Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Posted by Fredsvenn on March 3, 2014
Posted by Fredsvenn on March 2, 2014
A Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) is a proposal to create a trans-atlantic free-trade area covering Europe and North America.
Such proposals have been made since the 1990s and since 2013 an agreement between the United States (US) and European Union (EU) has been under negotiation: the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
TTIP is a far-reaching proposed free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Commission (EC, authorised by EU Member States) and the USA government, supposedly about trade but mostly about corporate rights, investment guarantees and deregulation.
Talks began in July 2013 and reached the third round of negotiations by the end of that year. This free trade agreement may be finalized by the end of 2014.
The deal is estimated to boost the EU’s economy by €120 billion, the US economy by €90 billion and the rest of the world by €100 billion.
Once complete, if combined with free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) it could form a free trade area covering the whole of both continents.
Economic barriers between the EU and the US are relatively low, not just due to long-standing membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but recent agreements such as the EU–US Open Skies Agreement and work by the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council.
Economic gains of TTIP were predicted in the joint report issued by the White House and the EC. It claims that passage of a trans-Atlantic trade pact could boost overall trade between the respective blocs by as much as 50%.
However, economic relations are tense and there are frequent trade disputes between the two economies, many of which end up before the WTO.
In a The Guardian article of 15 July 2013, Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in the US observed that with conventional trade barriers between the US and the EU already low, the deal would focus on non-conventional barriers such as freeing up regulations regarding fracking, GMOs and finance and tightening laws on copyright.
He goes on to assert that with less ambitious projections the economic benefits per household are mediocre “If we apply the projected income gain of 0.21% to the projected median personal income in 2027, it comes to a bit more than $50 a year. That’s a little less than 15 cents a day. Don’t spend it all in one place.”
ISDS means an investor can bring a case directly against the country hosting its investment, without the intervention of the government of the investor’s country of origin.
In December 2013, a coalition of over 200 environmentalists, labor unions and consumer advocacy organizations on both sides of the Atlantic sent a letter to the USTR and EC demanding the investor-state dispute settlement be dropped from the trade talks and stating:
“Investor-state dispute settlement is a one-way street by which corporations can challenge government policies, but neither governments nor individuals are granted any comparable rights to hold corporations accountable.”
In December 2013, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper claimed that ISDS is a “mechanism [that] could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world”
Member of European Parliament Yannick Jadot described the negotiations as happening “in an absolutely undemocratic way”.
Despite being appointed to oversee the trade negotiations as a parliamentary rapporteur, he said he felt “excluded”, going on to say “even when we have one document, we are forbidden to release this document to the public, so citizens are totally excluded from the negotiations which deal with health issues, environmental issues, social rights and public services”.
Some proposals for a transatlantic free trade area include on the American side, the other members of NAFTA (Canada and Mexico) and on the European side, the members of the EFTA (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).
Mexico already has a free trade agreement with EFTA and the EU while Canada has one with EFTA and is negotiating one with the EU. These agreements may need to be harmonised with the EU-US agreement and could potentially form a wider free trade area.
Canadian media observers have speculated that the launch of US-EU talks puts pressure on Canada to conclude its own three-year long FTA negotiations with the EU by the close of 2013.
Countries with customs agreements with the EU, such as Turkey, could face the prospect of opening their markets to American goods, without access for their own goods without a separate agreement with the USA.
The proposed TTIP ostensibly aims at achieving “regulatory convergence”, facilitating direct investment and improving “intellectual property rights”, and combatting bureaucratic hurdles to market access for corporations from both sides of the Atlantic.
However, this disguises deregulation, unfair and undemocratic investor protection and intellectual property monopolies, and harmful competition. While the promised but unsubstantiated and disputed economic benefits are marginal even in the best case scenarios, these goals threaten important rights and interests of the public in the EU, US, or the rest of the world.
Negotiations are happening behind closed doors, without true public consultation – even national parliaments are not even informed about the details of the Commission’s negotiating mandate – but the rare snippets of information that have been released — or leaked — raise considerable concerns.
We should be committed to challenging the ongoing negotiations for the TTIP, CETA, and other similar Free Trade Agreements – on national and European level – to ensure transparent and democratic policy debate and agreements that serve the public interest.
A previous proposed treaty was Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a draft agreement negotiated between members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1995–1998 with the ostensible purpose to develop multilateral rules that would ensure international investment was governed in a more systematic and uniform way between states.
When its draft became public in 1997, it drew widespread criticism from civil society groups and developing countries, particularly over the possibility that the agreement would make it difficult to regulate foreign investors.
After an intense global campaign was waged against the MAI by the treaty’s critics, the host nation France announced in October 1998 that it would not support the agreement, effectively preventing its adoption due to the OECD’s consensus procedures.
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014
The legal code was a common feature of the legal systems of the ancient Middle East. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100-2050 BC), then the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC), are amongst the earliest and best preserved legal codes, originating in the Fertile Crescent.
Fragment of an inscription of Urukagina
Urukagina (reigned ca. 24th century BC?, short chronology), the king of Lagash, established the first known legal code to protect citizens from the rich and powerful. Known as a great reformer, Urukagina established laws that forbade compelling the sale of property and required the charges against the accused to be stated before any man accused of a crime could be punished. This is the first known example of any form of due process in the history of humanity. However, his laws were otherwise typically brutal for Mesopotamia, including the stoning of women for having multiple husbands.
In this important code is found the first written reference to the concept of liberty (amagi or amargi, literally, “return to the mother”), used in reference to the process of reform. The exact nature of this term is not clear, but the idea that the reforms were to be a return to the original social order decreed by the gods fits well with the translation.
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014
Goddesses named for and representing the concept Liberty have existed in many cultures, including classical examples dating from the Roman Empire and some national symbols such as the British “Britannia” or the Irish “Kathleen Ni Houlihan”.
The ancient Roman goddess Libertas, the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty, was honored during the second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) by a temple erected on the Aventine Hill in Rome by the father of Tiberius Gracchus.
A statue in her honor was also raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s house after it had been razed. The figure also resembles Sol Invictus, the Roman god of sun.
Among the Romans the cap of felt was the emblem of liberty. When a slave obtained his freedom he had his head shaved, and wore instead of his hair an undyed pileus. The figure of Liberty on some of the coins of Antoninus Pius, struck A.D. 145, holds this cap in the right hand.
The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia, a region of central Anatolia.
In the western provinces of the Roman Empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, perhaps through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome.
Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.
Libertas, along with other Roman goddesses, has served as the inspiration for many modern-day symbols, including the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in the USA.
According to the National Park Service, the Statue’s Roman robe is the main feature that invokes Libertas and the symbol of Liberty from which the Statue derives its name.
The fictional characters Columbia of the USA and Marianne of France, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and many other characters and concepts of the modern age were created as, and are seen, as embodiments of Libertas.
National embodiments of Liberty include Britannia in the United Kingdom, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” commonly known as the Statue of Liberty in the USA, and Marianne in France.
In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was turned into a “Cult of Reason” and for a time “Lady Liberty” replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars.
Embodiments of the goddess Liberty in the United States of America include Columbia, which is yet another personification of the goddess Liberty.
Statue of Attis at the Shrine of Attis situated in the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia Antica
Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the Galli, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.
An Attis cult began around 1250 BC in Dindymon (today’s Murat Dağı of Gediz, Kütahya). He was originally a local semi-deity of Phrygia, associated with the great Phrygian trading city of Pessinos, which lay under the lee of Mount Agdistis. The mountain was personified as a daemon, whom foreigners associated with the Great Mother Cybele.
Mitanni (Mi-ta-nni) – Mitra
Investiture of Sassanid emperor Ardashir I or II (3rd century CE bas-relief at Taq-e Bostan, Iran. On the left stands the yazata Mithra with raised barsom, sanctifying the investiture.
Sixth panel of the Mithraeum at Ostia in Italy of the 6th degree of the Mithraic Mysteries, the Mystery religion of the Roman Empire, here we see a whip, a crown of seven spikes and a torch.
“Both Mithras and Christ were described variously as ‘the Way,’ ‘the Truth,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘the Life,’ ‘the Word,’ ‘the Son of God,’ ‘the Good Shepherd.’ The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god.
Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother…was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church.”
“Mithra, or Mitra, is worshipped as Itu (Mitra-Mitu-Itu) in every house of the Hindus in India. Itu (derivative of Mitu or Mitra) is considered as the Vegetation-deity. This Mithra or Mitra (Sun-God) is believed to be a Mediator between God and man, between the Sky and the Earth.
It is said that Mithra or [the] Sun took birth in the Cave on December 25th. It is also the belief of the Christian world that Mithra or the Sun-God was born of [a] Virgin. He travelled far and wide. He has twelve satellites, which are taken as the Sun’s disciples…. [The Sun's] great festivals are observed in the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox—Christmas and Easter. His symbol is the Lamb…”
Mithras is the god of a roman mystery-cult, which flourished from the 1th to 4th century of our era. Their rituals was performed in the mithraeum, either a natural cave or a building imitating one. Apart from representations of Mithras himself, other sculptures has been found.
The first extant record of Indo-Aryan Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. There Mitra appears together with four other Indo-Aryan divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact. R. D. Barnett has argued that the royal seal of King Saussatar of Mitanni from c. 1450 BC. depicts a tauroctonous Mithras.
The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.
Egyptian sources call Mitanni “nhrn”, which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for “river”, cf. Aram-Naharaim.
The name Mitanni is first found in the “memoirs” of the Syrian wars (ca. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amememhet, who returned from the “foreign country called Me-ta-ni” at the time of Thutmose I.
Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurri”, or “Hurrians”.
The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders “Hurri” as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself “king of Mitanni” in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.
The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.
The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin, but it is specifically their deities which show Indo-Aryan roots (Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya).
Aglibol, Baalshamin (center), and Malakbel (1st century; found near Palmyra, Syria)
Bel of Palmyra, Syria, depicted on the far left alongside Ba’alshamin, Yarhibol and Aglibol on a relief from Palmyra
Palmyra (Tadmur) was an ancient city in central Syria. The city was first mentioned in the archives of Mari in the second millennium BC. It was a trading city in the extensive trade network that linked Mesopotamia and northern Syria.
Palmyrans bore Aramaic names, and worshipped a variety of deities from Mesopotamia (Marduk and Ruda), Syria (Hadad, Baʿal, Astarte), Arabia (Allāt) and Greece (Athena).
Palmyrans were originally speakers of Aramaic but later shifted to the Greek language. At the time of the Islamic conquests Palmyra was inhabited by several Arab tribes, primarily the Qada’ah and Kalb.
Bel (from Akkadian bēlu), signifying “lord” or “master”, is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.
The feminine form is Belit ‘Lady, Mistress’. Bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Ba‘al with the same meaning.
Baalshamin or Ba’al Šamem (lit. ‘Lord of Heaven(s)’) is a Northwest Semitic god and a title applied to different gods at different places or times in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions, especially in Canaan/Phoenicia and Syria.
This name was originally a title of Baal Hadad, in the second millennium BC, but came to designate a distinct god circa 1000 BC.The title was most often applied to Hadad, who is also often titled just Ba‘al.
Baalshamin was one of the two supreme gods and the sky god of pre-Islamic Palmyra in ancient Syria. (Bel was the other supreme god.)
There his attributes were the eagle and the lightning bolt, and he perhaps formed a triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Malakbel.
Aglibôl means “Calf of Bel” (“Calf of the Lord”). He Aglibôl is depicted with a lunar halo decorating his head and sometimes his shoulders, and one of his attributes is the sickle moon.
Aglibôl is also associated with the Syrian versions of Astarte “Venus” and with Arṣu “Evening Star”. His cult continued into Hellenic times and was later extended to Rome.
Malakbêl was a sun deity of the city of Palmyra in pre-Islamic Syria. The meaning, in Aramaic, is “Messenger of Baal” or “Messenger, or Angel, of the Lord”.
The Greek identified Malakbel with Hermes, and the Romans with Sol. He was also similar to the Babylonian sun god Shamash.
Yarhibol is an Aramean god who was worshiped mainly in ancient Palmyra. He was depicted with a solar nimbus and styled “lord of the spring”. He normally appears alongside Bel, who was a co-supreme god of Palmyra, and Aglibol, one of the other top Palmyrene gods.
Hecate or Hekate was a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, fire, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery.
She had rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.
Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where variants of her name are found as names given to children. William Berg observes, “Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens.” She also closely parallels the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome.
The spikes sticking from the head are sculptural representations of Rays of Light emanating from the Head… as in the force of the power of Reason to build a better, more equitable government and society… which is what the American Revolution and Constitution represented to the French.
Taurobolium and criobolium
In the Roman Empire of the 2nd to 4th centuries, taurobolium referred to practices involving the sacrifice of a bull, which after mid-2nd century became connected with the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods; though not previously limited to her cultus, after 159 CE all private taurobolia inscriptions mention Magna Mater. Originating in Asia Minor, its earliest attested performance in Italy occurred in 134 CE, at Puteoli, in honor of Venus Caelestis, documented by an inscription.
The earliest inscriptions, of the 2nd century in Asia Minor, point to a bull chase in which the animal was overcome, linked with a panegyris in honour of a deity or deities, but not an essentially religious ceremony, though a bull was sacrificed and its flesh distributed.
Criobolium is the ritual sacrifice of a ram in the cult of Attis and the Great Mother of the Gods. It seems to have been a special ceremony instituted after the rise, and on the analogy of the taurobolium, which was performed in honor of the Great Mother, for the purpose of giving fuller recognition to Attis in the duality which he formed with the Mother. There is no evidence of its existence either in Asia or in Italy before the taurobolium came into prominence (after AD 134).
When the criobolium was performed in conjunction with the taurobolium, the altar was almost invariably inscribed to both the Mother and Attis, while the inscription was to the Mother alone when the taurobolium only was performed. The celebration of the criobolium was widespread, and its importance such that it was sometimes performed in place of the taurobolium (Corp. Inscr. Lat. vi. 505, 506). The details and effect of the ceremony were no doubt similar to those of the taurobolium.
Helios and Solar Apollo
Helios in his chariot, early 4th century BC, Athena’s temple, Ilion.
Solar Apollo with the radiant halo of Helios in a Roman floor mosaic, El Djem, Tunisia, late 2nd century.
Dedication made by a priest of Jupiter Dolichenus on behalf of the wellbeing (salus) of the emperors, to Sol Invictus and the Genius of the miitary unit equites singulares.
Roman Imperial repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus (3rd century), found at Pessinus.
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod (Theogony 371) and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia (Hesiod) or Euryphaessa (Homeric Hymn) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. Ovid also calls him Titan.
Helios was described as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14-15); and Pindar speaks of Helios’s “fire-darting steeds” (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.
As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”), the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.
In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Sol Invictus played a prominent role in the Mithraic mysteries, and was equated with Mithras himself.
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios. The statue was erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC.
The statue stood for 56 years until Rhodes was hit by the 226 BC Rhodes earthquake, when significant damage was also done to large portions of the city, including the harbour and commercial buildings, which were destroyed. The statue snapped at the knees and fell over on to the land. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it.
Before its destruction in the earthquake of 226 BC, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (98 feet) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.
Mosaic of Christ as Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-4th-century necropolis beneath St. Peter’s in the Vatican, which many interpret as representing Christ.
Mosaic in the Beth Alpha synagogue, with the sun in the centre, surrounded by the twelve zodiac constellations and with the four seasons associated inaccurately with the constellations.
Statue of Liberty
There is a famous reference to the Colossus in the sonnet “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883 and inscribed on a plaque located inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbour that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The poem was written as a donation to an auction of art and literary works conducted by the “Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty” to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Lazarus’s contribution was solicited by fundraiser William Maxwell Evarts. Initially she refused but Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor.
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014
Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Shot in 70mm film, over a period of almost five years, in twenty-five countries.
Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. Without dialogue or descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.
In popular use, Samsara [a westernized spelling] may refer to the world (in the sense of the various worldly activities which occupy ordinary human beings), the various sufferings thereof; or the unsettled and agitated mind through which reality is perceived.
Saṃsāra or Sangsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) (in Tibetan called ‘khor ba, meaning “continuous flow”), is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön, Jainism, Taoism, and Yârsân. In Sikhism this concept is slightly different and looks at one’s actions in the present and consequences in the present.
The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure. They apparently date to the Iron Age (around 1200 BCE). Discussion of the subject appears in the philosophical traditions of India (including the Indus Valley) and Greece (including Asia Minor) from about the 6th century BCE. Also during the Iron Age, the Greek Pre-Socratics discussed reincarnation, and the Celtic Druids are also reported to have taught a doctrine of reincarnation.
The ideas associated with reincarnation may have arisen independently in different regions, or they might have spread as a result of cultural contact. Proponents of cultural transmission have looked for links between Iron Age Celtic, Greek and Vedic philosophy and religion, some even suggesting that belief in reincarnation was present in Proto-Indo-European religion.
In ancient European, Iranian and Indian agricultural cultures, the life cycles of birth, death, and rebirth were recognized as a replica of natural agricultural cycles.
Patrick Olivelle asserts that the origin of the concept of the cycle of birth and death, the concept of samsara, and the concept of liberation in the Indian tradition, were in part the creation of the non-Vedic Shramana (Sanskrit: श्रमण Śramaṇa; Pali: समण samaṇa) tradition.
Sramana was a non-Vedic Indian religious movement parallel to but separate from the historical Vedic religion. The Śramaṇa tradition gave rise to Yoga, Jainism, Buddhism, and some nāstika schools of Hinduism such as Cārvāka and Ājīvika, and also popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).
The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa refer to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. They were individual, experiential and free-form traditions, independent of society; and in religious competition with Brahmin priests, who as opposed to Śramaṇas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals.
The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa are postulated to be derived from the verbal root śram, meaning “to exert effort, labor or to perform austerity”. “Śramaṇa” thus means “one who strives” or “laborer” in Sanskrit and Pali. The term was applied to those who wholeheartedly practiced toward enlightenment, and was used for monks.
The Śramaṇa traditions are best captured in the term parivrajaka, meaning a homeless wanderer. The history of wandering monks in ancient India is partly untraceable. The term ‘parivrajaka’ was perhaps applicable to all the peripatetic monks of India.
Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions.
It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia.
Although the majority of sects within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Kabbalah, the Cathars, the Druze and the Rosicrucians.
The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism of the Roman era, as well as the Indian religions, has been the subject of recent scholarly research.
In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation. Contemporary films, books, and popular songs frequently mention reincarnation. In the last decades, academic researchers have begun to explore reincarnation and published reports of children’s memories of earlier lives in peer-reviewed journals and books.
The historical origins of a concept of a cycle of repeated reincarnation are obscure but the idea appears frequently in religious and philosophical texts in both India and ancient Greece during the middle of the first millennium BC. Orphism, Platonism, Jainism and Buddhism all discuss the transmigration of beings from one life to another.
The concept of reincarnation is present even in the early Vedic texts such as the Rig Veda, but the concise idea of it is said to have originated from the Shramana traditions. Several scholars believe that reincarnation was adopted from this religious culture by Brahmin orthodoxy, and Brahmins first wrote down scriptures containing these ideas in the early (Aitereya) Upanishads.
According to the view of these Asian religions a person’s current life is only one of many -stretching back before birth into past existences and reaching forward beyond death into future incarnations. During the course of each life the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny of each person.
The Buddha taught that there is no beginning or end to this cycle. The goal of these Asian religions is to realize this truth, the achievement of which (like ripening of a fruit) is moksha.
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014
Dyr og planter i Oseberg-funnet skal DNA-testes de neste årene. Men i en av kistene i gravkammeret lå det også en lærpung med cannabisfrø. Det er veldokumentert at rus var en viktig del av skandinavenes kultur og vikingene kjente nok til cannabisens virkninger.
Vikingene dyrket hamp til tau og tekstiler, men man må ikke være spesielt begavet for å få til en annen virkning av frøene. Det er derfor uklart om cannabisfrøene var ment til rus selv.
Arkeologene er skjønt enig at gravleggingen på Oseberg er av rituell art. Mange dyr er ofret i haugen, og den var full av gravgaver. I forbindelse med slike gravlegginger, var det ikke uvanlig at man bedrev seid, magi, gjerne i ruset tilstand. I transe eller ved hjelp av suggesjon.
Også hakekors ble funnet i sammenheng med Oseberg-funnet. Hakekorset, eller svastikaen, er et symbol som ble brukt i Asia og Europa i flere tusen år. Det er et mange tusenårig solsymbol som er brukt i mange kulturer.
Noen blir litt sjokkert over antallet svastikaer i Osebergfunnet. Det er massevis av dem. Men det overraskende er at noen klarte å ta det symbolet og gjøre det til sitt i løpet av noen få år i det forrige århundret.
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 27, 2014
Hurriere, også kjent som ariere, eller armenere, er preindoeuropeisk, og grunnlaget for de kaukasiske, samt semittiske og indoeuropeiske språkene. Gresk-indoarisk, eller gresk-armensk-indoarisk er også det siste leddet av den indoeuropeiske språkfamilien.
Fra det armenske høylandet, sivilisasjonens vugge, kom også frygerne, eller nærmere bestemt mushkiene, som ga opphav til byen ved samme navn i dagens Armenia. Armenerne er ifølge lingvistikkeren Diakonoff et amalgam av hurriere (og urartiere), luviere og proto-armenske mushki, eller armeno-frygere), som bar deres indoeuropeiske språk østover i Anatolia.
Den romerske Mithra bar en frygisk lue, også kjent som frihetslua. På gresk blir det referert til armenerne på rundt same tid. Gresk ikonografi identifiserer den trojanske Paris som ikke-gresk gjennom hans frygiske lue, som ble båret av Mithra og som overlevde i moderne billedbruk som frgjøringsluen i den franske og den amerikanske revolusjonen.
Mithra, eller nærmere sagt Mitra, er først kjent fra staten Mitanni (Mita-nni, eller Me-ta-ni), et kongedømme referert til som Maryannu (Maria-nnu), Nahrin, fra det assyro-akkadiske ordet for elv, eller Mitanni, av egypterne, Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri) av hettittene og Hanigalbat av assyrerne.
Det etniske grunnlaget i staten var hurriere og indo-ariere, som på same tidspunkt ankom India. Aristokratiet i Mitanni bærer bade hurriske og indo-ariske navn, og deres guder bærer indo-ariske navn,inkludertMitra, Varuna, IndraogNasatya.
Hovedguden på den arabiske halvøya var Hubal (Hu-bal), et navn som kan ha same røtter som Hu-ur-ri. En statue av Hubal befant seg i nærheten av Kaaba er beskrevet som formet som en menneskelignende figur med høyre hånd skiftet ut med en gylden hånd.
Kong Mita fikk sitt navn fra Mitanni. Midaser navnet på minst tre medlemmer av Frygia. Den mest kjente av dem er husket i gresk mytologi for hans evne til å gjøre alt han tok på med sin hånd om til gull, noe som kom til å bli kjent som det gyldene berøring, eller rett og slett Midas berøring.
Dionysos som takk for en tjeneste tilbyr Midas å ønske seg hva han vil. Midas ønsker seg da at alt han rører ved skal bli til gull. Han får sitt ønske oppfylt og Midas er til å begynne med lykkelig over gaven han har fått. Alt han rører blir til gull, f.eks. en stor stein, men han oppdager etterhvert at det også fører til problemer.
Da han vil anrette en festmiddag for å feire sin nye kraft, merker han at maten og drikken forvandles til gull i hans munn. Ulykkelig ber han Dionysos om å bli fri fra sitt ønske.
Dionysos forteller så Midas, hvordan han kan kvitte seg med sin gave, nemlig ved å vaske seg i floden Paktalos. Midas gjør dette, og gjennom vannet forlater kraften ham og forvandler sandet på flodbunden til gull. Siden den dagen er floden kjent for sitt gullsand på bunnen.
En annen kong Midas hersket over Frygia på 800-tallet f.vt. Dette er den samme personen som blir kalt kongMita avMushki i assyriske tekster, som gikk til krig mot Assyria og dets anatoliske provinser under den samme perioden.
Både ar og mesh betyr lys og det å skape. Shamash var den sumeriske solguden, mens den gamle armenske solguden Ara fikk navn etter byen Armi, i dag kjent som Aleppo. Arev betyr sol på armensk, mens Masis er det armenske navnet på fjellet Ararat.
Guden Ara deler en rekke likheter med guden Adonis, som er et gresk lån fra det semittiske ordet adon, som har betydningen «herre». Ordet var lånt fra fønikisk. Det er beslektet med Adonai, et av navnene som er benyttet til å referere til Gud i Den hebraiske Bibelen (Det gamle testamente) og er fortsatt benyttet i jødedommen den dag i dag.
Adana er Tyrkias femte største by, og hovedstad i provinsen Adana. Byen ligger ved elven Seyhans bredd i det sørlige Tyrkia. Det er dette som er paradis, eller Eden.
Adonis hadde flere roller, og det har vært mye forskning i århundrenes løp angående hans mening og hensikt i de greske religiøse trosforestillinger i antikken. Han var en årlig plantegud, alltid ung, en liv-død-gjenfødelse-guddom hvis vesen var knyttet til kalenderen, særlig dyrket av kvinner. Hans navn er i moderne tid benyttet som betegnelse på kjekke unge menn som han har blitt arketypen for. Han er blitt jevnlig beskrevet som den dødelige skjønnhetsguden.
Den sentrale myten i dens greske fortelling er at Afrodite blir forelsket med den vakre ynglingen (muligens grunnet at hun var blitt rammet av Eros’ pil). Afrodite beskyttet Adonis som nyfødt og overdro ham til Persefone, som ble så forhekset av Adonis’ skjønnhet at hun nektet å gi ham tilbake til Afrodite.
Striden mellom gudinnene ble avgjort av Zevs (eller av Kalliope på vegne av Zevs): Adonis skulle tilbringe en tredjedel av hvert år hos hver av gudinnene, og den siste tredjedelen hvor han måtte ønske. Han valgte å tilbringe to tredjedeler av året hos Afrodite.
Adonis var sønn av Myrrha og hennes far Kinyras. Myrrha ble forvandlet til et myrratre og den romerske fødselsgudinnen Lucina hjalp treet å føde Adonis. Stedet hvor Adonis døde lot hun bli overrislet av blod med nektar. Herfra sprang det opp den kortvarige røde blomsten anemone som har sitt navn fra vinden ettersom den så lett får dens kronblad til å falle av.
Kvinnene i Athen kunne plante «Adonishager» med hurtigvoksende grønnsaker som sprang opp fra frø og visnet. Adonisfestivalen ble feiret av kvinner ved midtsommer ved å så fennikel og salat, og hvete og bygg. Plantene vokste opp hurtig, visnet tilsvarende hurtig, og kvinnene sørget over den altfor tidlige døden til planteguden.
Syriske Adonis er Gauas, eller Aos, beslektet med den egyptiske Osiris, semittiske Dumuzi og Baal Hadad, etruskiske Atunis og frygiske Attis, alle disse var guddommer av liv-død-gjenfødelse og vegetasjon.
Adonis var i stor grad basert på Dumuzi, en guddom i sumerisk mytologi, på akkadisk kalt for Tammuz og hvor hans semittisk navn hadde betydningen «trofast» eller «ekte sønn». Han ble dyrket som en mat- og vegetasjonsgud, også i de senere mesopotamiske statene Akkad, Assyria og Babylonia.
Attis eller Atys i gresk mytologi er en frygisk helt som forbindes med Adonis og den mesopotamiske Tammuz. Han var guddom for fødsel-død-gjenfødsel, og var både sønnen og elskeren til modergudinnen Kybele. Han var også hennes sjefsevnukk og fører av hennes løvedrevne vogn.
Hans prester var evnukker, Galli, menn som har testikler som siden barndommen ikke produserer hormoner, eller en kastrert mann eller gutt.
Attis var vegetasjonens gud, og representerer via hans selvlemlestelse, død, og gjenoppstandelse fruktene av jorden, som dør om vinteren kun for så å gjenoppstå om våren. Attis ble feiret med en stor vårfest omkring temaet sorg og gjenfødsel.
I mytologien beskrives Cybeles kjærlighetsforhold til Attis. I en fortelling blir det beskrevet hvordan Attis kastrerer seg selv og forblør under et pinjetre for til slutt selv å forvandles til et eviggrønt pinjetre.
En, eller an, betyr herre, mens Ki, som senere har blitt til Kia og Gaya, betyr jorden eller eksistens. Hos både hurrierne, slik som i Urkesh, og sumererne ble lederne kalt for Ensi, som ble skrevet som PA.TE.SI på sumerisk kileskrift, og som er det litterære grunnlaget for både far (pater) og patriarki. Ensi kommer fra ploglandets herre. Mens sumererne skrev Ki skriver armenerne Ik.
Enki, og senere Ea, er sivilisasjonens, visdommens og kulturens gud. Han både skapte og forsvarer menneskene, og verden generelt. Han blir avbildet som en mann dekket med fiskeskinn, noe som sammen med navnet på hans temple, E-apsu, som betyr Det dype vanns tempel, peker på hans karakter som vannets gud.
Dette synes også å bli implisert i historien om hieros gamos, eller det hellige ekteskapet mellom Enki og Ninhursag, som synes som en etiologisk myte om fruktbarhet av tørr jord via irrigasjonsvann, som på sumerisk er a, ab, som vil si vann eller sæd.
Abzu, eller vannkilden foran hans tempel, ble senere innført ved tempelet til måneguden Nanna, eller Sin, ved Ur, hvor fra det spredde seg gjennom hele regionen og eksisterer i dag i form av den hellige kilden ved moskeer og som hellige vannfontener i katolske eller østtlig ortodokse kirker.
Ved utgravningene på stedet har man funnet flere tusen karpebein, trolig konsumert under en fest holdt til ære for ham. Det kristne ursymbolet er fisken. Av symbolene som ble brukt av de tidlige kristne, ser fisken ut til å ha vært den viktigste.
Blant vest semittene ble EA likestilt med termen hyy, som betyr liv, noe som refererer til Enkis vann som livgivende. Han blir ansett som livets og fornyelsens gud, og blir ofte avbildet med to strømmer av vann rennende ned fra sine skuldre, hvor av den ene er Tigris og den andre Eufrat.
Sammen med ham var trær som symboliserer de feminine og maskuline aspektene av naturen, hvor av hver holder de feminine og maskuline aspektene av livskraften, som han, som gudenes alkymist, blander for på den måten å skape flere vesener.
Enki hadde som EA stor innflytelse utenfor Sumer, og ble likestilt med El i Ugarit og med Yah i Ebla, men blir også funnet i hurrisk og hettittisk mytologi, som en gud for kontrakter, pakten, og er spesielt gunstig mot menneskene.
En kobling mellom Ea og Yah med hebreernes YHWH har blitt foreslått. Yah har også blitt sammenlignet med den ugarittiske Yamm, som betyr sjø, også kjent som Dommer Nahar, eller Dommer elv, viss tidligere navn var Yaw, eller Ya’a.
Allah, en betegnelse brukt av både muslimer og kristne, er det arabiske ordet for Gud, eller guden, ettersom “Al-” er en bestemt artikkel. Termen stammer fra en sammenbinding av al- og ilāh, som betyr gud. Kognater av Allāh eksister også i andre semittiske språk, inkludert hebrew og arameisk, og den korresponderende arameiske formen er Elaha og den syriske Alaha.
Navnet Allah, eller Alla, brukes i legenden om Atrahasis, som er fra Babylon omkring 1700 f.vt., og er forløperen til Bibelens Noa, noe som viser at han ble dyrket som en gud allerede den gangen.
Gjeteren Dumuzid, en konge fra det første dynastiet i Uruk nevnt i den sumeriske kongelisten, som er forløperen til Gamletestamentets kongeliste, ble senere dyrket slik at folk startet å assosiere ham med “Alla” og den babylonske guden Tammuz.
Grekerne overtok den anatoliske modergudinnen Kybele, som lite er kjent om, annet enn hennes tilknytning fjellene, hauker og løver. Kyble kan ha utviklet seg fra anatolisk modergudinne i henhold til en type funnet ved Çatal Höyük, datert til rundt 5000-tallet f.vt.
Denne korpulente, fruktbare modergudinnen synes å føde sittende på en trone med to armlener bestående av kattehoder. I frygisk kunst på 700-tallet f.vt. var Kybelekultens attributter ledsagende løver, en rovfugl, og en liten vase for hennes drikkeoffer eller andre offergaver.
Den tidligste referansen til en gudinne dyrket som en kube-formet stein er fra det neolittiske Anatolia. Alternativt kan Kubaba bety en hul vase eller hule, som også ville ha vært et overført bilde av guddinnen.
Ideogrammene for Kubaba i det hettittiske alfabetet er en hul vase, eller en kube, en labrys, en due, en vase og en dør eller port, hvor av alle gjenspeiler modergudinner i det neolittiske Europa.
Den tidligste referansen til Kybeles navn kan ha vært Kubaba, eller Kumbaba, noe som henviser til Humbaba, som var vokter av skogen i legenden om Gilgamesh, som er verdens eldste nedskrevne myte fra Sumer 2500 f.vt.
Arabisk mytologi er arabernes opprinnelige preislamske religion. Kaabaen var før Islam dekket med symboler som representerte en myriade av demoner, djinner, demiguder, eller stammeguder og andre guddommer som representerte den polyteistiske kulturen i det pre-islamiske Arabia.
Den svarte polerte steinen, som er representerer Cybele og hennes vagina, eller vulva, er en muslimsk relik, som ifølge islamsk tradisjon kan dateres tilbake til tiden med Adam og Eva. Historisk forskning viser at den svarte steinen markerte Kaaba som et plass for tilbedelse under pre-islamske tider. Det er den østlige hjørnesteinen av Kaabaen.
Ifølge Koranen og islamsk tradisjon er Kaaba, eller Kuben, også kjent som det hellige huset og det gamle huset, bygget av Abraham og blitt fortalt om at det var det første huset som ble bygget til menneskehetens dyrkelse av Allah (Enki, EA, Yah, Gud).
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014
Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014
En høyreist mann og kvinne, vakre å se på, går gjennom et nydelig landskap. Med seg har de to halvstore gutter og flere andre små barn. Noen av barna leier små lam. De bærer med seg ved, og nærmer seg et stort alter i horisonten. Alteret står så nær det kan inngangen til et enda vakrere sted. På begge sider vokter levende kjeruber inngangen, slik at ingen kan komme inn. Følget stopper opp ved alteret. De bøyer seg og ber, ikke til kjerubene, men de henvender seg til sin sin Skaper som en gang ga dem liv og plasserte dem i denne hagen.