 1976/1977 The History of Sexuality [Vol. 1.] An Introduction [Trans.] R
Hurley, Harmondsworth, Penguin pp64-73.
Berger in Halliday 2005p193.
Renard 1993 pp201-203.
subject in the mind of the subject and gives credence to the warrior/hero
The Crusades and the Black Death.
Four Hebrew texts tell the story of the Crusades from the J ewish
perspective. In 1095 Pope Urban the Second delivered a famous sermon at
the Council of Clermont urging Christians to take back the City of
J erusalem from the Muslims. The First Crusade is called the ‘Peoples
Crusade’ because groups of Christian devotees followed the army of
Knights gathering numbers as they went. They came from Flanders and
proceeded down the Rhine where there were many old J ewish settlements.
The Crusaders killed the J ews in frenzied attacks because the Crusaders
believed they were the soldiers of Christ avenging the crucifixion.
According to Allegro [1970] the Crusades were driven by a frenzied
imagination brought about by the use of the magic mushroom. History
records that during the Crusades many resorted to cannibalism
[cannibalism being the primal ritual/defence against being consumed].
The story of the First Crusade already existed in the Epic of
Gilgamesh. The Hebrews included it in the story of the flood in the Bible.
Each of these versions represents an epic journey, a quest that leads to a
promised utopia. The story of Gilgamesh brings history and myth together
and led to the Greeks trying to find a rational basis for the cosmological
The Christians captured the City of J erusalem in 1099 and lost it again
in 1187
. The First Crusade was a battle against the Muslims but it ignited
a long history of violence against the J ews. The ongoing Crusades
produced a picture similar to that in the Book of Revelations. The
anonymous Medieval SourcebookGesta FrancorumCirca 1100-1101
describes men wading to their knees in blood
. This is the vision of Kali
having killed and dismembered her subjects. J oshua Trachtenberg [1943]
tells us Christianity’s hostility towards the J ews gathered its greatest force
after the First Crusade. Trachtenberg believes there was some concern
amongst the Christians that the J ews knew of the coming of Christ.
Trachtenberg tells us the earliest Christian Old Saxon poetry views J esus as
a warrior in a battle against the forces of evil or the hero against the beast.
The figure of the Devil is a constant in Christianity. Yet, as Trachtenberg
states, the Devil did not play a prominent role in J udaism. This caused the
Christians to think the J ews are in league with Satan as sorcerers.
Trachtenberg tells us that the J ewish church is the Devil’s church. The
Devil is present in the congregation. ‘The very first law of Constantine
dealt with the synagogue’, the name a ‘Roman slang word for brothel’.
Hence, the J ews did not worship God but Devils
. The original temple was

J Riley-Smith J 1986 The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading
Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Athlone Press. Also R Chazan 1987, 2000
European J ewry and the First Crusade Los Angeles, University of California Press, p33.
Halsal, The Anonymous Medieval Sourcebook: Gesta FrancorumCirca
1100-1101www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html.Accessed 15
October, 2006.
Trachtenberg 1943p 21.
a brothel; the place of the Harlot goddess whose sexuality was revered as
all creation. This was celebrated in the Holy City of J erusalem and remains
in the Sufi proverb which states, ‘there is healing in the woman’s vagina’
Kabbalistic J udaism did not separate sex from religion or god from
The Mass Killing of J ews.
Between 1347 and 1349 a sizable proportion of the European
population died from the Black Death. Lepers, J ews, Muslims and witches
were accused of poisoning wells and spreading disease. The J ewish History
Sourcebook states that during this time it was reported that the J ews of
Toledo hatched a plot under the guidance of Rabbi Peyret who dispatched
his poisoners to Italy, France and Switzerland. Hence, a number of J ews
from these areas were arrested, tortured, butchered and burnt. The sheer
loss of their numbers and the disappearance of their wealth brought cities
to a catastrophic downfall. This exacerbated the growing hatred of J ews by
Christians. Numerous mobs of people killed the J ews and engaged in
blood rituals [cannibalism] because they thought it would protect them
against future problems
. The J ewish historian J osephus, the J ewish
philosopher Philo and the Christian historian Eusebius have all reported
massacres of the J ews.
Christians had to invent demons to explain the evil in the world. This
suggests that Plato’s Republic is a looking back over a lost world, not a
looking forward. After the Second Crusade, J ews were driven out of
J erusalem and they became the ‘enemy of the people’. Trachtenberg claims
it was the policy of the church to identify its enemies with pieces of
coloured felt sewn on the outer garments. Trachtenberg believes this
caused confusion between the infidels and other heretics [J ews and
witches.] Trachtenberg’s thesis rests on the belief that the Crusades were a
campaign against sorcery not against the J ews and an errant narrative has
continued the persecution of J ews
The Crusades impacted greatly upon the J ews. The ritual murder
became a pernicious medieval superstition designed to create a popular
culture of hatred against the J ews. Accusations against J ews included the
abduction of children in order to re-enact the crucifixion. This connects
with the Host. J esus is immolated at every Eucharist. It was a common
medieval miracle for the bread to be transformed into a child. The child
was then slain and dismembered in front of the congregation
. The guilty
feelings amongst Christians associated with the act of cutting up the body
of a small child were made easier by projecting these crimes onto the

In Walker 1983:820.
von Konigshofen 1346-1420 in Halsall 2006 The Black Death
www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish1348- jewsblackdeath.html

Trachtenberg 1943p183.

L Sinanoglou L 1973] The Christ Child As Sacrifice: A Medieval Tradition of the
Corpus Christi Plays in Speculumpp 48 p491.
J ews
. The culmination of the acts against the J ews is the apocalyptic
fantasy or the anti-Christ. This is someone who gathers together armies of
the Devil and mounts a campaign of holy war against J esus. This fantasy
has its roots in the New Testament and was played out in the Crusades.
These acts already heralded the Nazism of Hitler in the ‘role of a secular
Germanic Christ come to execute a ‘Final Solution’ against the source of
all evil’, the J ews
. While these fantasies continue to exist there is little
hope for rational ‘communicative action’ and change. Rather, it is time to
place anti-Semitism amidst the broad-spectrum obsessive/compulsive
disorders that appear prevalent in all religions, cults, sects and extreme
political groups.

Wistrich 1992 p31.
ibid p30.
Chapt er Ten.
The Mind/Body Split and the Failed State.
‘Restless turned the immortal inchain’d
Heaving dolorous! Anguished! Unbearable
Till a roof shaggy wild inclos’d
In an orb, his fountain of thought’
I ntroduction:
What is the connection between the mind/body split and the
failed state?
J oseph Gabel [1975] draws a parallel between the individual and the
society. The parallel he makes is on the behaviour of the schizophrenic
and the behaviour of social groups. The mental state of the schizophrenic
has the affect of splitting the individual from the mainstream of society.
This same perception happens in groups, especially religious and political
groups. Gabel believes we are dealing with a distorted form of perception
[fantasy.] This cognitive impairment is what Gabel calls false
. Schizophrenia in this respect is to be understood
phenomenologically. When we apply this to the social groups we can say
‘schizophrenia has gone public’ consciousness has become overwhelmed
by a single worldview.
The marginalized groups create their sub-cultures as a proselytized
love to placate their social alienation. God/utopia and the transcendental
state have obvious appeal for those who suffer neglect and abuse. J ulian
Silverman further enlightens us to the sensory aspects of these
transcendental states saying ‘a change in sensitivity to stimulation’ is ‘a
primary characteristic of transcendental states labelled as incipient or acute
schizophrenia’, this is also associated with ‘psychedelic drug reactions’.
Mythological symbolism depicts this situation as the circled snake
consuming its tail. There is always the propensity for the human mind to
drift into abstraction. This bodily participation is potentially of another

William Blake 1794
See J Hull Religion, Education and Madness, A Modern Trinity
www.johnhull.buz/religion Accessed 24th J uly 2006. Accessed 24
J une 2006. Also G
Lukacs 1968 The Meaning of Contemporary Realism[Trans.] J and N Mander, London
J Silverman 1979On the Sensory Bases of Transcendental States of Consciousness in
R Dean [Ed.] Psychiatry and MysticismChicago, Nelson Hall p369.
. We might call it a shift of attention. In mysticism, whether
Hinduism, Sufism, Islamicism, Christian or other we need to think about
whether the perceived unity with god might compromise the conscious
state. The mystical experience has dominated society for centuries but there
have been minimal grounds for asserting a mystical truth. It is the
perpetuation of a fantasy that has led to dogma and social conditioning.
This shows us that science and religion are not the same but neither can
they be regarded as separate. The mystical experience of Nothingness is,
according to science, a biological shift in consciousness. When we cannot
know the unconscious story we make it up to fill the gap
. This placates the
emptiness that is the terror/chaos or pre-symbolic space. That transcendent
objects can be explained by social and scientific terms makes little
difference to the pursuit of the mystical experience or what is
philosophically called the mind/body split. What it does do is provide a
framing into which other, often irrelevant factors can be contained and
filtered through discourses. This works for and against individuals and
groups. In this chapter I will examine the mind/body split in direct
relation to the new anti-J ewish Islamicism and the failed state, a term,
which applies more appropriately to a failed state of consciousness. I will
examine how and why the archetypal myths hold influence and how they
continue to drive the mysticism of terror/terrorism. What is proposed here
is that the failed state of consciousness provides the opportunity for the
discursive use of metaphors and metonymies, which over time become the
‘ideal speech’. Hence, anti-Semitism is perceived as a cultural/linguistic
phenomenon. Counter-capitalism as euphemized anti-Semitism becomes
embodied in this phenomenon, whereby it is not uncommon to see J ews
against J ews, particularly amidst the counter-capitalist left.
The Archetypal I nfluence.
Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and many others have attempted to solve
the mind/body problem. Locke and Hume pointed to how the mind/body
split pervades all aspects of human experience. In the mind/body split we
live through a superficial and pervasive contingency. The search to mend
this rift has struck numerous problems. Edward O Wilson in his work
Consilence tries to merge culture with science [sociobiology] where
everything is reduced to a neo-Darwinian instinct and/or a society based on
survival of the fittest
. In Frank Capra’s movie It’s a Wonderful Life,
[1946] everything hinges on the production of the modern paradise. An
angel tells a troubled businessman that he can make his dreams come true;
the celluloid convinces us that we are all born equal, we can all achieve our
dreams, but we are not all born equal, nor do we have freedom of thought
or dreaming. Capra’s post Second World War drama drew fierce criticism
in the anti-communist climate. and was labelled by the FBI as ‘subversive’.
There were fears that behind the film there was a sinister communist plot
This is not so strange, the dark angel archetype links with the revolution as

Bakhtin 1968 p48.
McGinn 1991p343.
E O Wilson 1998 Concilience: The Unity of Knowledge New York Alfred Knopf p50.
the messenger of change. Arthur Keostler listed several archetypal patterns
that hold this kind of influence:
1. The Promethean striving for omnipotence and omniscience [The Tower
of Babel. The Flight of Icarus.]
2. The individual against society [Oedipus.]
3. Polygonal patterns of libidinous relations [Vulcan-Venus-Mars
4. The War of the Sexes [Amazon myths, Simone de Beauvoir.]
5. Love Triumphant, or Defeated [Song of Songs, Tristan and Isolde.]
6. Conquest of the Flesh [from Buddha to Aldous Huxley.]
7. The Puppet on Strings, or volition against fate
These categories go back to Aristotle and Plato where drama and myth
are regarded as the highest form of learning. Here the state is conceived
around the mythical hero. If the hero fails so too does the society [failed
The Failed State.
The term ‘failed state’ has been given a lot of currency lately and it is
generally used to describe countries with vastly different post-colonial
cultures. Some see the ‘failed state as an ideological obfuscation that serves
an imperialist strategy’
. Many supposedly failed states have not failed at
all. Generally, speaking the ‘failed state’ is a term devised by the West to
describe governments who are unable to keep control over their dissidents/
rebels/terrorists or counter-capitalists. A typical failed state would be
Pakistan. It has internal struggles that date back to before Partition. It has a
strategic location vital for global trade. Pakistan must straddle Western
interests and its own radical movements that oppose the West’s modern
life. Failed states are perceived as breeding grounds for terrorists where
the governments are unable [or unwilling] to eliminate them. In this sense,
the failed state has become the symbolic resistance against forms of
imperialist oppression. The Islamic failed state has also become a
preoccupation of the West’s political left [as a reflection of its own
There was a time when the left was the enemy of radical and
fundamentalist Islam. Today, the left is giving obvious support to jihadist
terrorists; Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas have
all gained allegiance from the left on the basis that they form a new kind of
. Halliday writes:
‘the trend is unmistakable. Thus the Venezuelan leader Hugo

F Hallidayat www. pbs.org. Accessed 29
September, 2006
Keostler, 1962 in Hill 1992:14.
A S Akhtar @ Znet http://zmag.org/contents/showarticle.cfm?Iteml
Accessed 20
September, 2006.
Chavez flies to Tehran to embrace the Iranian President.
London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone and...member of the
British Parliament George Galloway welcome the visit to
the city of the Egyptian cleric [and Muslim Brotherhood
figurehead] Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Many of the sectarian
leftist factions...who marched against the impending Iraq
war showed no qualms about their alignment with radical
Muslim organizations’
In Australia like elsewhere, the support for the radical Muslim
organizations by the left is manifest in the condemnation of the State of
Israel. In the September issue of the Australian left magazine Arena J eremy
Salt, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at
Bilkent University Ankara writes of the most recent war in Lebanon, he
states ‘Bullied by Israel and the US, the international community has failed
the Palestinians and the citizens of Lebanon, Syria and J ordan’. Salt then
launches into a quasi-historical narrative suggesting ‘the problem is not
Palestine but Zionist ideology and the state to which it has given birth’
[Israel.] After detailing the events of Israel’s war with Lebanon in a very
one-sided manner, Salt writes ‘it is not Iran, Syria, Hezbollah or Hamas
that are a standing menace to regional and global stability, but the US and
. This view is gathering wide support and it has split the socialist
left causing J ewish leftists to engage in a separate critique of Israel while
simultaneously staving off the label of anti-Semitism from the J ewish right.
This is not just a problem for J ews. In an overwhelming effort to make
religious Muslim immigrants feel welcome Australians [and others] have
found themselves having to choose between moral sentiment and moral
Osama bin Laden and the ‘Looming Tower’.
Relations and conflicts are generally much more complex than Salt
would have us believe. Salt puts sole blame for the Middle East crisis on
the J ewish State of Israel by taking his readers back to the post-Second
World War period and the Partition of Palestine [1948] but the crisis
predates Partition and it did not start with the J ews. Author/journalist
Lawrence Wright has written a book The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and
the Road toNine II [2006] which gives a more accurate account of the
region’s history. Wright describes how the relationship between an upper
class Egyptian doctor [surgeon] Ayman Al-Zawahri and a wealthy Sheik
Osama bin Laden developed with the aim of uniting Islam in a Holy War
against its enemies [anyone who opposes Islam.] Al-Zawahri had already
created a dissident Islamic movement Al-jihad, and spent time in one of
Nasser’s jails because of its activities. Al-Zawahri’s group waged war on
the Egyptian government because the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt hoped
that Nasser would make an Islamic state but Nasser turned to socialism
instead. Al-Zawahri had heard that bin Laden often quoted from the

F Halliday at www. pbs.org. Accessed 29
September, 2006
J Salt J 2006 Old Rules, New Rules; No Rules in Melbourne Arena
Magazine [84] pp 5-7.
Koran, ‘where you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower’.
Osama bin Laden is a wealthy Sheik who also wants to purify Islam. The
visions of Al-Zawahri and bin Laden were shared and money merged with
the available manpower to make totalitarian Islam a reality. This is not
simple politics, Al-Zawahri was horribly tortured and humiliated in the
Cairo jail and this led to his revenge, the gentle surgeon became a ruthless,
obsessive murderer.
Al-Zawahri got his initial inspiration from Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian
intellectual who visited America in 1948. Sayyid Qutb encountered two
problems, race and women. America was full of racial tensions at the time
but the most threatening aspect of American society for the Egyptian was
the sexuality of American women. When Qutb went back to Egypt he was
opposed to Egypt becoming like the Western liberal state. His protests saw
him arrested and thrown in prison. There he wrote a book Ma’alimfi-l-
Tariq, which means ‘milestones’. Wright tells us that this is the manifesto
that Al-Zawahri, bin Laden and all jihadist leaders read. It calls for a
vanguard of Muslim youth to mobilize and purify Islam. Qutb was hanged
in 1966 and Al-Zawahri started a cell to bring down the Egyptian
The Egyptian Labour Party and the Holy War.
Egypt is where terrorism in the Middle East ‘cut its teeth’, not
Palestine or Israel. Osama bin Laden is a fierce anti-communist and anti-
socialist. Osama bin Laden operates in the sentiments of the king/god/hero
When Sadat took control of Egypt he promised the militants more
religious freedom in return for their political support. The militants
assassinated him. According to Lawrence Wright the Labour Party in
Egypt [the left] is the cover for the outlawed Brotherhood. Their Holy War
is against Crusaders and J ews and they want the return of the Holy Land,
Egypt, Palestine and J erusalem. Wright also tells us that converts to this
militancy are growing at an extraordinary rate, not just in the Middle East
but across the world. When Israel won in the Six Day War [1967] it
caused great humiliation for the militant Arabs. Wright’s view is that bin
Laden had hoped that America would go down the same path as the Soviet
Union did in Afghanistan where, like the Russians they would have been
annihilated. This would have provided Islam with a major step towards
unification. The US thus became bin Laden’s main enemy
. The West,
including Australia has [at the time of writing] gone down the path to fight
in Afghanistan.
Fred Halliday [2006] notes how the Hezbollah flag is appearing at
leftist demonstrations across the world, in Spain, where the people have

L Wright 2006 The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road toNine II New York,
13 ibid.

experienced first hand the consequences of terrorism. As Halliday suggests,
people have short memories, before jihadists were attacking the modern
West they were attacking and killing their own leftist citizens. The modern-
day relationship between Islam and the left dates back to the Bolshevik
Revolution. At the time the soviet leadership was promoting an anti-
imperialist movement in Asia against the British, French and Dutch. The
Soviet Union decided that Islam could be interpreted as socialist. In the
1980s the school textbooks in Afghanistan and Yemen were decidedly
socialist. Since the inception of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928
there has been a struggle between the socialists and the Islamic
. Hezbollah borrowed from its secular rivals. There is a
striking resemblance between Lebanon’s Shi’a and the ‘nationalist and
organizational and military form of the Vietnamese Communist Party’
Halliday provides an important political analysis of the hostilities
towards the left by Islam during the Cold War period. He tells us the
precedent was in the Spanish Civil War when Franco recruited Moroccan
mercenaries to fight the Spanish Republic. Importantly, Halliday says that
in Palestine ‘the Israeli authorities, concerned to counter the influence of
Al-Fatah in the West Bank and in the village leagues of the 1970s granted
permission for educational and other activities that nurtured the elements
that in 1987 coalesced into Hamas’. Israel therefore ‘did not create Hamas
but it did facilitate its growth’. He describes how Islamists turned
murderously on their own left and liberal thinkers. He ends with a chilling
detail of how one of the rockets fired by Hezbollah into Israel bore the
name of ‘khaibar’ which is the name of a victorious battle fought against
the J ews in the 7
According to Islamic Law all Muslims are obligated to submit
themselves to God [ibadah] and spread the word of Islam. As Levitt [2006]
informs us, this covers a wide range of activities. Within the more radical
[Salafi] strain it means protecting the Umma [Islamic community or nation]
from non-Islamic influences. This is the role of the Muslim Brotherhood
that was created in 1928 and which gave birth to the terrorist group Hamas.
It finds its influences in the thirteenth century Islamic scholar Ibn
. Taymiyah lived around the time of the Crusades. He called
for the persecution of polytheists and any sects that were not true to the
companions of the prophet [Al-Salaf.] Taymiyah started a Holy War
against the deviants, sectarians and J ews. Taymiyah is known for the
following saying:
‘What can my enemies possibly do to me? My paradise is in
my heart; wherever I go it goes with me; inseparable from
me. For me prison is a place of religious retreat; execution
is my opportunity for martyrdom and exile from my town

Halliday, 2006 Ch. 1-3.
ibid p128.
M Levit 2006 Hamas: politics, charity and terrorismin the service of
jihad. New Haven, Yale University Press pp 8-9,17.
is the chance to travel’
Taymiyah provides us with a useful picture of altered consciousness/
cognitive closure. We might liken this to Bakhtin’s descriptions of the
sideshow at the carnival, which is based on the Corpus Christi, a mystery
play and a series of farces. Bakhtin says ‘the entire medieval parody is
based on the grotesque concept of the body...finally this forms the basis of
abuses, oaths and curses’
. There is an overwhelming need to transcend
the grotesque body. Bakhtin states, ‘terror was turned into something gay
and comic’
. The degraded/disintegrated body becomes the gay/comic
terror/terrorism, the ultimate mystical experience in the form of the deadly
Mohammed and the Underworld Queens.
The pre-Islamic religion of the Arabs was like that of the nomadic
Hebrews it depended upon local deities, fetishistic objects, myths,
superstitions and drugs. The animus was in the senses but the senses are
not always intelligible and humans like to seek reason. Yet, reason is not
always within grasp. Pre-Islamic religion is not well recorded and there is
a need to depend on ethnography. The Muslim view of pre-Islamic religion
is that it is pagan, barbaric and idolatrous. These idols included Hubal, Al-
Lat and al-Uzza who were worshiped as female deities
. The Kaaba, said
to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, is the sacred edifice all
Muslims turn towards to pray. The black stone was sent from heaven,
probably a meteorite. Like the J erusalem temple, the Kaaba fell to idolatry
but Muslims suggest that Mohammed never succumbed to the evil. In this
way Muslims see some merit in the actions of J esus who threw the money
changers out of the temple.
Both the black stone and the Kaaba pre-date Islam. The stone was
also called ‘Kubaba, Kuba or Kube and has been linked with the name of
Cybele [Kybela] the Great Mother of the Gods. The stone bore the emblem
of the yoni [female genitals] and the priests of the Kaaba are still known as
the sons of the Old Woman’
. The Assyrian and Babylonian literature
records over a thousand years of matriarchal history in Arabia. The Annals
of Ashurbanipal [royal chronicles on cuneiform tablets] said as long as
people could remember ‘Arabia was governed by queens’. The original
Allah was Al-Lat and part of the female trinity, Kore or Q’re, the Virgin
and Al-Uzza the Powerful One. The triad was called Manat, meaning the
threefold moon
. At Mecca the Goddess was Sheba, known for her affairs
with the Hebrew King Solomon and the creation of the Falashas [Ethiopian

Ibn_Taymiyah at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Taymiyah Accessed 2
September, 2006.
Bakhtin, 1968:27-28.
ibid p39.
Walker 1983 p487.
Walker 1983 p487
ibid p51. See also A de Riencourt de 1974Sex and Power in History NewYork Dell
Publishing Co., p188-193.

J ews.] The Term Haram/Harem meant Temple of Women. In Babylon it
was a shrine to the goddess Har, who became Hera to the Greeks.
The hereditary guardians of the Haramwere the Koreshites [Children
of Kore] which was Mohammed’s tribe. These women practiced
polyandry, which means having several husbands to one wife
. In
European literature the Babylonian goddess is revamped into the Muslim
or mulatto woman. In Beyond the Pale [1888] by British author [Indian
born] J oseph Rudyard Kipling, she is Bisesa the Muslim woman who has
her hands cut off while her white lover is stabbed in the groin. The story is
reminiscent of theFisher King in the Grail legend. We can think about this
in terms of Freud’s [male] castration complex or the original cannibalism.
I mperialism and Liberation.
Religion has been the instrument of cultural liberation for Islam.
Religion has unified the Arab populations against colonialism and racism
In his [2006] work Hamas: politics, charity and terrorismin the service of
jihad, Matthew Levitt [2006] explains how Hamas, an acronym for
Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya [Islamic Resistance Movement] was
founded in 1987 on the goal of eliminating the State of Israel replacing it
with an Islamic state. Its strategy is threefold, ‘social welfare that builds
grassroots support’ also, ‘political activity that competes with the
Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO] and the Palestinian Authority
[PA]’; as well as ‘guerilla and terrorist attacks that target Israeli soldiers
and civilians’. As Levitt so succinctly puts it:
‘Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its
constitution; jihad is its path and death for the sake of
Allah is the loftiest of its wishes
Islamic scholars constantly point to the double meaning in the word
‘jihad’. One meaning for ‘jihad’ is given as the personal struggle for
morality, the second meaning is linked to fighting oppression and
spreading and defending Islam through a Holy War
. Gholamali Khoshroo
speaks of ‘fifty-five Islamic countries with more than 1.2 billion people’
who are ‘forming a new identity with which to resist domineering
Westernization and increasing modernization’. He goes on to describe the
Iranian situation as ‘combining the sovereignty of God with that of
humanity, and the issue of the independence vis-a-vis the unity of the
Islamic world’. According to the Iranian constitution [based on the Koran]
God has sovereignty over the world. Khoshroo puts this in context in his
discussion of the nation state where he compares the newness of the nation
state with fourteen centuries of Islam. Khoshroo argues that ‘nationalism as

ibid Walker p51; de Riencourt pp 187-89.
H Hanafi 2003 The Old Roots of Political Islamin Islamic Movements: Impact on
Political Stability in the Arab World United Arab Emirates. The Emirates Center for
Strategic Studies and Research p54,
M Levit 2006Hamas: politics, charity and terrorismin the service of jihad. New
Haven, Yale University Press pp 8-9,17.
ibid p9.
a distinctive form of political identity, runs counter to the Islamic ideal of
Ummah ...The notion of Ummah renders Islam the most genuine and
unified political affiliation, and it supersedes national boundaries’
Islam’s god consciousness with no boundaries is the transcendent/
psychedelic experience, a psychosis that exists beyond the rational.
The story of Islam’s rejection of modernism can be viewed through the
vision of the Promethean monster Frankenstein. Mary Shelley’s account of
Frankenstein drew on contemporary European attitudes to non-whites at a
time when the abolition of slavery was lurking in the parliamentary
portfolios. Frankenstein was the expression of all the anxieties [and
desires] held by the middle classes about sexuality, chaos and the wild
exotics [the noble savage.] The outward monster came to represent in
internalized attraction towards the monster beast, the ravaging sexual
predator, generally portrayed in images of sexual bondage. Today, Islam
perceives the West as the ‘noble savage’ with J ews as the [historical]
slaves/inferiors. The ‘Islamic sciences have all been founded along these
political and social lines, where the tribe is transformed into the state, the
prophethood into a caliphate and the caliphate into a kingdom’ [prophet
and caliphate being the same]
. This is the preferred system for the
nobility but it runs into trouble when the monster/slaves seek to discover
their own knowledge. This is what happens to Frankenstein. The hubris of
the Frankenstein novel is its morality of paternalism. Frankenstein does
not take responsibility for the monster he has created, or for forcing his
integration into society. Similarly, the abolitionist follows his quest of
giving emancipation to the abused but the idealist does not anticipate the
abused slave’s vengeance.
Despite all the major social changes that have occurred throughout
history; and perhaps because of them, people have maintained their
religious beliefs and practices. Religion has been the blue print for social
order but the important question for sociologists has been: Does this
penchant for religious belief impact of the nature of social reality? Gibbon,
Hume and Frazer examined the Fall of the Roman Empire and each theorist
came to the conclusion that Christianity undermined the state. David
Hume in his The Natural History of Religion [1956] suggested there is a
permanent oscillation in religious phenomena between polytheistic and
monotheistic ideas. Societies, according to Hume have a tendency to move
backwards and forwards between these two phenomena. The reasons for
this lay in the ‘heart’ or the emotions. Within society there will always be
someone who reaches a position of pre-eminence. Competition for his
favours will lead worshipers to accredit this person with even greater
powers. Thus a transcendent deity comes about. Then the pendulum swings
back again. A contrary process takes place. A deconstruction produces
new lines of communication and construction whereby an analysis leads
back in time and comparative studies are made to determine what a religion
should mean.

GKhoshroo 2004 The Experience of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Islamic
Perspectives on the New Millenium[Ed.] Hooker V and Saikal A Singapore. Institute of
South East Asia Studies pp150-52.
Hafani 2003p54.
Chapt er El even.
What i s Rel i gi on? Wi l l Rel i gi on
Sur vi ve t he Sec ul ar St at e?
A Cor ol l ar y.
‘In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth. The earth was formless and empty
and darkness lay upon the face of the deep…
God said ‘let there be light and there was light’
Drawing Down the Moon.
The above verse from The Book of Genesis has been the most
commonly accepted form of knowledge in the Western world. It is also a
lie. The lines were plagiarized from a much older version of the world’s
origins, which today has been revived and is gaining popularity worldwide.
In the late 1980s I attended a Melbourne event where a group of
women gathered together on the Solstice to take part in a ceremony called
‘Drawing Down the Moon’. Here women practiced their pagan rituals that
included chanting the names of goddesses, Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate,
Demeter, Kali and Innana. This ceremony is not unique, across the world
women are reviving the pagan rituals to find empowerment and give
meaning to their lives. In her work the Womyn’s Spirituality Book Diane
Stein describes the Michigan Womyn’s Festival. The leader asks the group,
‘why is each of you here? What circles, healings and rituals shall we have
for this Michigan? What do you need?’ A dancer interprets the leader’s
words and then the circle moves in a clockwise direction as each women
speaks of her needs. ‘Put it our there into the universe and your wishes
will be granted’
. The idea is not just whimsical there is immense power in
affirmation. Belief is a powerful influence that should not be
underestimated. A number of recent works are looking at the Law of
Similar rituals are duplicated in J udaic and Christian prayers, although
the praying congregations are not meant to ask God to serve their needs. It
happens the other way round. God’s followers are God’s servants.
Religion went from freedom to obedience, from paganism to monotheism,
from matriarchy to patriarchy. It was a very convenient formula for global
expansion both ancient and modern.

Genesis One. King J ames Bible.
Diane Stein Womyns Spirituality 1988 Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications
In the modern version of the pagan festival women voice their
desires and then the chanting begins. Chanting, dancing swaying and
other rhythmic movements heighten the emotions and alter consciousness.
Sometimes these rituals are accompanied by wines, potions and food.
There is always hugging and loving and a feeling of being nurtured and
cared for. All the primary needs are met. Women gather together, they
sing, dance, play and act like children again. The fantasy of childhood;
sometimes described as the inner child, gets a free reign. The outdoor air is
fresh, real and invigorating. Life, love and bounty are plentiful. Women
are all of nature in this frolicking amidst the woods and flower beds; earth
to earth - a reminder of what is to come - dust to dust. Yet, they are not
Women’s spirituality [otherwise called the goddess rising movement]
is a return to the goddess or what has also been called the female principle.
Here there are no miracles only nature. The goddess is the one who
creates all from her universal womb and takes life back when the earth-
walk has ended. It is a religion that is uniquely female and involves the
close bonding of women as sisters; but it also encourages men to find their
feminine traits and to reject the aspirations of the violent primal warrior,
but, significantly, the primal mother is not without her own warrior traits.
The war is for survival. The struggle for survival is expressed in every
chant and dance, in every ritual. Yet, it is not a struggle against nature but
a life experienced alongside nature, respecting and honouring everything
nature has to offer, the good and the bad. We see a similar situation in the
deep ecology movement. Everywhere spirit must find expression.
Goddess Politics.
In the late 1960s and 1970s the feminist movement was far from a
united force. The goddess rising movement was embraced by sectors of the
feminist movement but abhorred by others. It was the radical and lesbian
feminists whom, for the most part advocated female separatism. The
radical feminists told of an ancient history were women were more
powerful than men. Many of these women imagined it could happen again.
These women did not want to be equal to men they wanted to be superior.
They believed that in pre-historic period they were the superior species.
The aim was to restore this perceived status. The idea gave a lot of hope to
women in bad marriages or those who had experienced some form of
physical and/or sexual abuse. There was a kind of retribution in the notion
of a separatist matriarchal revival.
In 1971 a woman named Elizabeth Gould Davis wrote a
controversial book called The First Sex. The work was a response to the
author’s loss of a biological sister and it served to highlight the imagined
power of a bourgeoning feminist sisterhood. The author’s very personal
loss was expressed by retelling the history of women’s oppression said to
be brought about by the inception of patriarchy. The book was the feminist
separatist’s Bible. According to Gould Davis women had been moved from
being the First Sex to the second sex: Hence, the title of the book.
The book’s theories rested on credible mythology from some of the
world’s leading classical literary theorists but it also contained some
dubious science. The ideas drawn from these sources were very
confronting. Gould Davis wrote descriptions of women as the creators of
men and not man as the creator of woman as St Paul had taught the
Christians. Gould Davis took her thesis to the ultimate conclusion that
women were superior to men and men were just ‘mutant freaks caused by
disease or a bombardment of the sun’s radiation’
Gould Davis writes:
‘Women’s reproductive organs are far older than man’s
and far more highly evolved. Even in the lowest
mammals, as well as in woman, the ovaries, uterus,
vagina etc., are similar, indicating that the female
reproductive system was one of the first things perfected
by nature. On the other hand the male reproductive
organs, the testicles and penis vary as much among
species and through the course of evolution as does the
shape of the foot – from hoof to paw. Apparently then,
the male penis evolved to suit the vagina, not the vagina
to suit the penis’
Gould Davis then goes on to say that man is an imperfect female.
This is evidenced by geneticists and physiologists who describe ‘the Y
chromosome that produces males as a deformed and broken X
chromosome – the female chromosome’. In other words maleness
‘remains a recessive genetic trait like colour blindness and hemophilia’
Gould-Davis’s major downfall was she attributed almost every
known invention to pre-historic women. She also deeply offended the
Catholic Church by telling the tale of the martyrdom of the female Pope
J oan a figure the church had attempted to hide for eight hundred years
In this respect Gould Davis threatened the very people she aimed to
convert, the middle class married feminists, who were often religious. It
was the status-quo who were the backbone of the reformist feminist
movement. A similar situation has happened with leftist politics. The desire
for equality has led to the desire for a totality; a narrow, elitist, closed off
view of the world; a self-righteousness. This view has alienated a number
of dedicated, progressive and egalitarian J ews. Today, the left of politics
has become aligned with Islam and anti-Semitism; a revival of the religious
madness of past eons.
Religion and Madness.
In pre-historic times religion and madness were not considered separate.
Rather madness was difference; an interruption of mind – timeout - for
more contemplative, creative and spiritual things. Madness and religion
were perceived to be conditions of purpose and this was given specific
expression by the leaders and shamans of tribal communities. Madness
was thought of as a journey of self-development and spiritual awakening.
The spiritual awakening was also an awakening to sexuality. Here sexuality

E Gould Davis 1971 The First Sex Harmondsworth Penguin pp34 -35.
ibid p267.
is a natural positive force viewed as a triangular relationship between the
female, the male and the goddess who gives her blessing to the multiple
unions of the [matriarchal] tribal community. In this regime all life is
valued and celebrated. All things natural are loved and respected. Everyone
needs to be loved and nurtured. We have lost this trend in the modern
Religion and Sex.
Today, we have to look to the East to see love expressed in the carnal
and spiritual elements of religion. The religious practices in the West
repressed these traits leaving religious participants with a deep yearning for
divine love. In the West God, love and spirituality never fully come
together because it is lacking ritual sex. A sexless God cannot satisfy the
instincts that underwrite a natural religiosity in all humans. Compare the
Christian God with the Indian deity Krishna. The god Krishna is accessible
because he is the consummate lover; he is the mischievous slayer/
transformer of demons with a constant eye on the next carnal conquest.
Krishna is much easier to identify with because he mirrors a human lover.
It is through his carnal love that Krishna restores the balance between good
and evil. Before Krishna this role was attributed to the goddess Kali. Kali
realized that every moment of life is a movement towards death and
sexuality is linked to the preparation for death; through sexual intercourse
we pass on our genes to the next generation. Moreover, sex alters
consciousness and any alteration of conscious is a reminder of the finality
of life. People who are morbidly depressed can be said to be in the grip of
the Kali archetype and awaiting death. Hence, many depressed people
The Limits of Language: A Double Bind.
At the beginning of this work I noted the limits of rationalist language
and later highlighted the theories of Bateson’s [1956] ‘double bind’
communication, which was drawn originally from Freud’s splitting subject
and then found its way into the theories of semiotics. According to Bateson
communication is not a clear transmission from A to B; rather we operate
at a more abstract ‘metalinguistic’ level of communication. Bateson points
to the communication problems of schizophrenics brought about by
differing levels of consciousness. Bateson tells us the schizophrenic is like
the dreamer who is unaware of the dreaming frame
. This does not
preclude dialogue with the non-rational but it means choosing the right
moment and interpreting the unspoken images. Religion provides this kind
of dialogue but it must be genuine.
The term schizophrenia is often misused and it is important to
understand it as a splitting of the Self where the concept of reality is lost to

G Bateson [1972] Steps to an Ecology of Mind. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing
Company pp188-207 and 1956 J ackson D, Haley J and Weakland J [1956] Towards A
Theory of Schizophrenia Behavioural Scientist 1 pp 251- 264 in D Nettle 2001 Strong
Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
See also G MacLachlan G and I Reid 1994 Framing and Interpretation. Melbourne.
Melbourne, University Press p2, 42-3.
uncontrollable fantasies. The term schizophrenia is sometimes used
politically but to be clear, what we are considering here is a serious mental
disability, a psychosis that may also incur other physical/mental
impairments, traits and behaviourisms along the neurosis/psychosis chain,
such as obsessive/compulsive disorder. Addressing the problem of anti-
Semitism and other forms of terrorism means acknowledging that violence
is correlated with anxieties, fears and unstable pathological states, albeit
culturally mediated.
Bateson’s ideas contributed to the nature/culture debate of the 1950s.
Later, the ‘double bind’ theory gave birth to a counter-culture spawned by
R.D. Laing’s first book called The Divided Self [1965.] Laing’s work
formed a significant part of the 1960s New Age and its anti-
psychiatric/socialist movement. In his work Laing opposed the disease
model of schizophrenia arguing that schizophrenia was a legitimate form of
communication, that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the
psychotic. The schizophrenic was merely throwing off the shackles of a
one-dimensional capitalist society
. Laing [a depression sufferer himself]
set up his own nurturing community where doctors and patients engaged in
linguistic communication therapies. The trend peaked in the 1970s then
went into decline when science confirmed that psychoses tended to run in
families. Also, at the same time new pharmaceutical constraints came into
We have come full circle in the psychiatric/disability discourse,
Temperament, Deviance and Disorder are back on the agenda as biological
. We now know for sure that there is no separation between the
mind/body/brain. There are a number of different zones that function at
varying levels of operation. There has been a lot of fear attached to the
revival of hereditary causes for psychiatric disorders [biologism.] The early
brain sciences, particularly those derived from Darwin [1859] Galton
[1869] and Kraepelin [1856-1926] led to eugenics and psychometrics that
included Ernst Rudin’s involvement in drafting the Nazi Law to Prevent
Hereditary Sick Offspring [1933]
. It was Kraepelin who defined the
major psychoses as a hereditary mental disorder. Kraepelin emphasized the
obsessive/compulsive behaviours in schizophrenia. Clearly, these
behaviours underscore particular religious and political practices including
fundamentalism and/or Nazism and Islamicism.
Today, intellectual difference is not viewed as a static condition but
one that occupies a broad spectrum of behaviours, abilities and disabilities.
Disability includes low levels of handicap such as learning difficulties,
which in turn are relative to social environment. Indeed, Harris [2006] has
included spirituality in his classification system of special needs for the

R D Laing 1965 The Divided Self. Harmondsworth, Penguin, p41.
G Claridge G [1995] Origins of Mental Illness: Temperament, Deviance and Disorder
Cambridge MA. Malor Books.
D Nettle 2001 Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature Oxford,
Oxford University Press. p37.
intellectually disabled. Spirituality, according to Harris, helps to offset the
fears associated with difference:
‘...fear may be experienced as mistrust, victimization, or
helplessness, alienation experienced as social stigma, rejection,
and estrangement; guilt experienced from a sense of
internalized stigma and self-blame; and despair experienced
when life seems meaningless, leading to withdrawal’
There appears to be a biological spiritual centre in all humans and
animals that manifests the desire to alter consciousness. How we define
this is politically and culturally motivated in ways that undermines [or
makes secret] scientific knowledge and self-empowerment. The ancient
myths, rituals and religions still exist with their elites sharing small
amounts of information with lesser mortals as rewards. Myths and rituals
compete in the marketplace to determine what is ‘normal behaviour’.
Sadness, sorrow, pain are not the same as depression but they are all
‘human emotional states that exist along a continuum’
. They all depend
on the ability to deal with anxieties, fears and knowledge in a way that
maintains stability of mind and emotion. It is an ability that determines the
state of the world.
The New Age and Fringe Culture.
The existence of language must inevitably reveal its Other as the silent
unconscious, which includes the longing for the sacred. Historically, this
longing has manifest the religious groups and their secret knowledge
described in J ung, Buddhism, Yoga, J ewish mysticism, Krishna
consciousness, Sufism, Theosophy, the [1960s] hippie movement and the
persecuting sects. The hippie revolution, or the Age of Aquarius, blossomed
and died in just over a decade but the spiritual revival appeared again soon
after in a more tempered pro-capitalist form; the New Age
. Throughout
history the desire for the sacred has never been lost. The quest for the
pagan/spiritual consciousness underwrites elitism and puts limits on
knowledge. Each movement works through naturalism, romanticism,
instinct, ecstasy and the emotions, or the bulwark against rationalism.
Spiritual consumerism now forms part of the linguistic turn in its purported
self-help and self-empowering industries where there are no truths, only
experiences. Yet, it is far from liberating. The New Age is the culmination
of all the oppressive, ritualized groups/religions and practices that have
gone before. The New Age spiritualism commodifies ancient wisdom and
the transpersonal psychologies to meet spiritual needs in what Tacey
[2001] has described as ‘a fast food service, a kind of McSpirit that fails to

J Harris 2006 Intellectual Disability: Understanding Its Development,
Causes, Classification, Evaluation and Treatment. Oxford, Oxford University Press p340.
Nettle 2001p25.
D Tacey 2001 J ung and The New Age, London, Routledge ppx. Ch.1.
satisfy’ albeit, the ‘McSpirit’ has no end of followers
. Being a part of a
fringe culture fills the gap for those who are disenchanted with mainstream
culture. Fringe cultures exist precariously on the boundaries but they can
also be vehicles for social change as evidenced in the growing popularity
of Hezbollah, Hamas and the new anti-Semitism that threatens Israel and
international J ewry. These groups are dangerous but they can only be
abolished by raising consciousness and acknowledging diversity. Critical
political rational dialogue is one way but it is not always inclusive.
Community is another way but community is not always free.

The I slamic New Age.
Barney Zwartz of the Melbourne Age [J an 9, 2007] gives details of the
Islamic New Age in a push for the revival of an Islamic caliphate state. A
Promotional video for a J anuary 27
2007 Sydney conference produced by
Hisb ut-Tahrir and posted on the Internet website You-Tube.com states:
‘the world was plunged into darkness on March 3
1924, the
date when Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk ended the Ottoman
caliphate... after 80 years... the Muslim world has awakened
from its slumber...to resume its political destiny’
Each New Age, like its counter-part, the Golden Age involves
grandstanding, narcissism and fundamentalism. The New Age refers to the
highest age in the spectrum of ages - stone, iron, bronze, silver and so on. It
was devised when humanity was perceived as an ideal state growing
towards utopia. In accordance with Greek mythology each age ends in a
catastrophe, the apocalypse. All the New Age movements are just another
form of Holy War where god eats god and vomits up what cannot be
digested. Blame for the harm caused is transported onto the Other.
The New Age and the Linguistic Turn.
The New Age goals of higher consciousness usurped the politics of an
overtly expressed collectivism and/or political group talk and
consciousness-raising. After the failure of the emancipatory discourses the
New Age stepped in offering hidden forms of collective/individualism with
its expression buried in the unconscious. The hidden unconscious gave
birth to a new kind of ego associated with dreams, fantasies, beliefs,
ancient hierarchies and renewed utopias or the new gods that come to us
from the underworld, the Nothingness. This forms a continuing duality
with secular modernity and its public condemnation of mythical/mystical
elements whilst simultaneously engaging in its own myth and mysticism

ibid Tacey 2001 px.
B Zwartz The Age 27
J an. 2007 and B Zwartz 2007 Local Push For Islamic State
Melbourne Age J anuary 9
www.theage.com.au/newsnational/local/push Accessed 29
J anuary 2007.
[the double bind.] The war against Nothingness can only be conceived in a
state of psychosis [Gnosticism.]
J ung suggested that when the gods disappear from view they become a
problem in the unconscious. Like Nietzsche the New Age movements
revived the gods with a new credo. ‘I am god’ harking back to the sacred
primal voice and its mystical frenzied, god-madness. J ung views this as a
continuum in the evolution of humanity. J ung introduced the idea of a
phylogenetic layer of the unconscious mind circa [1909], J ung used his
ideas and the charismatic movement to procure his own fantasy of elitism a
parody of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra who was Islam’s prophet of the Golden
Age. This stood in opposition to psychoanalysis that drew on elite analysts
to guide and enlighten anxiety-ridden patients
. None of these offerings
allowed the Being to simply be.
The revival of these trends and their connections with neo-
conservatism is not always visible at first glance. From a political point of
view the celebration of religious traditions, paganism and monotheism,
lends itself to antiquarian interests and racial sentimentalities
. This is the
re-establishment of kingdoms in the Platonic sense.
We can understand the desire for religion and kingdoms as
insecurities that have their roots in the biological religiosity active in the
various stages of human development, which places emphasis on culture
and time as an indelible imprint in the human psyche/brain. Science can
now explain the religious impulse that is continually reborn in the
abandoned child. The myths correlate with a chemical/genetic patterning.
Plato’s eternal forms have merged with the modern tabula rasa making
Darwinism the current replacement for Marxism. This is not a safe position
and it demands the appropriate dissemination of knowledge as a means of
guarding against the violent/warrior impulses. The myths must be
neutralized and made productive within society. Can rational discourse rise
to this challenge? Not alone.
Of Beasts and Gods.
It is often said ‘that if there was no god, humans would invent one’.
Every society has had its gods/heroes/warriors/saviours. This makes the
struggle for succession [or war] a necessary problem. The war and its
persecuting tendencies is not just a social dilemma but a spiritual/sacred
phenomenon. Religious wars have always been about the search for the
unobtainable [w]holeness. Anti-Semitism is a war against J ews. All the
wars are fought for peace/love/harmony and unity, a fantasy, which is
Nothingness. This is the ultimate psychosis. Every war is a Holy War based
on religious mythologies. Each group has its own belief system whether it
lies in the unconscious or self-determining neo-liberal individualism. The
parameters of capitalism and counter-capitalism are grounded in the same
spiritual energy of this cosmic chaos; they are interchangeable. The war
began in the heavens, so-to-speak. According to myth new life is gained
by extolling the energies of revenge and hatred with the ultimate sacrifice

R Noll 1994 The J ung Cult: Origins of the Charismatic Movement New York Free
Press Paperbacks and New J ersey, Princeton University Press, pp5, 55, 296.
ibid p296.
in the individual’s death or the death of the warrior/hero/saviour. This
ultimate freedom is portrayed in the visions of the Saints, in the
crucifixion, the Second Coming of the messiah and Arjuna’s vision of
Vishnu in the Bhagavad-Gita. The holy vision transcends rational
judgment and is the lived experience of the psychotic whose personal
dilemma is depicted in the fear of the monster, the seven-headed beast the
anti-Christ described in Revelations. As Aristotle suggested everyone who
is outside the polis is either a god or a beast.
The time has come to seriously re-evaluate the meaning of normal
consciousness. The way we process information is complex. People have a
diverse range of cognitive skills, which are only now being revealed. We
have limited knowledge about how the emotions work with the
complexities of memory. We are only just beginning to explore the bio-
chemistry of the brain and its relation to DNA. Altered consciousness has
been the leitmotiv in myth, alchemy, art and more recently scientific
experiments with psychedelic drugs where the structure of the ‘spirit’ has
been found to exist in the pre-cognitive brain. Yet, many of these ideas are
still treated with scepticism. We must open our minds to these views and
Religious War and Social Order.
The study of ancient religion/myths presents immediate
methodological problems of legitimacy. There are problems of
time/space/truth/fantasy. We must start with a basic hypothesis that
religions are offshoots of a primary conflict that lives on at an
eschatological level. The long term aim is the unification of an earthly life
with that of the heavens. Religions and their mythologies are principally
esoteric in origin and rationalized into a system of beliefs that fuel and
guide the emotions. These systems depend on cognitive abilities to
determine a reality that is both individually conceived and shared with
other individuals through metaphors and metonymies. Religious systems
claim to be on the outside of the understanding of consciousness. One
cannot explain the inexplicable. Science now intervenes.
The religious mythical knowledge defines the relationships between
the universe and its archetypes, which become embodied in the day-to-day
existence of life on earth. The archetypes and their symbols serve to
exacerbate the fantasies of separation from the unconscious heavenly
forces they provide both the fear and the longing for death. In this sense
religion and myth acts as social order and/or a shield against madness/
chaos but there is an overriding problem in that religions and myths are
created out of the same madness and chaos they aim to protect against.
Mythology sets the scene for earthly language and action whereby the
primal war/terror/chaos has been duplicated and institutionalized as a
shield against the primal war/terror/chaos, the snake consuming its tail. If
we are to bring a halt to the violence then each and every one of us must
recognize our potential for causing harm and we must turn this energy into
something positive. The ancients engaged in daily rituals to help this
process. We too can engage in rituals of communion, meditation, a
collective consciousness and unification with all aspects of our being and
being with nature. Let us strive to bring peace to the world!
w p O E ¤ × Ò
Awake, you are awake now,
You have made a long journey.
I am awake,
I t’s a beautiful world isn’t it?
The sun is shining, the birds are singing:
The children are playing on the merry-go-round.
We are alive aren’t we?
I am alive and full of feeling.
Last night did you hear the noise?
I n your mind?
They dropped the bomb.
Did you see the flash?
I did.
And did you see the heavens come down?
Tell me, where have you been?
Did you hear the cries in the forest beyond?
Did you hear the children scream?
There used to be music up in the hills,
Were you here then?
Were you hear when the temple burnt down?
Did you weep?
Awake, are you awake now?
Wake-up it’s only a dream.
C J ames in Soliloquy 1999.
About the writer:
Dr Christine Anne J ames is an artist, researcher, writer, poet,
transpersonal psychotherapist and counsellor. She was born
and raised in England on Canvey I sland; a small, unique
settlement East of London at the mouth of the River Thames.
Her parents were conservative working class. At the height of
the Cold War Christine did the unthinkable, she joined the
peace movement and began her adult life as a political activist
later settling into the careers of underground journalism and
welfare. She has spent most of her life campaigning for
human rights in various parts of the world. I n 1973 she settled
in Australia and became an active feminist with an interest in
environmental politics; she was twice a candidate for the
Australian Greens. Today, Dr J ames runs her practice from a
small town in Regional Victoria. She lectures and holds
workshops on Conflict Resolution and Creative Community
Development. She also facilitates ritual healing circles and
gives talks on Consciousness Diversity. Dr J ames offers online
consultations and life coaching at
Dr Christine Anne J ames

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