Quando in un bosco ne percepisci la bellezza e diventi tutt'uno con il bosco, allora, intuitivamente, sei in armonia e in pace con le Dee e con gli Dei. Essi sono parte della nostra vera natura, la nostra Natura Profonda, e quando siamo separati dalla nostra vera natura, viviamo nella paura. Percepire questa normalità vuol dire dare un senso reale al vivere che è insito in tutte le cose.

Intraprendere la Via Romana al Divino significa iniziare un percorso di risveglio: praticando l'attenzione e la consapevolezza continua ci incamminiamo lungo una strada sapendo che ciò che conta è il cammino per sè più che la destinazione.

When you, entering a forest, perceive the beauty of the forest and you feel to be in a complete harmony with it, then, intuitively, you are in peace with the Deities. They are an essential part of our real nature, our Deep Nature, and when we are separated by our real nature we live in the fear. Perceiving such normality means giving a real sense to our lives.

Undertaking the Roman Via to the Deities implies a path to awakening: with the practice of continuing consciousness and awareness we undertake our walking knowing that taking the path is more important than the destination itself

martedì 22 ottobre 2013

A School Textbook

 My son is attending the second year at the high school. Few days ago, while studying Art History, he has noticed some sentences throughout the text of his book: he asked my opinion about it. I think it could be useful to share these reflections in order at least to understand the depth of the abyss which have fallen in.

I quote the original sentences in order to be honest. I direct you also to the book which can be found on this link (only in italian language unfortunately...). The title of this book is "Itinerario nell’arte, Dall’arte paleocristiana a Giotto, Versione arancione". The authors are  Giorgio Cricco and Francesco Di Teodoro. Printed by Zanichelli.

The paragraph about the paleo christian art begins with these words (I have evidenced some phrases in bold)

"We have already discussed about christianity. Christianity, from a simply tolerated religion as many others religions, had a so widespread diffusion to become, after the Council of Nicaea (325), the official religion of the Empire and, in 380, even the sole admitted State religion. This, however, doesn't mean that paganism ceased to live in that moment: on the contrary, it survived for a long time above all in the countriside, at least until the VI-VII centuries. It is important to remind that, non accidentally, the term pagan comes from pagus, village, whose inhabitants (peasants and farmers), always reclutant as usual to any change, had the same behaviour also with regards to the traditional religion and its rites."

The imagine of these peasants always reclutant as usual to any change, is so naive to render any further comment extremely difficult. The lack of any historical analysis actually pushes to make only some silly prejudices having a rather surprising superficiality. What about an entire political class in the Senate (led by Simmacus or Praetextatus - not just few farmers and peasants) trying in any way to save, together with a millennial tradition, the political and ethical integrity of the Roman State and Society? The autors exclude the possibility that the term pagus may show more complex meanings. There are many books written about this topic. I've read them: they should do the same...

The paragraph continues:

"The christians as already said, will be the sole heirs of the real roman mentality. Christianity, therefore, could become very powerful also because, from a revolutionary religion (even a dangerous religion and source of danger for the Empire security because, accordingly with this faith, it refused the Emperor's divine nature), it accepted the roman idea of the State. During the IV century, thanks to its organization and economic power, it appeared as the unique force capable to give support to the Roman State, inheriting its functions. The history of christianity therefore is finally mixed with the history of Rome becoming its completing part".

Also in this circumstance, some ideas and concepts deprived of any historical base are cited. These are only prejudices without any historical foundation. Christianity has never been, and won't ever be, in continuity with the Roman Tradition. Christianity always worked to destroy the Roman State, the Roman Culture, the Roman Mentality, the Roman Ethics. Roman Ethics and christian ethics have nothing in common, nothing to share. Nothing. This concept must be clearly evidenced otherwise one can do huge mistakes like these professors do. 

Christianity was a violent, irrational and foolish solution with a tradition even older than Rome itself. Rome just had the "baton": but this baton has been definitively lost with christianity. Christianity violently occupied antique rites, sites, cults, symbols and the language of the Roman Tradition: but it doesn't mean that it accepted and understood them. It was an usurpation, a cultural robbering. The idea of a christian pontifex is just a word game: there are no christian pontifices because there are only the real, authentic and traditional Roman Pontifices.

Christianity was violently imposed against the will of millions of men and women (women in particular paid the highest price for this free and happy conversion)

The overlapping of the christian festivals on the traditional roman ones was just a tool to impose a religion which people othewise couldn't accept. The same happened with the churches often concretely built over the Sacred Temples to remove the Old and impose the New on the same site. This is History: these facts can be easily found even for non experts. It's incredible to read these fairy tales in 2013: the bad indians and the good cowboys... Come on!

The paragraph continues: 

"After all, artists and artisans working for the christians and the pagans were the same (it could not be otherwise). Hence, there is no discontinuity between roman and christian art". 

Even in this case, this is a sentence without any historical foundation. The idea that artists were the same has no relevance: it doesn't demonstrate the possibility of any kind of continuity between these two arts. Actually there was an absolute discontinuity because the ethical systems of values involved were conflicting and totally diverging. There was no possibility of contact between the roman and the christian ethics (as well as between the two religions) and consequently no contacts between the arts emboding these values. The fate of these artists is also very interesting. Many of them tried to hide in their works (even in those made for the christians) many symbols and expressions of the Ancient Tradition. Many romanesque churches are "disguised temples" where it is quite easy to identify the God/Goddess to who the church is dedicated. In many depiction of the virgin mary we can easily identify Isis, Bona Dea, Magna Mater, Cybele or Ceres. All this was a strategy to make these cults survive: this was not a problem of a lack of artisans... Do the authors really think that these transition centuries were just a happy time?

I could say the same about the Gothic Art. Have you never heard the name of Mr Fulcanelli??

Let's go further...

"Above all during the first centuries after the jesus' birth, the only difference between pagan and christian art can be found in the different symbolic value the christians assigned to certains figures. For a pagan a scene of grape harvest and grape bunches represented just what they concretely are while for a christian these imagines were full of symbolic values (...). Similarly a fish for a pagan was just a sea animal while for a chirstian it was the symbol of christ (...) Again, a shepherd with a flock was, in a pagan view, just a rural picture, while for a christian it represented jesus "good shepherd" (...) A peacock was not just a bird gladdening a painting of a garden or a decoration in a pagan birdcage, but a symbol of eternity. The phoenix, a mythological bird reviving from its own ashes, was the symbol of christ resurrection."

Is this a joke?

Here, in addition to a number of prejudices without any foundation one can find many statements confirming the complete ignorance about these issues. The complexity of the traditional symbolism - together with the complexity of the myths' articulation - is well known. These traditional symbols described what one cannot describe by words opening a door towards a "different world" unreachable for profane people: any Cultor or Cultrix perfectly knows it
All the literature about the antique and sacred symbology is cancelled just in a while: Frazer, Kerenyi, Dumezil, Guenon, Eliade...  the list is too long. 

I can accept that the authors may ignore Jamblicus, Proclus, Porphiry, Libanius, Nonnus or Plotinus (not to say the Pythagoreans!): but these trifles are out of the reach of any scholar. Citing the first two centuries after the jesus' birth is just taking a wild guess: it drives to further mistakes. In that period christianity was just a mere secta, not so diffused, without a specific symbology. I want just to remind that the Cross is a pagan symbol. Christians adopted the cross as symbol for their religion after a long time. Over the roofs of the churches (even during the middle age) there was the symbol of a cock (ooopss.. it a symbol of Mercury) rather than a cross. Furthermore, do the authors know the sacred value of geometry?

Raving and randomly citing the grapevine (a very complex Dyonysus' symbol, I've mentioned it in this blog), the peacock or the phoenix is an incredible own goal: anyone with a minimal culture about roman history perfectly knows the meaning of these symbols. Nonetheless, these two professors ignore all this.
So I wonder: what is a Caduceus in these authors' mind?  Just a stick of wood with two snakes  randomly twisted around it? A board game? A funny  fantasy representation? A logo of a greek drug?

Using just few words, they cancel thousands of years of culture, symbols, myths, traditions, values. This is to confirm that we are living in the age of the darkness, the "last age" (Kali Yuga) when everything considered superior becomes unintellegible and obscure.

It's very hard for me to make any additional comment. I've got no more words actually... I just think it's a very dangerous and serious problem that one can find such things in a textbook used to high school education. It is not possible to create any kind of culture over such bases and it is not possible that students learn such false and wrong ideas with no historical foundation.  How can they learn something if the teacher simply "doesn't know" or "ignores" or "badly knows"?

At best, all this may produce distorted opinions totally deprived of any link with reality. It contributes only to create generations of individuals unable to appreciate and understand the meaning of the Roman and Greek Art, Culture, Spirituality, with their symbols and deep value and sense.

It is not possible to write on a textbook  just what one likes or would like to write, the first thing one has in mind or, even worse, what is more suitable with a given religious or ethic perspective. I believe that a wrong or bad learning is definitively worse than a non-learning.
I wonder that such a poor book has been published by an important publisher and adopted by some schools. In my opinion, all this shows the low profile of the entire cultural dimension in Italy.

We have the right and the duty to firmly oppose against these fake expressions of prejudices, superficiality and lack of sound scientific accuracy. I can conclude that I will fight, in every occasion, to publicly denounce these silly aberrations which have nothing to share with a real idea of "culture".
I leave to the readers' opinion any further comment about this topic.

4 commenti:

Mania Sentia Figula ha detto...

Great post! I often feel frustrated by the children's' books I have dealing with ancient Rome (or Greece) - there is a tendency to mock or undermine the traditional Pagan religions of Europe in these books. However, fortunately, this attitude is not universal. I think the Percy Jackson movies (I haven't read the books) are a cause for optimism - they are far more likely to capture the imagination of children and teenagers than dreary textbooks.

(btw, I replied to your comment on my blog and have posted a link to this post on the "Roman Pagan" page on Facebook - hope that is ok!)

Mania Sentia Figula ha detto...
Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.
Tressa Disney ha detto...

Very good article. It's appalling that such prejudice is in children's school textbooks!

Dini Pantheacraft ha detto...

thank you for posting. It is important to speak out against this sham that has been going on for far too long without criticism even been taken seriously.
On a side note: I now understand the symbolic of the "weather-cock" on top of churches (as often still found in my native country Germany, instead of crosses).