Civilization began through the influence of agriculture. It was agriculture, and the power it could claim over the lives of others, that the magical
cults of the ancient world can first trace their origin.
The first consistent usage of agriculture - that is, mass production of a particular resource, in particular, wheat and barley - appears in the
archeological record around 11,700 years ago, with it becoming a regular staple-product 8000 years ago in various city states, up until the formation
of the major kingdoms with the beginning of the old kingdom in Egypt and Sumer in Mesopotamia.
However planned this may seem, and however much people today, particularly here at this site, imagine just-so stories about aliens giving mankind
technology, the most likely explanation is one that is consonant with the laws of biology, which in turn emerge out of the laws of physics; namely,
“They [centralized states] appeared independently around the world wherever ecological preconditions allowed, in the Old World as well as in the
Americas and across a wide-range of environments from the alluvial floodplains of Egypt and Mesopotamia to the highlands of the Andes. Defying this
considerable diversity of context, the best-known among them developed into strikingly similar entities. All of them witnessed the expansion of
hierarchies in different domains, from the political sphere to the family and religious belief systems – an autocatalytic process whereby “the
hierarchical structure itself feeds back on all societal factors to make them more closely into an overall system that supports the authority
structure.” Pressures in favor of increasing stratification had an enormous effect on moral values, for the residue of ancestral egalitarianism was
replaced by belief in the merits of inequality and acceptance of hierarchy as an integral element of the natural and cosmic order.” – Walter
Scheidel, The Great Leveler, pg. 44, Princeton, 2017
What the human being was doing was practically identical, albeit, at a much higher emergent level of personified meaning, the autocatalytic
transformations that underlie cell formation, with molecules feeding into the cell and into its self-structuring process in terms of the establishment
of relationships between external resources, and internal chemical time-tables.
Humans cannot help but drum up theories; and the more complex, the 'more' true they seem, the harder it can be to pull away far enough to consider
the likelihood, perhaps, that you may just be believing what you feel you need to believe to feel better.
Wheat and the Demon Dagon
Now, unlike many academic scholars, I am interested in addressing what human beings, especially the educated ones, address: namely, metaphysics,
magic, and mysticism, or said differently: the representational dogma about how reality works, the methods employed to manipulate that reality, and
the experiences used to describe the very gradations of that reality.
I assume, in other words, that an 'oral' tradition suffices to communicate and pass on complex representational systems of thought that aren't
necessarily required to be put into print. Indeed, it would be naïve to think Plato, or Aristotle, or Thales, who is said to have given
"philosophy" to Greece, developed their thinking in a void. Rather, there has always likely been a pronounced philosophical complexity in the
ruminations of civilizations 'elite' class, even if that class hadn't yet developed the means to encode their thinking in alphabetical writing
So what is Dagon?
I mention this ancient god of fertility because of the strange association between agriculture, which is what was offered to him as sacrifice, and a
fish, which is transformed into a head, similar to the hat worn by the pontiffs of Rome, as well as the crowns of the Pharoahs of Egypt.
Fish live in the sea, that is, below the water. The traditional interpretation of water is the unconscious, or 'what lies below' conscious
awareness. Thus, the fish with its head upwards and mouth wide open is a symbol of something in the unconscious receiving nourishment from without.
Indeed, and quite appropriately, it is wheat - the very wheat which has made the elites able to store and build up a surplus resource, that is, the
very process that gives a small number of humans an advantage over the whole, which is given as an offering to the god dagon: the demon, or evil
impulse, which motivates, and perhaps, aids the machinations of the ruling classes modus-operandi.
Symbolic Creatures, Symbolic Warfare
So the story goes, Arunah the Jebusite lived in a town called Jebus. Historians believe that the very site which Arunah officiated at, and the later
David built his precious temple, was dedicated to the god Dagon, the fish god.
So the question to be asked - by a scientific mind, that is, is: is this site really special, or is it just a matter of human beings ascribing meaning
to a location, and then coopting the site, one after the other, in such a way as to infuse the site with a subjectively "real" significance to the
Dagons temple switch over to the Temple of YHWH; of course, this, judging from the etymological nature of YHWH, was probably a switch from demon
worship (dagon) to the worship of being, because the 3 letter Hebrew root of this term means, "to be".
In any case, I am not interested in mysticism or any just-so stories about God's will in reality (all of which are probably psychodynamic
projections) but only how the human mind has projected meaning onto a physical place, and literally, to this very day, this site serves as a primary
loci in human social and cultural relations.
Indeed, if mysticism, and the human penchant of trusting/believing in the power of revelation over reason, is to be a judge, next year will mark the
70th year of Israel's founding, and given what 70 signifies to kabbalists and occultists, there is a good chance that much of what we are going
through right now - with Trump and his 'coming' in the Hebrew year 777 (reminds me of Crowley's Liber 777), and the 'liberty' it portends for
those who do not subscribe to any laws of nature, will probably reach an extreme point in May 2018 when the religious fundamentalists in Israel
idealistically pursue their perfect square temple, despite the raucous chaos it will unleash in the region, and in particular, between Muslims and
Anywho, Food for Thought!
My writing is always done from the perspective of someone with a deep skepticism about religious thinking i.e. theology, but also a deep belief in the
goodness of human beings - who do not mean to be crazy maniacs; we can't help but be what nature is - or where nature currently has us.